ENGLEWOOD CO : Defensive linemen Ronald Fields #91 and Marcus Thomas #91 of the Denver Broncos talk trash during training camp practice at Dove Valley in Englewood Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Here we are at the Last (open to the public) Day of the 2010 Broncos Training Camp. The morning starts off a bit cool with a high cloud cover, but the sun breaks through and I determine that it will warm up shortly. It's a little after 8:00 as I shuffle in to the Broncos practice facility and my spot at the 45 yard line beckons me. The field is empty except for the interns who are setting up equipment. The JUGG's machine is placed on my left, down at the 5 yard line. A smaller unit, as well as the stationary blocking sled, are set up between the twin playing fields. As the sun disappears behind another cloud, I pause to spray on some insect repellent. It could be all the Dr. Pepper in my bloodstream, I don't know, but the mosquitoes really enjoy feasting on me. Reggae music is the first order of business this morning as Matisyahu's "Jerusalem" plays throughout the complex. Britton Colquitt is the first player out of the locker room. Linebacker Devin Bishop along with the 3 Tight Ends--Riar Geer, Nathan Overbay and Marquez Branson follow. There is some kind of noise coming through the big speaker. I can't call it music, but whatever it is, I just wish it would stop. "Nothing But A good Time" by Poison replaces the noise and my sanity returns. Britton Colquitt is standing at midfield practicing short punts inside the 10 yard line. More players emerge from the depths of the locker room and the Black Eyed Peas song, "Tonight's Gonna Be A Good Night" plays now. I see Lonie Paxton lining up to send a few long snaps back to Matt Prater. HORN.
The segment clock is set at 10 minutes and the Punting Unit drills on their protection packages. Colquitt and the JUGG's machine alternate punting the ball to Syd'Quan Thompson. I'm thinking that he will have the Punt Return chances for Saturday's game against the Lions. HORN.
The clock resets to another 10 minutes and the Offense walks through the run package installation for game day against the "Scouts." Lance Ball, Bruce Hall and Justin Fargas are the Running Backs taking all the reps. I won't divulge the details since I'm sure the Lions read blogs too, but there are single back, 2 back and 2 Tight End looks featured. Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy starts yelling at one of the Linemen. HORN.
13 minutes on the clock and the jogging and twisting warm ups begin. I see that among the missing in action are Champ Bailey, Brandon Stokely, Chris Kuper, Tim Tebow, Richard Quinn, Daniel Graham and Darcel McBath. I finally hear a song that I recognize. Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate One" begins to play as the team works through the Hop, Skip, and Jump routine. As the players spread out across the field for the stretching interval at Rich Tuten's guidance, I see Ronald Fields getting more tape for his ankles and an assistant helping Eddie Royal stretch his Hamstrings. When Coach Tuten finishes having his way with them, the team breaks off with their position coaches. The ballcarriers run the hurdles and the Offensive Line does their version of "The Hustle," while the Defense waltzes off to the far field. Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn loosen up their arms with the ball boy. Josh McDaniels has a blocking pad in his hand and he assaults the QB's with it. The Running Backs are running "Lane" drills and the Wide Receivers run their "Slalom" pass route drills. HORN.
The individual position drills go on for 4 more minutes and Coach McDaniels moves over to have a short conversation with the O-Line and then discusses a few things with his Defensive Coordinator. Brady Quinn will get more preparation reps for the Lions game. With Tebow's absence, he should get quite a bit of playing time Saturday. I hope he can make the most of this opportunity. HORN.
5 minutes on the segment clock. The Wide Receivers join the Quarterbacks for passing drills and the Running Backs go over and punish the stationary blocking sled. The Offensive Line plows the 7 man blocking sled 10 yards down the field, then turns it around and plows it right back. HORN.
The clock resets to 7 minutes. 1st Team Offense vs. the Lions "Show" team. The difference here is that the Show team runs plays that the opposing team runs, to "Show" the Offense a simulation of game day scenarios. Otherwise, they would be called the "Scout" team, which is just bodies lining up and manning the opposing positions. Lance Ball has 4 carries, while Bruce Hall and Justin Fargas get three each. HORN.
12 minutes on the clock. The players switch sides and continue. Lance Ball carries twice. Justin Fargas breaks a run through the middle into the second level. He then has a nice run over the left side of the line. D'Anthony Batiste has a false start on a hard count and must run a lap. Bruce Hall takes an inside hand-off for some nice yardage. Wink Martindale has a few choice words for Jammie Kirlew on that play. After another Bruce Hall run and a Justin Fargas carry around the left side, Toney Baker gets his first rep of the day. Paul Duncan ends up on the ground, but I miss what happened. HORN.
The Chains come out and the Offense Show team runs plays for the 1st Team Defense. Perrish Cox fills in for Champ Bailey once again. On the first play, the Running Back fumbles in the backfield. Ryan McBean recovers and I see Lance Ball remove his red tank top jersey and take a lap. The first teamers are stuffing the run quite well, but Wink is very vocal with the 2nd stringers. He gets better results on the ensuing plays. Now Josh McDaniels jumps all over the Show team Offense. The Defense is setting the edge well. HORN.
The Defense returns to the far field and the O-Line returns to their section of the near field. The Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Tight Ends and Wide Receivers run through their passing plays at half speed. Matt Prater watches Lonie Paxton long snap to Britton Colquitt and the punter booms kicks on the far field. HORN.
A 12 minute session of 6 on 7's begins. 1st Team Offense vs. the Defense Show Team. The Chain Gang gets involved again. Kyle Orton passes to Marquez Branson and then hits Matthew Willis. Another pass to Willis gets knocked away by Johnny Williams. Orton throws a sideline pass to Willis and the young receiver makes a nice catch adjusting to the ball. Brady Quinn drills a pass to Britt Davis and then one to Patrick Carter. Kyle completes a long floating pass to Jabar Gaffney. Orton hits Britt Davis on a crossing route and Wink is going off on the Show Team. A pass to Eddie Royal from Orton is broken up on contact (the ball and defender got there at the same time). Kyle passes deep intended for Brandon Lloyd, but David Bruton runs with hm stride for stride and breaks up the play. HORN.
They switch sides and 5 minutes is placed on the clock. The Offense runs the Show team against the 1st Nickel Unit 6 on 7's. Brian Dawkins is there to make the "hit" on Eric Decker as soon as he makes the catch on a short pass. The Defense allows another completion and Wink Martindale starts getting vocal again. Britton Colquitt is booming punts on the other field. The Show team runs 3rd and long scenarios for the Defense drills. Perrish Cox breaks up a pass. A second pass is overthrown, with Renaldo Hill and Andre' Goodman are there. Cassius Vaughn gets caught face guarding on the next play. HORN.
8 minutes go on the clock and it's time for the Gunner containment drill against the Punt Returners on a narrowed space on the field. The Gunners must get off the line block and run 20 yards to the return man. Josh McDaniels keeps a close eye on this drill.
The Punting Unit lines up and Britton Colquitt booms a punt from the back of the end zone out past me to the far 40 yard line, where Alphonso Smith fields it. The focus is on protection during this part. They run another rep and then move the line of scrimmage out to the 20. This time there is an emphasis on the Getoff and coverage. The ball is placed at the 35 yard line and Colquitt pins Alphonso near the sideline with a punt. They spot the ball at the 45 yard line. I am looking straight down the line of scrimmage. Colquitt punts a high ball with backspin. Nate Jones and Matthew Willis down the punt at the 2 yard line. The next punt forces Alphonso Smith to call for a fair catch at the 10 yard line. HORN.
14 minutes on the clock. They switch sides and the ball is placed on the 30 yard line to my left. 11 on 11's Offense vs. the Nickel show team for some situational long down and distance scenarios. Kyle Orton passes to Brandon Lloyd on a quick slant and then comes back to him on a sideline route. Kyle then throws a check-down pass to Lance Ball. On a 3rd and 1 situation, Justin Fargas runs off left tackle for 4 yards. Syd'Quan Thompson gets to Orton for the sack. Kyle passes over the middle to Eddie Royal. Audibles, adjustments and hard counts are practiced during this segment. Brady Quinn throws late to Matthew Willis that is broken up by 2 defenders and nearly intercepted. Bruce Hall gains a few yards off right tackle and then Quinn connects with Willis on a long out. The coaches tell the players to Pick Up the Tempo. Kyle Orton throws a quick Wide Receiver screen to Eddie Royal. Then he hands off to Lance Ball who gets stuffed at the line. The play is run once more with better results. HORN.
The Units switch ends and 4 minutes is placed on the clock. This time the Offense runs the Show team for the 1st Base Defensive Unit. The Linebackers from left to right are: Mario Haggan, Akin Ayodele, D.J. Williams and Robert Ayers. This Unit looks ready for game day. Justin Bannan and Mario Haggan get pressure on the Quarterback. Nate Jones blitzes on the next play. Coach Martindale is picking on Ryan McBean again HORN.
Red Zone drills with the 1st team Offense vs. the 1st team Base defense. Orton runs the play action and throws the ball away out of bounds when his two receivers are well covered. Nate Jones comes in as the 3rd Cornerback. Kyle hits Eddie Royal in space and Royal turns on the jets. Orton hits Marquez Branson on the next play. Justin Fargas runs up the middle behind Spencer Larsen for 5 yards. Brady Quinn passes in the end zone to Britt Davis and the ball hits David Bruton right in the hands and he drops it. Bruce Hall has a 10 yard run for a touchdown. Then Orton throws a check-down pass to Royal. Lance Ball runs for 5 yards and then Kyle Orton hits Brandon Lloyd in the end zone for a touchdown. Lloyd does a "Reverse Dunk" over the goal post. HORN.
The clock is reset to 6 minutes and the Units switch sides and continue. Justin Bannan bats down a Kyle Orton pass attempt. Orton hits Bruce Hall on a short pass. Kyle then rolls away right to elude the pass rush and passes downfield to Jabar Gaffney at the sideline, but Perrish Cox breaks up the play. Mario Haggan gets pressure on Orton, who throws an incomplete pass toward Jabar Gaffney. Lance Ball takes an inside hand-off to the right side for about 8 yards.
The Punting Unit lines up and kicks the ball to Alphonso Smith. Kyle Orton hits Spencer Larsen on a swing pass. The Punt unit returns and the kick is downed at the 1 yard line as Matthew Willis tipped it back to David Bruton. Kyle Orton hits Eddie Royal on an outlet pass and then the Field Goal Unit rushes out for a last second attempt. Team Huddle.
No sideline sprints today but most of the players move over to the far field and scrimmage awhile longer. I can't see too much, but I notice a Running back Fumbled and a little later I see Toney Baker running laps around both fields along with one of the coaches. Matthew Willis is holding a football tucked under each arm and fielding Kickoffs supplied by the JUGG's machine. Alphonso Smith, Perrish Cox, Patrick Carter and Syd'Quan Thompson get some practice in doing the same thing. Only a few players sign autographs today and I think I already have all of them. Kyle Orton, Akin Ayodele, Brady Quinn and Matt Prater are all signing. I wait to see if anyone else is going to come over and as I take down my final notes an MHR reader by the name of Ramsey comes over to say hello. After that, I am ready to head home.
I have decided to write a Summary post in a few days, but until then....