CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Cody Latimer caught eight passes in his first two NFL seasons. He caught seven in the Broncos preseason opener. He admits he is more comfortable in a Broncos offense not run by Peyton Manning.
"For me, it’s not being so nervous. I was always so nervous when Peyton was around. I didn’t want to mess up. It’s like a fresh start," Latimer said. "If I mess up, I mess up. But I am going to run fast and make plays."
Latimer could never get on the same page as Manning as the second-round pick turned into a special teams ace and seldom-used target. He knows coach Gary Kubiak's offense better in this camp, and has developed good chemistry with quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Trevor Siemian. In Latimer's rookie year, he drew praise for his strong hands and vertical leap. It disappeared when he became robotic, thinking too much and trying to be perfect. He looked like one of the best athletes on Soldier Field Thursday, hauling in seven passes for 82 yards. He separated from defensive backs after receptions, something rarely seen in his first two years.
Like Demaryius Thomas, Latimer dropped weight in the offseason. He is 208 pounds after playing between 215 and 220 last season. It has increased his confidence.
"I pride myself in knowing what I can do. And I know I have to go out there and do something," Latimer said. "I'm more focused this year than ever. I know I am not going to lose when I am out there."
-- Kilgo, Walker held out --
Darius Kilgo injured his shoulder in Thursday's win, and did not practice Saturday. Fellow defensive lineman Vance Walker joined him on the sideline with a back issue that has nagged him during training camp. Coach Gary Kubiak said Walker could have participated, but was given a rest day. Both might be available on Monday. Tight end Garrett Graham did not practice and fullback Andy Janovich left midway through the workout with the trainer.
-- Footnotes --
Cornerback Lorenzo Doss continues to enjoy a terrific camp. For the second time in a week, he intercepted Sanchez and took it to the house. Doss could see playing time in sub packages if the NFL disciplines cornerback Aqib Talib. "I know what the coaches expect. I want to make plays, and be physical," Doss said.
... Talib is improving as he progresses in practice, working for 90 minutes on Saturday. "He's doing great. You all saw him today making a lot of plays. We're trying to keep him out of contact situations, but he sure looks really good to me. I think we are making up a lot of ground," Kubiak said.
... Ben Higgins, from "The Bachelor," attended practice and filmed segments for a new reality show.