SANDERS: FOWLER IS NO. 3 WR NOW
Among the most notable, if sometimes overlooked, positional battles at Broncos training camp this year is at receiver, as nine players battle for the coveted No. 3 spot behind veterans Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Last season, Jordan Norwood took the third-most snaps at receiver, but his contract expired after an up-and-down season.
Heading into camp this year, the front-runners among experienced players were believed to be Cody Latimer, a 2014 second-round draft pick, and Bennie Fowler, an undrafted Michigan State product. But in the mix, too, were Jordan Taylor, who earned a roster spot after going undrafted in 2015, and rookies Carlos Henderson and Isaiah McKenzie.
Two days into camp, separation is already seen.
“I think Bennie has that job right now,” Sanders said. “Bennie doesn’t want to lose it, but that’s Bennie’s job right now to lose if you ask me. He’s the one playing in the slot a majority of the time.”
The Broncos ended each of their first two practices after roughly 90 minutes, about an hour shorter than scheduled.
The abbreviated sessions are by design, first-year Denver coach Vance Joseph said.
“We’re going to build on this,” he said. “The first day, we were in the red zone. It was more of first and second down today. Just thinking about injury — hamstrings going early on in camp. While we have a chance to build on this thing, that’s the way to go. We’re probably going to add more team periods, probably next week when the pads go on. It’s by purpose.”
Crab shelves Wolfe.
Defensive end Derek Wolfe was a surprise absence during the first day of training camp Thursday.
The culprit? An abundance of seafood at a team dinner Wednesday.
“I don’t eat seafood a lot. I saw those crab legs and thought, ‘Oh, I’ll eat as many as I can,’ ” Wolfe said. “Big mistake. Huge.”
The Broncos will put on full pads for the first time Sunday. Some players are clearly eager to elevate the intensity.
“I always say, ‘When you put the pads on, that’s the difference between the boys and the men,’ ” Sanders said. “So we’re going to see who the men are.”
Marcus Rios, an undrafted rookie from UCLA, intercepted a pass from thirdstring quarterback Kyle Sloter on Thursday. Friday, Rios earned praise from all-pro cornerback Chris Harris, who mentioned Rios as one of the young defensive players, along with defensive end DeMarcus Walker, who have impressed early in camp . ... Joseph said nose tackle Domata Peko and ends Adam Gotsis and Zach Kerr are players who have stood out on the defensive line.