Quinn Meinerz Gives Up “A Lot Of Dairy” In Effort To Lose Weight For Zone Blocking Scheme

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Didn’t Practice: Physically Unable to Perform List: OLB Randy Gregory (shoulder), RT Billy Turner (knee) and OL Tom Compton (back). Didn’t Practice: Injuries: S Caden Sterns (hip), CB K’Waun Williams (knee), WR Tyrie Cleveland (throat), DL DJ Jones (back) and WR Kendall Hinton (knee).

S Kareem Jackson returned to the field after a rest day Thursday, as did OLB Christopher Allen (foot). S PJ Locke, who was treated by coaches after a collision on the last play of Thursday’s practice, returned Friday, while Hinton was seen catching tennis balls on the sideline.

Coach Nathaniel Hackett said Gregory and Turner continue to work with the coaching staff in an effort to get back on the field in time for the regular-season opener. “I think they’re on the right track,” Hackett said. “We want those guys for Week 1. That’s what we’re looking for.”

Hackett on Williams: “We’re just going to work him the right way and keep rehabbing him and making sure he’s okay. But we hope (he returns) sooner rather than later.”

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Compton has missed all nine practices, Williams five practices, Cleveland and Jones four each, Hinton three and Sterns has missed two.

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*The Broncos ran out of towels after a rough day Thursday, marking the second time in three days that Hackett opted for what amounted to a jog.

Hackett previously cited a third-day rule he had followed during his time in Green Bay, where the Packers would go light after two days on pads. But on Friday, the plan was to build back to another “heavy day” on Saturday before Sunday’s day off rather than end the week with a light practice.

“It’s about what we can do to make those difficult practices the best and most efficient ones,” Hackett said.

*Despite going at half speed without pads, Hackett insisted his team still got a lot out of Friday practice. “When you see players start correcting, or self-correcting, or communicating and wanting another play, that’s what you’re looking for as a coach.”

*Hackett hopes to go out in style with full pads on Saturday before a day off on Sunday: “I want another day like (Thursday). … Just that reaction: quick, feeling fresh, feeling that full-throttle pop, I think that’s what you’re always looking for when you get pads.”

*RG Quinn Meinerz said he lost a “solid 10 pounds” in an effort to slim down for the switch to Hackett’s zone-blocking scheme that requires the lineman to play fast from center and often play in space. The Wisconsin-Whitewater product said his target weight is between 315 and 320 pounds.

As for the key to your weight loss?

“I gave up a lot of dairy products,” Meinerz said with a smile. “I have to stay away from whole milk and high-fat meats. It’s an adjustment, but this is my job and this is what I love to do, so it was easy to give them up.”

When asked about his teammate’s claims, ILB holder Josey Jewell joked, “Maybe we have to check it out on the scales.”

*The Broncos opted to bring Jewell back on a two-year deal this offseason, and he will once again be counted on to relieve plays. He will organize new coordinator Ejiro Evero’s 3-4 scheme on the pitch.

“You can never be comfortable, you can never be complacent, but that makes me feel refreshed because they wanted me back, they wanted me to be in the middle of the defense controlling things, communicating with everyone.”

Jewell suffered a season-ending pectoral tear on a special teams play in Week 2 last year. Would he consider making special teams again this fall? “Whatever they want to do, I’m open to anything.”