Broncos’ Sean Payton, pleased with QBs, ends minicamp early

The Denver Broncos are entering a new era under center, and so far, coach Sean Payton likes what he sees.

Denver moved on from veteran Russell Wilson in March, releasing him and watching as he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a one-year deal. Now the Broncos find themselves with a young quarterback room consisting of Jarrett Stidham, Zach Wilson and rookie Bo Nix.

Stidham is headed into his fifth NFL season, including last season with Denver, while Wilson enters his fourth pro campaign. Nix was the 12th overall pick in this year’s draft.

“We gave all three of these guys (a lot of reps) and of course Jarrett is a year further along relative to understanding it,” Payton said on Wednesday following the Broncos’ second practice of mandatory minicamp. “The two younger guys — and I say the two younger guys, but the two new players — both Zach and Bo had a lot of install in a short period of time.

“Realistically in the season, you spend a week on one plan. Here, we are moving. Overall, though, it’s what we saw and what we evaluated and that is encouraging.”

Still, Payton has yet to officially name a starter. He also noted that there wasn’t anything that happened during minicamp that changed his perception of Stidham, Wilson or Nix.

“It went how I wanted it to go,” Payton said of the offseason program. “Again, I’ve said this not only at that position but the inside linebacker position, the cornerback position and the safety position, we will have a plan when we start camp and then we begin to make some decisions relative to reps and all of that.

“Now it kind of went like we expected. A lot of good things and a lot of good stuff to coach off of and things to correct.”

Payton was so satisfied that he ended up deeming Wednesday the final day of the offseason program. Denver will not practice on Thursday.

“I felt that we had a really good offseason program,” Payton said. “The key for all of these guys is during the 5 1/2 weeks that they are away is maintaining their conditioning level. There will be a few guys who will stay here rehabbing injuries. Overall, I think it went well.”

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