The Quest has officially begun. The players were on the field, except Travis Henry of course, and the work of turning around two seasons of simply average(16-16) football is at hand. Here's what was seen and heard on Day 1 of Quarterback Camp --
The biggest news of the day had to be the appearance of Brandon Marshall on the practice field. You can read about it HERE and HERE. Everyone seemed happy to see Marshall, a key component to the Broncos' success in 2008 --
Mike Shanahan was a bit surprised -
"He's doing everything a receiver would do except catch the ball. It's ahead of what I thought initially, I was told he could not work out until a month before we went to training camp. And we still thought we could get him in shape, ready to go for our first practice.
As for when Marshall might be able to catch a ball again, and his availability for Training Camp, Shanny had this to say --
June 22 with will be the first day he'll be able to catch the football, so that will give us plenty of time, obviously, before our summer ball. He's running routes like he normally would, so for him to be able to do that at this time, barring any setback, he should be able to go full speed.
Champ Bailey was happy to see B-Marsh on the field as well --
I saw him out there in cleats and was a little surprised because I didn't think he could do anything for a couple months, that's good. I'm glad things are going well because we're going to need him.
Brandon Stokely knows how important it is to have your #1 guy on the field --
He's our go-to guy, our No. 1 guy and playmaker out there. Every good team needs a guy they can look at and know when you need a play that that guy is going to come up with that play. And he's our guy. It's huge for us. . . . He's back, and it looks like everything is going to go well - that's the most important thing.
Ben Hamilton, looking to return after suffering a season ending concussion in Training Camp last year sees no risk in trying to come back now
I'm as ready as I'll ever be.
As for the injury he suffered and the frustration of not being on the field a down in 2007, Hamilton admits it was tough --
I wanted to be out there with my teammates, I felt like I was letting everybody down, not being out there and competing with them. I went through the period of, 'What's wrong with me? What's taking me so long to get back?' Just talking to the doctors, though, I found out that it was pretty normal what I went through.
Shanny is remaining cautious -
You never know. You're keeping your fingers crossed. I can't tell you 100 percent that he's going to be there for the season. But he's done everything we've asked him to do in the offseason. He's gone through the offseason conditioning program. He's run. But he hasn't taken those shots to the head. I don't anticipate a setback. According to the doctors, he's fine. But we'll have to wait and see.
Travis Henry was a no-show, and now we know why. Henry tweaked a Hamstring on the last of several 100-yard dashes that were part of the strength and conditioning program last week. It appears henry won't be available until next week at the earliest. Henry's injury should open the door for Selvin Young and rookie Ryan Torain. While Henry was slated to be the #1 back heading into team workouts, Shanny has no problem starting a rookie if he proves himself in practice -
Terrell Davis wasn't taken until the sixth round. It doesn't matter. You think Mike Anderson wasn't going to play for me because he was drafted in the sixth round? You've got competition. We've got a fifth-rounder who has some ability. What you've got to do is you've got to be ready.
Whether that was a shot at Henry or not is anyone's guess. What is known is Shanny doesn't like guys who nurse injuries(see Brandon Marshall last year) and Henry's absence combined with Torain's faster-than-expected recovery from Lis-Franc surgery last year tells me Henry is on thin ice.
Shanny knows that people around the League aren't expecting much from the Broncos. He has a word of caution however - the Broncos are better now than in 2007 -
First of all, we weren't very good at the end of the season, offense, defense and special teams, we were pretty average. I'll be surprised if we don't turn things around in a lot of different areas.
Champ Bailey says he has no problem being overlooked -
That's good, It's good to fly under the radar sometimes. You don't want a lot of people gunning for you. Look at the Super Bowl champions. The Giants can't walk by anybody this year. A lot of people are going to sleep on us a little bit, and that's kind of how you want to play. You want to show people we're good. They don't have to expect us to be good.
Other random notes from the day yesterday -
--Rookie Spencer Larson will workout at Fullback during QB Camp before moving to MLB for the workouts in June.
--Jay Cutler has his weight back up to 230, his normal playing weight, after lost close to 30 pounds during the 2007 season. Cutler attributed the weight loss to Type-1 Diabetes which he was diagnosed and has been treating for about a month.