CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- The defense saves its sympathy for more worthy causes.
Feel contrite for the Broncos' quarterbacks, especially in the red zone?
"Man, we are trying to dominate everyday, no matter where they are on the field," cornerback Aqib Talib told Denver7 after the first padded practice in front of a Dove Valley record crowd of 6,161. "They had a good day yesterday. We shook back today. That's what good teams do. Hopefully we go back and forth like that all year."
Two elements intersected to create Sunday's suffocation, which included three combined pick sixes from cornerbacks Lorenzo Doss (two) and Bradley Roby. The defense arrived with fangs dropped. Trevor Siemian, specifically, and the offense, in general, enjoyed strong performances 24 hours earlier. It disappointed the defense, a unit that worked Saturday without coordinator Joe Woods, who was out of town for a family funeral.
Woods returned Sunday and the brass knuckles equipped their fists. The Broncos defenders made life miserable for Siemian, who struggled for completions and finished the day with Doss taking an out route to the end zone. The defenders preyed on Paxton Lynch, who was intercepted for a score by Roby, pickpocketed by Doss and nearly snared by Chris Harris Jr.
Broncos coach Vance Joseph did not bother with diplomacy. Asked how the quarterbacks performed he said, "Did I like what I saw? Not really. They both had issues. They both struggled."
Joseph makes no excuses for the pair. The quarterbacks must improve. Going against the NFL's best pass defense two years running is not easy. But games, too, are difficult. And the Broncos need the quarterbacks to make plays in the red zone, where the Broncos ranked 26th in touchdown percentage last season.
"We want to take them out into the deep water and drown them," Harris told Denver7 of creating daily challenges. "They got the best of us Saturday. We had our minds ready today."
An interesting dynamic continues to develop with this team. While the offense's ineptitude created fissures last season, the competition in this camp is real. The offense has punched back, benefiting from a more diverse attack with shades of Mike McCoy's Chargers, Bill Musgrave's Raiders and Jeff Davidson's Vikings. Even in their boasts, the defenders continue to give the offense props, something lacking since Peyton Manning's retirement.
"In the red zone, we can’t give up any touchdowns. All field goals. We got locked in today. We're the best in the league," Roby said. "So no, I don't fee sorry for them because when they complete a deep ball on me, which was interference yesterday, they celebrate. And who cares. It's practice. We are supposed to beat them. They are supposed to beat us. Iron sharpens iron. We are making each other better."