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‘Rejuvenating’ vibe reported from rookie mini-camp; QB making a difference early

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By: Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Observers at rookie minicamp and the beginning of OTAs say the mood is just different. Sean Payton has his team.

Good morning, Broncos Country!

Jess Place may not be on the Bo Nix hype train, but I am. I don’t even think we’re going to win a lot of games next season with a rookie QB at the helm (at some point). I just like that the Broncos are doing a legit rebuild.

And based on news out of the rookie camp, there are a lot of good signs that bode well for a solid coach-QB relationship. And that can mean a world of difference to a young quarterback’s development and ultimately performance.

Andrew Mason, who reported on the Broncos’ rookie minicamp all weekend, had an interesting comment yesterday with Cecil Lammey on their podcast, Orange and Blue Today, that prompted my optimism:

“Sean Payton seems happy. Happy and reenergized. I think he would have answered questions for 45 minutes. It was not a one-question day,” Mase laughed. “It’s like he is saying, ‘OK, I’ve got my team now. I’m still working on some things, but I got my quarterback. I’ve got the big piece here. I’m ready to go.’”

A happy and re-energized Payton makes me happy. I’m not buying the Bo Nix jersey just yet, but my offseason slump is coming to an end. Both Mason and Lammey were a little giddy about the minicamp practices – saying the vibe was different and the mood was exciting.

And while Mase didn’t want to call Nix “a cornerstone” of the team yet, or predict that he’ll be good at shotgun by August, he was willing to say he could see why Payton wanted the Oregon quarterback.

“They’ve got a quarterback who can do the Sean Payton offense,” Mase said. “You get why he wanted to move off of Russell Wilson.”

9News’ Mike Klis was a little more subdued in his reporting on Nix, saying after camp that he “looked pretty good” especially on a deep cross to DeVaughan Vele and another to his Oregon teammate Troy Franklin.

But Klis also pointed out that while Nix will start camp on the depth chart as the No. 3 QB behind Jarrett Stidham and Zach Wilson, “but it’s only a matter of time before he’s the starter.”

Payton was quick to indicate that all the quarterbacks will be brought along the same way – with a “Come on in, let’s get going” approach.

And he thought Nix did a good job with his first practices.

“It’s almost like watching a good golfer,” Payton said. “Sometimes when you watch his game over two years, there’s a patience to how he plays. The ball comes out, and—I don’t want to use the term ‘boring,’ that’s not the right term, but [he makes] pretty good decisions. With each play, the efficiency of how he’s operating, and all of that. …So often times your first exposure to huddle, snap count, verbiage, that can be challenging, but I thought he threw it well.”

Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner pointed out Monday that of all the rookie quarterbacks drafted two weeks ago, Nix was the one who was asked to do more of what an NFL quarterback would do in his college system.

“They asked him to see the field, they asked to see more combinations, to get the ball out on time, to go through more reads. His offense was the most NFL-like of all these guys,” Warner said, adding that Sean Payton will ask of Nix what he asked of Drew Brees. “He was an accurate quarterback that wasn’t asked to wing the ball downfield every snap but get the ball out and get to the right guy. I think it’s a really, really good fit.”

Based on Nix’s comments after his first rookie camp, the young QB is definitely getting coached up.

“It’s all about studying and taking one play at a time. Master it and make sure you know the fundamentals and technique of that play and what the play-caller’s intent is,” Nix said after Saturday’s work. “It’s my job as a quarterback to get the plays started and get the ball where it’s supposed to be. A lot of that is completing passes and run-game operation. It can be a lot but I feel like I’m being taught really well by the coaches. They’re doing a really good job of narrowing everything down and making it simple so I can just get up there, process and play really fast.”

The young quarterback is also taking a measured approach to his role as a rookie hoping to become the leader.

“You’re not going to be able to do it all at once,” Nix said. “It’s going to [be] day-by-day. The most important thing is being a great teammate and learning my new teammates. Being around them and forming great relationships with them. They just want to see guys who can go out there and play hard for each other. That’s what most leaders are able to do.”

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Originally posted on Mile High Report