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Okoye, Jones on the up and up

Head coach Gary Kubiak frequently says that players improve the most between their first and second pro seasons. Following Day 4 of OTA practices, Kubiak **noted progress in two players** who fall into that category.

The first: defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, the No. 10 overall selection in the 2007 NFL Draft.

"I've really noticed him the last two days, to be honest with you," Kubiak said. "We went through mini-camp and everybody's just getting going again, and I was standing in the back watching the team period and I leaned over to one of the coaches and I said, you know, 'Amobi's really showing up in the last two practices.' I just think he's more comfortable. He's got a lot of confidence. When players get confidence, they see themselves becoming better and more effective, so you kind of see that going on with him."

If Okoye continues to improve, he could form an even more dominant pass-rushing tandem with defensive end Mario Williams. The two already combined for 19.5 sacks in their first season together.

Kubiak also discussed the similar progress of last year's third-round selection, wide receiver/punt returner Jacoby Jones, especially in the absence of Pro Bowl wideout Andre Johnson.

"He's getting his confidence from reps, because with Andre out, all of a sudden everything's just picked up for him," Kubiak said. "We know he's a good returner, and I think the key for our team is that he becomes a good all-around player, so he's taking those steps right now."

  • Nick Scurfield
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