The Broncos’ Plan A for Baron Browning after he was selected in the third round of last year’s draft was to focus his training on the outside linebacker.
This plan was thwarted first by Browning’s calf injury keeping him out of the entire off-season program, and then by multiple inside linebacker injuries that forced him to play in the position.
But since the Broncos continued their mini-camp on Tuesday, Browning said he’s only learning the edge rusher…and that’s fine with him.
“I feel pretty comfortable with it,” he told Olx Praca. “I thought I would get the opportunity last year, but we had injuries. I’m happy to improve my game and learn from the guys in the division.”
Browning learned on the job last year. He started nine games, played 528 snaps and made 57 tackles, 42 of which came in his last six games. He was booked for only two missed tackles.
Can the knowledge he gained as a midfielder help him on the outside?
“I needed to know a lot inside and (former) coach Vic (Fangio) gave me a lot (information) and we might not even use everything he gave us, but I had to make sure I had all my points over I and T. crossed,” Browning said. “I feel like I have a shared consciousness. I know the guys at both places work together like chess pieces.”
As an Ohio State junior in 2019, Browning had five sacks and is trying to get advice from veterans Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory, as well as watching videos with Robert Quinn and Von Miller.
“They’ve been in the league a lot longer than me and they’ve been around the guys they learned from, so I try to be a sponge and add all those things to my toolbox,” Browning said.
Browning’s current move to outside linebacker could raise the chances that the Broncos will pick a second or third round draft pick on Friday night to select an inside linebacker to compete against veteran Alex Singleton to start alongside Josie Jewell.
Involved. Coach Nathaniel Hackett used fake plays and played safe on Monday and threw blocking pads at his quarterbacks on Tuesday.
Against Russell Wilson, Josh Johnson, and Brett Raipin, Hackett faked pressure by throwing a pad at them, causing them to throw quickly or move sideways.
Coaches also train. Defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero said the mini-camp training is a good chance for him to grow in his new role.
“Obviously it’s very important for coaches, just like players, to practice what they’re going to do on matchday,” Evero said. “I’m taking these practices as an example to get used to calling the game and communicating, and not only getting calls from the players in the meeting, but also giving them advice and reminders.”
Evero said he would call off defensive play this year because of the touchline.
Attendance report. Gregory, wide receiver Seth Williams, linebackers DJ Jones and Mike Purcell, and offensive linemen Billy Turner, Tom Compton and Ben Braden did not participate in Tuesday’s voluntary practice. Gregory (shoulder), Jones and Williams (grab his left knee) watched the practice. Gregory’s arm remains in a sling.
Footnotes. The Broncos’ release schedule video last spring was named the 2022 Webby Award winner in the Sports Social (Video) category. The video, which featured former quarterback Peyton Manning as an “intern” doing odd jobs at the facility, has been viewed more than 2 million times. … New player jersey numbers: Wilson (3), Gregory (5), Johnson (11), safety JR Reed (20), cornerback K’Von Williams (21), linebacker Alex Singleton (49), Turner ( 57), Braden (64), Compton (69), tight end Eric Tomlinson (87) and Jones (97). Cornerback Ronald Darby moved from 21st to 23rd.