After a day of rest, I am feeling refreshed and ready to go again. I make sure I leave a little earlier this time to ensure a space in the parking lot and a better chance at the seating area of my choice. I arrive before the gates open to the practice field and meet fellow staffer Brian Shrout and his wife Cindy. We get the pristine spot in the shade at the 48 yard line and settle in and get comfortable.
At 2 o'clock, Tight End
Daniel Coats Virgil Green (85) walks out and begins playing toss with a ball-boy. Tim Tebow makes his appearance a few minutes later and relieves the ball-boy. They are in Full Pads again today. Julius Thomas is the next one to emerge, followed by Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn and Adam Weber. The JUGS machine is being setup on my right at the 25 yard line and Steven Hauschka tees up a ball at the 30 for the Kick Return Unit to run drills. Eddie Royal, Perrish Cox, Cassius Vaughn and Eric Decker are the players getting reps as the Kick Returner. After a test shot, the JUGs is moved up to the 30 yard line. The drills last for ten minutes. HORN.
11 on 11's begin at walk through to one quarter speed. A couple of unknowing fans get all uptight at Orton as he lazily tosses the first pass to Brandon Lloyd. What he doesn't know, is that the Offense is installing plays and this is the "visual learning" part of the days agenda and an extension of what they have discussed earlier in the classroom, so the players are getting a feel on where everyone is supposed to be on each play. They still have to warm up, stretch and work up to speed before going full steam. And that won't happen for at least an hour. The highlight of this segment was a play-action pass that went from Orton to Eric Decker, who was guarded by Champ Bailey. Decker ran a short post, maybe 7 or 8 yards downfield. Well Champ gave Eric a shove just before the ball got to him. That put the ball behind Decker, who almost caught it anyway. Eric ended up on the ground and Champ gave him a hand up with a big laugh from everyone. Later in the session, Julius Thomas runs the wrong route and they play is stopped. Kyle walks over and calmly explains where Thomas erred. The Offense and Defense change sides and they go back to work, setting up at the 20. Red Zone drills. Orton throws a TD to Brandon Lloyd. I notice Von Miller lined up over Tight End Julius Thomas on the next play, which ends up being a run to the right to Knowshon Moreno. Orton completes passes to Decker and Eddie Royal and then something weird happens.A shotgun snap comes towards Orton and he turns his back on it like it's toxic. Now there is a wall of players that are blocking some of my view, but Brian, who is sitting in front of me says that it was supposed to be a direct snap to a Running Back. Neither of us sees who the culprit is, but I did see that it was JD Walton doing the snapping. JD turned around with a look of wonder on his face. After another non-play, Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy has to review a few things with 2 Wide Receivers who may have run the wrong routes. Brady Quinn completes a swing pass out of the backfield to Lance Ball. HORN.
The players all line up on the Goal Line and Rich Tuten begins the stretch and flex interval with a "ReadyGo!" I spot Matt Prater, Brian Dawkins, Wesley Woodyard, Ryan McBean, DJ Williams, Marcus Thomas, Demaryius Thomas, David Anderson (89), Dante Rosario (49), Daniel Fells (86), Derrick Harvey (95) and Willis McGahee (23) watching the action from the sideline. The Chains are brought out to impede my view again later on and I feel happy that I took the high ground for a vantage point. This segment goes on for about 7 minutes before the HORN.
The Offense lines up, runs a play and then sprints 20 yards down the field. The 2nd and 3rd Teams follow suit. When they all get down to the other end, they turn and go back the way they came. Tim Tebow is getting reps with the 2nd team Offense. Newly acquired Wide Receiver runs with them at the side of the group even though he's in shorts. Running Backs coach Eric Studdesville is running too. HORN.
Time for positional drills. The quarterbacks work with the Running Backs, two drills at a time. The Wide Receivers are running pass routes while an assistant passes to them. The Tight Ends are blocking one on one. The Offensive Line is engages in 5on 5's. On the far field, I can see that the Defensive Backs are running a drill where they start off on the backpedal, turn and run forward, with a coach firing a pass straight at their head. "Think fast." Meanwhile, the Defensive Linemen hit a stationary sled and the Linebackers run a drill where they backpedal diagonally, go forward, then do it over again in the shape of a "W." A coach throws at them too.
The quarterbacks and Tight Ends join the Wide Receivers in passing drills, while the Running Backs go over and hit the pass blocking sled. David Anderson is catching the return ball after the Receivers catch passes and hand it to the designated hiker (an assistant). Adam Weber overthrows Virgil Green, but other than that, the drill goes well with only a few dropped passes. The Running Backs are catching passes from Coach Studdesville. The tempo of the passing drills speeds up and as the line of Wide receivers gets smaller, they all run 20 yards down the field, turn and begin again, this time running a new pass pattern. HORN.
The Offense gathers and starts running through plays at about half speed now. Orton throws a swing pass to Moreno, then hits Lloyd on a sideline out. They move down the field with every play this time. Knowshon gets a carry. Kyle completes a pass in stride to Julius Thomas. The 2nd team begins running their own plays as the 1st team gets down to the 10 yard line. Tim Tebow passes to Virgil Green and then hits Matthew Willis. The 3rd team starts their downfield sequence with Brady Quinn at the helm. Quinn to Gronkowski, Tebow to Britt Davis, Brady finishes up with passes to Eron Riley (13), Jamel Hamler (11) and D'Andre Goodwin (16). After that, the Running Backs return to individual drills, while the QB's and Receivers drill at the 15 yard line. 5 minutes later, HORN.
7 on 7's. I see Mike Mohamed (53), Quinton Carter (28) and Rahim Moore (26) all working on Defense. Kyle completes a pass to Eddie Royal, then Orton throws a pass too high for Lloyd and Brandon nearly makes a terrific one-handed grab. Kyle hits Lloyd, who beats Champ Bailey by coming back to the ball. It is a real treat to watch Royal or Lloyd match up with Champ. Orton hits Eric Decker on a post over the middle, beating Quinton Carter. That was beautiful to watch. Orton completes a pass to Matthew Willis, who turns it upfield for YAC. Tebow passes complete to Virgil Green on back-to-back plays. Then Quinn connects with D'Andre Goodwin. Brady hits Moreno in stride past a diving Mohamed. Tim Tebow hooks up with Mario Fannin (42) and Fannin turns it upfield. Tebow completes a pass to Julius Thomas and the defense tries it's best to strip the ball. to no avail. On a Quinn pass to Virgil Green, Nate Jones hits Green hard, like his job is on the line. Quinn gets it to Eron Riley asserting a quick decision and throw, something Beady had trouble with last year. Adam Weber throws high and Darcel McBath skies up for the interception. On Weber's second rep, his pass goes in and out of Julius Green's hands. HORN.
7 on 9's. Knowshon Moreno run around the right side and stiff arms Quinton Carter and gets two more carries after that. Joe Mays denies an unseen (by me) Running Back, meeting him in the hole. Tebow comes in and hands off to Lance Ball, who gets some good yardage out of the play. Next up, 1 on 1's with the Wide Receivers against the Cornerbacks, while the 2nd team Offense operates at the other end of the field. There is too much action and I miss about half of what's going on because I'm trying to watch both. However, I witness Mario Fannin take it to the house. Brandon Minor rips off a good run. Russ Hochstein goes down for a second. Jamel Hamler catch. Jamel gets another opportunity, with a nice deep catch over 33. HORN.
Finally it's time for Full Speed 11 on 11's. Moreno takes one around the left side for 7-8 yards. Kyle hits Royal and then dumps off to Moreno. Orton to Royal on a deep post. Next up, Quinn passes behind Decker and then hits Mark Dell (83). Tebow's turn. Mario Fannin takes the ball around the right side for good yardage. With David Veikune breathing down his neck, Tebow pass to Britt Davis, who promptly fumbles. Tebow then makes a poor pass to D'Andre Goodwin that is dropped. Adam Weber is Sacked by Jason Hunter, but throws a low pass that misses everyone. The next play is a good one though. Weber goes deep to Goodwin for a TD. HORN.
After a two minute water break, the Special Teams revisit the stuff they worked on at the beginning of practice. They get 6 reps in. HORN.
11 on 11's. Orton has a pass tipped at the line by Kevin Vickerson. Orton to Richard Quinn for a nice gain. Kyle hits Lloyd with a quick pass and OC Mike MCoy lectures Julius Thomas calmly. After 2 more Orton passes to Lloyd, it's Tebow time. Tim throws a deep out high to Matthew Willis, who makes a terrific catch. Jeremy Jarmon has Tebow wrapped up for a Sack. Quinn to Willis that is clearly interfered with by Nate Jones; who is playing like he's on the bubble. Then Brady passes to Austin Sylvester on a crossing route. Adam Weber's two reps are high and wide or dropped.Tebow throws incomplete Jeremy Beal gets in and strips the ball from Tebow and if that one had been a live rep, Beal would have whiplashed one of those full speed blind sided hits. Quinn holds the ball too long and then completes a pass to Mark Dell on a sideline route. HORN.
2-minute drills start at the 40 yard line. Special Teams coaches Jeff Rodgers and Keith Burns are referees. Orton passes to Moreno for 15 yards and he runs out of bounds. Then Orton's pass to Decker is dropped. After a complete to Lloyd, Kyle hooks up with Julius Thomas over the middle. Orton eludes Von Miller's pass rush and hits Eric Decker who goes out of bounds to stop the clock. On the next play, Orton hits Thomas for a TD. 2nd team is up. The ball is re-spotted at the 40. Tebow to Ball, who goes out of bounds. Tim passes to Matthew Willis on a crossing route and Willis turns on the jets and gets 25 yards on the play. Tebow has Britt Davis wide open and throws it off target. They hook up on the next play for a TD as Davis makes a leaping catch and burns Nate Jones. The 3rd team begins anew with Brady passes to Eron Riley for 9 yards. Then D'Andre Goodwin for another 8 yards. The next pass is behind the Receiver. Quinn's chance ends with an interception by Nate Irving. HORN.
Special Teams revisited. It has become a pattern for Jeff Rodgers to repeat his earlier drills. We shall see if it is effective. They throw a curve with a few onside kicks to make sure the return unit is on it's toes. A couple of the rookies get told to hustle by coach Burns. In fact, Keith keeps a running commentary through the rest of the drills. 5 more minutes and then, HORN.
Red Zone drills. Brandon Lloyd drops Kyle Orton's first pass. A swing pass to Moreno is the next play. Then Kyle looks left, rolls right and throws a high pass that Eric Decker goes up and grabs for a TD. That was an outstanding catch. Tebow runs a quarterback Draw for 5-6 yards and then a swing pass to Lance Ball. Quinn to Virgil Green, then a completion to Fannin comes flying out in a reverse ole'. Adam Weber passes to Julius Thomas for a TD. his next rep brings a lot of pressure and Weber succumbs and throws it over the End Zone. Tebow again. He spends a long time looking for an open teammate, then throws an incomplete. Quinn throws a TD pass to Julius Thomas. HORN.
I got to meet oldcoachB and fellow staffer MattW. after practice was over. It's always nice for me to compare notes and meet other members face to face.
After the team huddle and a cool down period, John Fox comes over to visit the fans and sign autographs. The position group signing today is the Wide Receivers. As an added bonus, Willis McGahee is signing too. So I get McGahee to sign a hat for me. I also get Coach Fox, David Anderson and Demaryius Thomas to sign a hat for me. I ask Demaryius if he is running yet and he replied, "Yes." So then I said you are cutting yet and his eyes got big and he said, "Oh no." He was very nice and I told him to get 100%.