Jeb Putzier and Vernon Fox stepped to the podium one after another this afternoon, and both seemed upbeat about the progress the team is making day by day.
Thursday marked the seventh day of passing camp, and the team is working extremely hard to make their mark in 2009.
“Definitely in the circumstance that we’re in — the new coaching staff, a new system — that’s imperative, and guys have taken the initiative to be here,” Fox said of the passing camp attendance. “We’re working hard to get better, getting in awesome shape, and I think you can see that on the field each and every day, that we’re gelling as a team.”
In fact, Fox — who played in 10 games in 2008, starting three — thought the team improved significantly this offseason just with some of the roster moves before offseason camps even started.
“I remember (Head) Coach (Josh McDaniels) mentioning that all the pieces that we brought in were guys that were coming from winning organizations, yet they still wanted to be part of what we have going on here,” he said. “I’ve learned something from each and every guy, and I think that if you put it together collectively, it’s something that is going to make us successful on the defensive back end. I’ve seen our ability to make plays, and I think just being more sure of ourselves and our confidence in the guy beside us is just a difference that I’ve seen from last year to this year.”
Putzier is also happy with how his position group has shaped up this offseason, including the addition of rookie Richard Quinn. Putzier said Quinn is learning as he goes, “but that’s the way it is for every rookie on every team in the NFL right now.”
But it’s not just the offseason moves that have Putzier excited about this season. He said the new offense is more about patience — reading and reacting — than any scheme he has ever played in before, and learning how to execute is one of his favorite parts of camps thus far.
He explained that coaches have been putting the team in various situations that help them learn how the offense runs at different times throughout a game.
It may be a practice full of third-down plays, or a practice against a team that runs the Wildcat offense, or practicing attacking a 3-4 defense versus a 4-3 defense.
“They’re putting us in tough situations where we have to think on the move, and it’s great,” Putzier said. “It’s quite a challenge, but if you’re not in the NFL to be challenged, you shouldn’t be here. Everyone has been excited about it.”
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com