Broncos Update Insider - Wednesday, June 15

The Denver Broncos will get a break after four weeks of offseason practices. The Broncos had a quarterback camp the last two weeks of May and a team camp the first two weeks of June, but won't have any organized team activities until a mandatory minicamp from July 6-8.

The schedule is a change for the Broncos, who usually had a post-draft minicamp in early May. That was moved to July this year, in part so all of the rookies wouldn't have to go through a minicamp in early May, then take time off before coming back for the offseason workout program when they were eligible later in the month.

The rookies, especially, should benefit from the time off before the minicamp.

"We are throwing things at them constantly, so they absorb it as it goes on," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "Now they have a chance to study it for about three or four weeks before we get together again."

Denver's rookies are flooded with information in their first camps, given plenty of the playbook to learn.

"Anybody would be lost," Shanahan said.

So it's not surprising that rookie cornerback Darrent Williams, Denver's second-round pick, was a bit surprised by how much he's expected to learn right away.

"The mental part of the game (is the hardest to pick up)," Williams said. "Learning the plays, the adjustments ... right now all of my mistakes are coming off that."

Although the Broncos won't practice for a while, the rookies will be better off if they don't try to get away from football during that time.

"I'll try to look at (the playbook) at least once a day and also go over my notes," Williams.


--Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he thinks the competition at tailback won't heat up until training camp when the team puts pads on. Tatum Bell and Mike Anderson are currently the top two candidates to start, and Maurice Clarett, Ron Dayne and Quentin Griffin will also compete.

"With the running back situation you really don't know until they go full speed and they get tackled and they play in a game situation," Shanahan said. "We'll just have to wait and see for that opportunity to come."

--Wide receiver Nate Jackson will move to tight end this season. Jackson has bulked up to about 235 pounds, 20 more than he carried last season. Jackson said he was told moving to tight end was a way to perhaps get more playing time.

"If that's the case, then I'm all for it," Jackson said.

--Ends Courtney Brown and Ebenezer Ekuban, both of whom are recovering from injuries, began doing football drills during the team's recently completed team camp. Both are expected to be full participants in Denver's July minicamp.

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said Brown, who missed most of last season with a foot injury, is close to being 100 percent but the team has been cautious with him.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You need a backpack for (the playbook)." -- CB Darrent Williams, on adjusting to life as a rookie in the NFL.




UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: RB Garrison Hearst; DT Ellis Johnson.



PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: S Sam Brandon; OG Cooper Carlisle; DE Marco Coleman; DT Dorsett Davis; DT Luther Elliss; OG Ben Hamilton; TE Patrick Hape; TE/LS Mike Leach; DE Anton Palepoi; DT Monsanto Pope; TE Jeb Putzier; CB Lenny Walls; S Chris Young.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: TE Stephen Alexander; DE Courtney Brown; LB Keith Burns; OT Anthony Clement; RB Ron Dayne; DE Ebenezer Ekuban; LB Ian Gold; DT Michael Myers; P Todd Sauerbrun; OG Cameron Spikes; DT Gerard Warren.

PLAYERS LOST: P Jason Baker; RB Reuben Droughns; DE Reggie Hayward; CB Kelly Herndon; S Kenoy Kennedy; G Dan Neil.

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