Day 1 is in the books. At least the first real days in my book. I want to make something clear right now, and tis really isn't for anyone here, but for others that happen upon the site and may not get what we are all about.
The Broncos have had one practice. This site is for fanatics, and the fanatics want to know anything and everything. If we say something like "the o-line struggled today', it means just that. Is it premature to talk about any area struggling? YES! Just as it is premature to say a player is doing really well. Today, things could change.
OK, there were plenty of questions after yesterday's workouts so I want to get the answers to you. Again,these are simply my opinion, and I reserve the right to change them after Day 2!
Offensive Line Struggles - This was completely expected for several reasons. Only one starter from last year - Chris Kuper - comes to camp as a sure thing. Ryan Harris is coming back from injury and I want to see if he can hold up. There are also a couple rookies that are likely starters(J.D. Walton and Zane Beadles). Add to that the simple fact that the Defensive Line was infused with new talent and the defense is usually ahead of the game early in camp and it is easy to see why the O-Line would struggle.
I was closely watching one-on-one drills between the O-Line and D-Line and things didn't go much better for the O-Line during that period either. Again, probably to be expected - Justin Bannan is a huge individual and the D-Line has a lot of talent and experience along it.
I was impressed with two players during this particular drill, one on offense and one on defense. Robert Ayers showed strength and quickness in the one-on-one drills, the type of explosiveness that the Broncos likely saw on tape when they made the choice to draft him. There is a lot more that goes into playing OLB in a 3-4 defense,so Ayers still has work to do, but the physical ability is there. I watched multiple instances where Ayers drove Daniel Graham back into the tackling dummy that was used to signify the quarterback and end the drill.
One last comment - The Air Force's gain is the Broncos loss regarding Ben Garland who was impressive as well.
The Quarterbacks - It is really hard to evaluate the quarterbacks for a number of reasons. Most importantly, they can't get hit, so often times a great play is made in a situation that would have ended up in a sack in a real game. That said, just looking at the way the three quarterbacks performed, both in 7-on-7 drills and individual work on the side, Kyle Orton is head and shoulders above the rest. He should be, since this is his second year in the system. As for Brady Quinn, he is a complete rebuilding process. Quinn was such a mess when he left Cleveland that it is going to take awhile for him to regain the confidence he has in himself. He'll be fine, but I don't think he can win the job.
That brings me to Tebow. There is plenty of love for Tim going around. Every time he touches the ball there is a loud roar from the crowd. Both sessions yesterday broke attendance records for the Broncos at Dove Valley. That is the Tebow affect. I do wonder,however, how many are Broncos fans and how many are Tebow fans. That discussion for another day.
Like I said yesterday, Tebow looks like he belongs. That is a good thing. Unfortunately, part of his game is to tuck the ball and run. Multiple times yesterday, Tebow decided to run with the ball, drawing loud cheers from the crowd. Is that necessarily a bad thing? No. Do I want my quarterback making his living that way? No way! Not if I want him to stay healthy. It's only one-day, but four year in college tell me that that is part of Tebow's game and we might have to live with it.
Most Impressive Player - Day 1: This one is easy. Wide Receiver Matthew Willis was extremely impressive. He made catch after catch and looks like a player that could surprise coming out of camp. Again, it is only one day, but I have been impressed with Willis every time I see him. There is plenty of depth in the wide receiving corps, so it may be a numbers game, but the kid can play, no doubt about it.
Overall I loved the energy at the complex yesterday, both on the field and in the crowd. As Josh McDaniels said, the effort was there, but the execution was lacking. Not surprising on day one but the players were flying around and there was plenty of hitting. I love it.