Rod Smith makes an appearance, Ebenezar Ekuban is getting frustrated and #20 was barely off the back of Travis Henry before another player laid claim. All that and more in today's Team Camp update!
No one knows exactly what the future is for Rod Smith but one thing's for sure, it will involve helping the Denver Broncos in some way, shape or form. Smith showed up on the practice field yesterday to help out with the receivers and expressed his love for the Orange and Blue -
I love the Denver Broncos, I love the organization, so there ain’t nothing that I wouldn’t do to help. Whether it is on the field or off the field, anything I can do, even just sitting there and talking to some of the guys who are playing receiver now, just giving them little tips and stuff like that. I enjoy that because I know it is going to help them, therefore it helps the organization. There isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do to get us back to where I feel we belong.
Smith already has the attention of one of the Broncos' newcomers, WR Keary Colbert -
Anytime you have a player with the experience like him and the career he has had, you want to listen and take good notes and try to implement them into your game.
He has had a career that has been remarkable. I’m really trying to put in a career and a season like he has done in the past. That’s the start of it really, getting to know how to do it through him. He has the blueprint, and I just have to follow it.
It is impressive that Smith is open to helping the younger guys, and even better that one of those guys is open to listen. Colbert can learn alot from a guy like Smith, and it seems he is willing to be taught.
So what advice has Smith given to Colbert?
Just trusting my speed, trusting the technique in certain routes. I have to come out here the next couple of days and practice it, perfect it.
I’m ready to get it going.
The way Mike Shanahan dealt with Travis Henry on Monday was still reverberating throughout the locker room yesterday, with rookies and veterans alike still talking about the message Shanny was sending to the team -
John Lynch - Seeing a guy like that get cut speaks volumes. It doesn't matter who you are. That's pretty clear around here.
Anthony Alridge - You've got to be accountable. Be here. Do what the coaches ask.
Ryan Torain - You have to take it like a business and you've got to show up.
Ebenezar Ekuban - Young guys should take notice. Travis is a guy who made $6 million last year and this year he's cut. Imagine if you're only making minimum. I mean, you're even more expendable. You just have to work. he word 'voluntary' in the NFL means 'mandatory' so whether it's offseason conditioning, whether it's OTAs, quarterback camps, you need to be here. I think (Shanahan) was sending a message, like 'Hey, we need everyone on the same page.' No matter what your circumstances are, if you're hurt, get some treatment and get better. If you're not hurt, be on the field practicing. Everybody else is here.
To me, it is Ekuban who said it best. Yes, OTA's are "optional", but they are also required. The Broncos have always had a high attendance rate at the off-season workouts, and trust me, these guys know the expectation when they sign their contracts.
More on Ebenzer Ekuban, who is trying to come back 9 months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles. While he is on the practice field, Ekuban admits the injury has been slow to respond to rehab -
Patience, man, just patience and more patience. That's what I've come away with. It's just so long, and that's what gets you down. You sprain an ankle or have some other kind of injury, you see improvement week to week and sometimes even day to day.
But with the Achilles, you just don't see that improvement. You just feel like you stay the same.
Another Bronco knows exactly how Ekuban feels. Brandon Stokley suffered a similar injury in 2006 --
It's just a hard thing to come back from to get your confidence back. I think you go through that process where you don't see the improvement that you want to see, you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. There is a time when you really don't know if you're going to be able to make it through it, if you're going to be able to return to the way you used to play.
Torn Achilles injuries, and the long rehab the is required to get back on the field, has been the undoing of Pro Bowl players such as LB Jamir Miller of the Browns and LB Dan Morgan of the Panthers. Ekuban wondered if he could be next -
It crosses your mind that it might be it, that you might not bounce back. It was just frustrating because, for a while, you work and work and work and you just don't see the progress.
With Stokley's help, Ekuban is getting through the early part of team workouts, gaining strength both mentally and physically -
Ekuban - Toughest aspect is mental, telling myself that it's OK, stop being tentative, stop trying to be cautious with it, Just go. That's the toughest part, the mental hurdle. . . . The first time I got out here, last week and the week before, I was thinking, 'Man, it's so weak,' especially playing against the run. That's when I talked to Brandon Stokley and I was just so frustrated . . .
Stokley - Just a long process. For him, it's just the first step, and it's only going to get better - that was my message. You can't expect to be your old self right now. . . . Be patient with it . . .
Ekuban is a big piece of the puzzle for the Broncos defense and despite the pain and frustration it looks like he is on pace to make it back.
The weekly look at the Broncos starting group along the O-Line - rookie Ryan Clady at left tackle, Ben Hamilton at left guard, Tom Nalen at center, Montrae Holland at right guard and Chris Kuper at right tackle.
It didn't take long for Travis Henry's old #20 jersey to find a new owner. Marlon McCree, who wore #20 as a member of the San Diego Chargers, claimed his old number the day after Henry was kicked to the curb. McCree had been wearing #28, which was gladly grabbed by Michael Pittman.
A few final notes from DenverBroncos.com --
- Tuesday's practice seemed to belong to the defense. In the various 7-on-7 drills throughout the afternoon, safety John Lynch intercepted two passes, linebacker D.J. Williams grabbed a tipped ball and fellow 'backer Boss Bailey made up for a near-interception earlier in the practice by notching one of his own. The defense on the sideline didn't mind letting the offense know who was winning.
- Not to be outdone, offensive lineman Erik Pears turned a broken play into a gain by snatching a tipped ball out of mid-air and running a few yards before being pushed out of bounds. That got the offense and defense riled up -- cheers of "I see you, Big E!" could be heard from both sides.
- Wide receiver/kick returner Glenn Martinez saw quite a few balls thrown his way, as he grabbed several passes in traffic and reached out for a long catch over his left shoulder during a drill that drew cheers from the rest of the receivers.