NFL Wire News

OTA report: Rookie T Sambrailo under microscope for Broncos


The Sports Xchange

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — No rookie for the Denver Broncos is under more pressure to grow than Ty Sambrailo.

Any chance of a deliberate transition from Colorado State to the NFL vanished when Ryan Clady tore an anterior cruciate ligament on May 27, forcing the second-round pick onto the first team at left tackle.

Sambrailo’s initiation began immediately, as he lined up against eight-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware on a daily basis.

Working from a stand-up alignment in the newly installed 3-4 defense, Ware is back at the spot where he spent most of his years with the Dallas Cowboys, and even in his 11th year, still has an explosive first step and an array of pass-rush moves.

There won’t be many opponents tougher for Sambrailo than the one he faces every day. But Ware already sees that the repetitions against him are helping the rookie.

“The first day I went against him, you know, a rookie’s going to be a rookie,” Ware said. “But he’s getting a really good comfort level in his play.”

And that comfort includes a willingness to mix it up with Ware.

“We actually had a little scuffle in practice,” Ware said. “He’s waking up. His aggressiveness is coming out. That’s what it’s about.

“When you’re playing that left tackle, you’ve got to let guys know that you’re that cornerstone of the offense. That’s what he’s doing. He’s doing a great job.”

–Rookie outside linebacker Shane Ray finally saw some team repetitions this week after being eased into work because of the toe injury he sustained during the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1.

The first-round pick was hindered throughout the pre-draft process because of the injury, and the Broncos opted to ease him into full-scale work, which allowed him to avoid surgery.

Ray began working in individual periods of practice on June 1, but did not see 7-on-7 or team work until this week. A quadriceps strain sustained earlier in OTAs delayed him, but did not derail his progress.

“He played really well; he had a couple of sacks (in Tuesday’s practice),” outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware said. “I’m really looking forward to playing with him.”

The Broncos hope Ray can provide a breather for outside linebackers Ware and Von Miller, but head coach Gary Kubiak and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have both discussed using the three pass rushers together in some alignments.

–Inside linebackers Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan did not see a snap of team or 7-on-7 work during OTAs or minicamp, but both hope to return to that work sometime during training camp, which for veterans can begin no earlier than July 31.

At this point, Trevathan, who had three knee injuries last year and received a new kneecap in surgery this winter, is ahead of Marshall, who in April had two screws placed in the foot that he sprained last December.

Marshall has not run on the foot, but expects to begin running next week.

“I’m doing quad strengthening; step-ups with weight,” Trevathan said. “I’m doing squats; I’m doing leg presses; I’m doing a lot of balance, a lot of core; stretching a lot.

“It’s all about getting this leg to the best of its ability. I went through surgery and I’m feeling good right now, but I want to make sure I feel great before I go out there again.”

Marshall said the screws will be removed after the season, but in the meantime, he expects to play with some soreness.

“I wish we could have got (the surgery) done sooner and I would have been a lot farther along,” Marshall said. “It’s your foot, it’s annoying, but everything happens for a reason, so I’ll get through this just like I’ve gotten through everything else.”

In their absence, Steven Johnson and Todd Davis have worked on the first team as the inside linebackers.

“It was a lot to put on them at a young age, but I’m proud sitting in the meeting room and watching these young guys develop like I developed,” Trevathan said.

“They are learning the fine prints of the defense and they are just trying to be the best players they can be.”

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