Photo by Kaptain Kirk 8/6/12
Today’s vantage point is the 46 yard line. An hour before the 2:20 pm starting time for practice and it is still very hot. Hopefully it will cool down some with the approaching cloud cover. I don’t think it will rain until my drive back ti Colorado Springs, but this is the Rockies and you never know. A member of the security staff informs the crowd that there is a new "15 mile rule" in effect now. It means that if there is any lightning strikes within a 15 mile radius of Dove Valley, they will shut down the facility. I silently hope that it doesn’t come to that. I will suffer the heat gladly.
A few minutes after 2 o’clock, Cameron Kenney and Ramzee Robinson emerge from the locker room and begin to get loose. I have seen Robinson doing quick footwork drills by himself early each practice. He uses the ladder string prop, except it is on the ground instead of 6 or 8 inches in the air, because he isn’t working on his high step. Brock Osweiler comes out for some soft toss as the Jugs machine is set up at the 35 yard line over on the far field. Five minutes before practice is scheduled to begin, Peyton manning makes his entrance to a smaller than usual crowd. I notice Ronnie Hillman, Tyler Grisham, Anthony Miller and Justin Bannan are in shorts. The rest of the team is in full pads. Greg Orton and Orlando Franklin are participating today. HORN.
Special Teams start off the practice session. The punt protection unit is drilling against the "Red Hats" (scout team) in one group headed by ST Coordinator Jeff Rodgers. The other group, consisting of the Gunners and punt returners, is led by Assistant coach Keith Burns. The Gunners work on their approach angles when closing on the return man. HORN.
The Bubba Caldwell footwear fashion watch:
Andre is wearing day-glo Orange socks paired with Orange and denim blue cleats
The Offense works on play installations against their own scouts at ¼ speed. Peyton Mannin passes to Jacob Tamme, Joel Dreesen, Brandon Stokely, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. Manning explains the blocking assignments for a Corner Blitz situation in the alignment they are in. After a deep out completion to Andre Caldwell and a crossing route catch by Joel Dreesen, the 2nd teams move to the far field and the 1st team Defense comes over to the near field for some 11 on 11 action.
The Defense begins in the Nickel package. Mitch Unrein and Kevin Vickerson are in at Tackle and Chris Harris is the extra Defensive Back. Chris Kuper is in at Right Guard ans Orlando Franklin is back at right Tackle.
At this point in practice, Manning shows a little frustration. There is movement on the Offensive Line and some confusion as well. It rapidly gets to the point where the defense is heckling Manning about having things under control. Peyton resets the play and completes three consecutive passes to Brandon Stokely. Eric Decker catches a pair of passes. Then Joel Dreesen gets in on the act. Chris Gronkowski makes a catch out of the backfield and Knowshon Moreno has the last reception of the segment. HORN.
The players spread out to stretch. I’m told that Brian Griese is observing today’s session, but I don’t spot him. I do see Pat Bowlen keeping an eye on things. Upon completing their stretches, the team huddles up and breaks it down. Now it’s time for individual position drills.
The Quarterbacks do footwork drills. The Tight Ends work on their pass blocking against one another. The Wide receivers are taking on a tackling dummy for some reason. The Linebackers come over and work on their pass rushing with the Running Backs pass blocking. I see Jeremiah Johnson get the better of Mike Mohamed. Wesley Woodyard takes revenge for the Linebackers and steer wrestles Xavier Omon to the ground to get past him.
Meanwhile, the Quarterbacks, Tight Ends and Wide Receivers work on their intricately choreographed dual passing drill. They have added a new twist. Two QB’s are side by side, one passing to a TE in the seam and the other passes to a WR doing a deep out. The QB on the right moves to the left QB’s previous position and a new QB steps in to the void created by the one on the right. The pass routes also change tp a different configuration after a few times through.
A little ways off, coach Eric Studdesville is passing to the Running Backs in rapid succession. I hear Peyton Manning trying to get the Receivers to asdjust their route, "Quit doing that. Go Wider!" HORN.
Two groups form. The one to my left is both 1st team units. They will have running practice 8 on 8’s. To my right, the QB’s will provide ammunition for the Wide Receiver/Cornerback duel. My attention gets split back and forth at this time. I see David Bruton break up a Manning pass for Brandon Stokely. Adam Weber passes to Jason Hill and Syd’Quan should have had an interception because it appeared like he had the inside position. The play occurred on the other side of the field, so maybe he wasn’t close to the pass. From my perspective that could be what happened.
Over at the Running scrimmage, I see Jason Hunter got the best of Zane Beadles as Zane is on the ground. Knowshon Moreno fumbles on the next play and the Defense recovers. I’m uncertain, but it could have been Nate Irving. He was certainly in on the play. It’s getting a little dicey. Pads aren’t just popping, they’re clashing. There is some good trench work getting done today.
Jeremiah Johnson has a great run for 15-20 yards around the end (remember their aren’t any CB’s in this). He gets another 5 yards on the next play. I see Eric Decker make a catch in front of Champ Bailey, then Jeremiah Johnson takes off a third time. I hear a coach getting on Philip Blake. Chris Gronkowski gets two carries and pushes the pile on both of them. HORN.
Time for some 7 on 7’s with the 1st teams at the 45 yard line. The Offense is using a huddle to call each play and the 40 second play clock is on. Peyton manning hits Eric Decker on the first play. A pass to Chris Gronkowski on a comeback route is broken up by Wesley Woodyard. After a completion to Demaryius Thomas, Champ Bailey forces a fumble after Joel Dreesen hauls in a pass.
Petyton connects with Jason Hill deep with Drayton Florence defending, then Jacob Tamme on a crossing route. The second team substitutes in and Caleb Hanie completes passes to Jeremiah Johnson and Andre Caldwell. A Hanie pass to Greg Orton is punched out after the catch by Syd’Quan Thompson. Squid is hungry and aggressive. He is acting like he wants a roster spot. Brock Osweiler completes a pair of passes to Austin Sylvester and one to Cameron Kenney. Adam Weber hits Chris Gronlowski and then overthrows Julius Thomas. HORN.
The line of scrimmage is the 41 yard line and another 11 on 11 segment begins. Elvis Dumervil bats the first pass attempt to the ground. Manning overthrows Eric Decker on a deep post. The pass was 5 yards too long, with Champ Bailey and Rahim Moore in coverage. Manning’s next pass is complete to Demaryius Thomas, but I get the feeling that Peyton isn’t happy with how this practice is going. The Offensive Line moves, then there is confusion. The next pass to Brandon Stokely is incomplete, not helping matters at all.
After a completion to Eric Decker with Champ Bailey defending, there is a receiver package substitution. Manning rolls to the right and hits Jacob Tamme on a reverse Tight End screen. Adam weber comes in at QB and runs the same play to Julius Thomas.
Jeremiah Johnson rumbles for 5 yards behind the stout blocking of Chris Gronkowski. Brock Osweiler hits Mark Dell on a quick slant. His next attempt is intended for Andre Caldwell, but Joshua Moore tips it and Duke Ihenacho nearly makes the diving grab. Adam Weber passes through the hands of Mark Dell on two consecutive plays. HORN.
Special Teams begin with Britton Colquitt punting from the back line of the End Zone. Syd’Quan Thompson, Tracy Porter and Eric Decker are back as punt returners. Colquitt is booming punts all the way to the far 39 yard line from the back of the End Zone. Consistently. After a handful of reps, the unit moves out to the 40 yard line and the Jugs machine shoots punts for the Gunners to down near the goal line. HORN.
11 on 11’s Red Zone drills at the 10 yard line. Peyton manning hits Eric Decker and Matt Willis for a pair of touchdowns, then Willis McGahee runs for 9 or 10 yards. Derrick Wolfe gets past Orlando Franklin with a power move on the next play, forcing Manning to throw the ball away. Peyton hits Bubba Caldwell on a fade for a touchdown. The highlight play of this segment was a spectacular leaping catch by Jason Hill over Champ Bailey for a touchdown. That was definitely Hill’s best play in Camp.
The "Two’s" are led by Caleb Hanie. They are still at the 10 yard line doing Red Zone drills. Hanie’s first attempt is a swing pass to Knowshon Moreno for maybe two yards. A swing pass? At the 10 yard line? I resist the urge to shout something about needing a touchdown, not two measly yards. That option shouldn’t even be on the menu at the 10 yard line.
Anyway, the next pass is a fade to Julius Thomas for a touchdown, but it appeared like their was a push off by Thomas. Adam Weber comes on and promptly throws a fade to Gerell Robinson for a touchdown. Weber’s next pass is just long intended for Mark Dell. Brock Osweiler zips a pass through the hands of Julius Thomas. On the ensuing play, Cyril Obiozor is there for the Sack, but Brock takes off for the End Zone anyway. HORN.
The ball is spotted right in front of my viewing area at the 46 yard line for another segment of 11 on 11’s. Peyton’s first throw goes wide of Brandon Stokely. Drayton Florence has inside position to break up the next pass intended for Jacob Tamme. Eric Decker catches a comeback for 15 yards against Tracy Porter. Willis McGahee runs for 3 yards. Manning passes incomplete for Lance Ball. Von Miller manhandles Chris Clark on the next play.
Caleb Hanie fires a quick completion to Virgil Green. On the next play, a Hanie pass intended for Julius Thomas is nearly grabbed by Davis Bruton, who skied up to get a palm on the ball. He just couldn’t quite come up with the pick. Bruton got tremendous elevation though. Robert Ayers bats down the next attempt at the line of scrimmage. Caleb passes to Bubba Caldwell for 5 yards.
Adam Weber gets Sacked by Jeremy Beal, then Weber completes a swing pass to Jeremiah Johnson, who bobbles it before tucking it away. Weber’s next attempt to Mark Dell is dropped. Brock Osweiler hits Julius Thomas, Then fires a low pass to Gerell Robinson, who makes a great shoestring catch. HORN.
John Fox tells the guys to, "take a squirt." (Water break).
Another Special Team segment begins with Lonie Paxton, Britton Colquitt and Matt Prater taking Field Goal reps while the punt return unit is working on their retreat from the line of scrimmage after the punt. More specifically, they are working on the turn around and engage the cover man.
Next, the entire Field Goal unit assembles for tries of 30 (twice), 33, 36 and 38 yards. All the attempts looked like they were good, but from my angle, that could be an inaccurate statement. Prater has plenty of leg though. A few of the attempts came down with a loud thud on the VIP tent. The last attempt ends up as a fake and Colquitt completes a pass to Cornelius Ingram. HORN.
The next to last practice segment consisted of a "Two minute drill." Let me set the scenario. The ball is on the 35 yard line (65 yards to the end zone), It’s the 4th Quarter with 1:20 on the clock and the team is down by one point.
The first team begins with a Manning pass to Matt Willis, Joel Dreesen and Wesley Woodyard get tangled up on the next play, which goes incomplete. Dreesen catches the next pass in bounds and the next pass goes to Lance Ball, who promptly gets out of bounds to stop the clock with 30.8 seconds left. Peyton hits Matt Willis again, this time for 25 yards. Manning spiles the ball with 5.9 seconds and Matt Prater kicks a 48 yard Field Goal.
Caleb Hanie leads the second unit out for their turn. He connects with Virgil Green on a 15 yard out, then hits Bubba Caldwell for 10 yards down the sideline. Caldwell steps out of bounds to stop the clock. Knowshon Moreno gets 5 yards on an audible to a Draw. Caleb completes a 10 yard pass to Caldwell and then spikes the ball with 5.6 seconds remaining. Matt Prater converts from 49 yards with Aaron Brewer snapping the ball.
Brock Osweiler passes to Cameron Kenney and then is intercepted by Danny Trevathan on the next play. Then the ball is placed on the 40 yard line with 4 seconds left and the team down by 4 points. The 1st teams are on the field once more, but Adam Weber gets the nod at Quarterback. Adam overthrows the End Zone. Caleb Hanie makes a weak attempt that should have been intercepted by Wesley Woodyard, who instead, gives it an Ole’ and lets the Receiver make the catch. Brock Osweiler overthrows the End Zone on his attempt and the HORN signals the end of practice.
I wrote this up before driving home, to make sure you didn’t have to wait up all night to read it. Tomorrow is a morning practice, so I have a ways to go before I sleep.
Follow Me on Twitter!
Like Me on FaceBook!