The Broncos had just one practice scheduled for today, but as has been the case through 3 workouts so far, Josh McDaniels made the most of the nearly 3 hours he had his team on the field. On a day when the temperature seemed much hotter than the 80 degrees being reported, the Broncos were once again in full pads and once again spent time physically getting to know one another.
Of course, the big news of the day, and there seemed to be a lot of it, was the return of Champ Bailey, Renaldo Hill and Marcus Thomas from the PUP list. At the time, the made every Bronco present and accounted for, except for the two rookies, of course. That all ended, both during the workout - Nic Clemons being carted off with an apparent left leg injury - and after when news broke that Jarvis Moss was taking some time to decide his future in football.
As for the work on the field, it is becoming increasingly obvious that Josh McDaniels' football team is going to pay attention to detail, focusing on the little things.As such, I spent a lot of time watching the D-Line group go through their drills. I told myself I would pay attention until someone stood out to me. Finally, someone did, though my excitement is rather tempered.
Rulon Davis, signed as an undrafted free agent out of California, has shown speed for a man his size (6-5, 283) and has some power and explosion, at least on the sled.
You can also see the talent buried in the 6-2, 329-pound body of Chris Baker. Baker is small, but has a lot of speed and power in that 'tiny' package. He definitely rough around the edges, but I am interested to see what NFL coaching can do for him.
One thing for sure, the Broncos are coaching Ronald Fields hard. Fields is an important piece of the puzzle this season and they need him to play as well as he ever has is the defensive transition is going to be a smooth one.
The main focus of the individual work with D-line centered around "locking out", a term used to describe extending ones arms fully away from your body to keep an offensive lineman from getting his hands on you. Marcus Thomas and Fields struggled at times with it. Kenny Peterson, however, seems to be playing solid football. Perhaps Peterson will be a late bloomer under the watch of his former high school teammate.
As I mentioned earlier, Nic Clemons was carted off the field during the workout and walked gingerly into the locker room. McDaniels wouldn't elaborate on his condition, saying he hoped it wasn't too serious.
Here are some other random thoughts from the practice....
DE - Ryan McBean
DT - Ronald Fields
DE - Kenny Peterson
Nickel - Jack Williams
It did seem Dawkins and Hill would switch positions at times, and again, this early in camp, you can take these lineups with a grain of salt.
Perhaps the funnest part of the day was another old-time high school drill. Some one-on-one hitting drills, which included tackling to the ground. DB's took on WR's while RBs and LBs went at it. I was on the side with the WR's and DB's. One solid encounter was between Brandon Marshall and Josh Barrett. It brought a loud reaction from the crowd as both men engaged.
Have I mentioned how awesome Brian Dawkins is?? I have spoken about his leadership, but I can't say enough. He is constantly talking to the younger guys, and is a perfect complement to Champ in the defensive backfield. Overall, he is a huge ball of intensity, and his energy can't help but rub off on his teammates.
Speaking of the DBs, this might be the most talented group the Broncos have had in some time. Andre Goodman has really impressed me. He had an interception today as well as several pass deflections. As a whole, I really like this group.
Another example of how the Broncos are focusing on the little things - at two different points, the Broncos were forced to run laps because of mistakes. First, it was Tom Brandstater and Blake Schlueter who ran the 'Lap of Shame' for a fumbled snap. Then, it was the entire 2nd-team defense, a coach included, for not having enough players in the huddle. I love it!
Ryan Torain looked good again, which is worth mentioning since it was coming off of two hard workouts yesterday. Coming back from a serious injury like the one Torain had, it is important to see how he will respond on back-to-back days.
The practice ended with some field goals, which it appeared to me had Matt Prater hit 6/8. All were from various distances.
That is all, more to come later. For those who were in attendance, give your thoughts as well.