- John Clayton, NFL senior writer
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Five observations on the Denver Broncos from training camp practices on July 28.
1. Quentin Griffin looks very comfortable as the team's featured halfback. He follows reads exceptionally well on zone blocking plays between the tackles. Once he's able to make a couple of steps, he has the speed to break past the linebackers for big plays. But wow, is he short. At 5-foot-7, 198-pounds, Griffin has the stocky type of body to survive 20 carries in a game. What you don't want to do is have him in the second row of a team picture.
2. The best receiving show displayed in early camp involves second-round choice Darius Watts, who played last season at Marshall. He is exceptionally quick for being 6-2, 188-pounds. Several times, he made incredible, acrobatic deep catches -- even on Champ Bailey. Unlike the faster Ashley Lelie, who is a long-strider, Watts runs a little quicker into his routes and could have more run-after-catch ability. His weakness -- like most rookies -- is getting off jams at the line of scrimmage.
3. Despite losing Bertrand Berry to the Arizona Cardinals in free agency, the Broncos should be fine at pass rushing from the end with Reggie Hayward. He doesn't have Berry's quick first step, but he does have the long arms and natural pass-rushing instincts that make for a good pass rusher. Plus, he had 8½ sacks as the backup. Not bad.
4. This is a different linebacking corps than in recent years. With Al Wilson, John Mobley and Ian Gold, the Broncos had a linebacking corps with a lot of speed and range. Mobley was cut because of neck problems. Gold limped off to Tampa Bay following a bad knee injury. Wilson now leads a more stout unit that anchors down better against the run at the expense of having less range. D.J. Williams missed the first day of practice coming in late from his contract signing, but he is expected to be a big-play maker next to Wilson. Terry Pierce backs up Wilson and will battle Donnie Spragan and Jashon Sykes for playing time.
5. It's strange seeing John Lynch in non-Buccaneer colors. He has a scar on the back of his neck from offseason surgery, but he's moving around well. He's so instinctive on running plays that he somehow got behind on the line of scrimmage when the Broncos did some strong side runs. More than anything, Lynch is a leader who sees a talented defense around him in Denver.
Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com.
Quentin Griffin is small, but he looks comfortable as Denver's starting running back.