The Broncos got a bit of a break today, having just one workout for the fans here at Dove Valley. It was a workout filled with ups and downs, typical of early on in Training Camp. Players are a bit tired from the two workouts the day before and mental weariness begins to take its toll. Oh yea, it was pretty warm in the Colorado sun as well.
Below are my thoughts, as I wrote them, as I watched the workout. I have also come to some determinations about how I am going to handle the rest of camp - I'll get to that at the end.
- WR Demaryius Thomas was out early working on some technique with coaches. Specifically, it looked like Thomas was working on using his hands to get off press coverage, something he is likely to see a lot of until he proves he can beat it.
- Early on it was Matthew Willis returning kickoffs along with Perrish Cox. Both are smooth as Kool-Whip in the return game. One note about Willis, he is NOW officially the MAN of camp so far. I don't exactly know what that means just thre workouts in, but he has shined both days. When asked about it after the workout, Willis admitted it was his goal to make a statement early on in Camp. Now he needs to continue what he started as more and more of the offense gets installed.
- Many of you have asked about Alphonso Smith. Unfortunately, I don't have good news. The best way I can describe it right now - it's in his head. What I mean by that is he looks like he is playing with little confidence. He struggled in one-on-one drills, then, during a kick-coverage drill was surprised by an onside kick. It wasn't a good day. I know that the sharks are circling for Smith, and there is a long way to go in Camp, but things need to turn around.
- With that said, Nate Jones was taking reps as the starting Nickle corner.
- Another guy the many Broncos fans ask me about is Jarvis Moss. Moss, by many accounts, was one of the stars of the off-season, especially during mini-camps. Mini-camps are non-contact, though, and players don't wear pads. It is a speed game, so to speak. That is what Jarvis does well. Here in camp, with full pads and contact, Jarvis has once again disappeared at times. I was watching the linebackers hit the blocking sled. When it comes to contact there just isn't much explosion. It's important because it signifies a players ability to shed blockers. That has been Jarvis' problem his whole career. Something to keep an eye on.
- I was watching the receivers and DB's go through some one-on-one drills. Let me just say that Champ Bailey is still as smooth as ever. He may not go 100% every play - nor should he, he'll be ready come September, but when presented with a challenge, like a one-on-one drill, he still shows he's one of the best.
- I was pleasantly surprised with Perrish Cox during this drill as well. While he didn't have great straight-line speed(he got beat by Kenny McKinley on one fly-route) he did show nice fluidity when breaking on the ball. He does a nice job getting out of his back-pedal and breaking on the ball.
- The Broncos moved onto some team drills. The action got a bit more intense on both sides of the ball and it was nice to see.
- Kolby Smith was getting the 1st team reps, followed by Toney Baker and Lance Ball. Spencer Larsen even made a cameo at half-back. To be honest, all three looked explosive. While there was hitting, the defense was not tackling to the ground, so it is hard to determine just how affective they were, but you can tell they know they have a tremendous opportunity. Make a good showing, and they'll get a shot - whether it is here in Denver or some place else.
- Noticed Dustin Fry was playing back-up center. He also came in at RG when Chris Kuper got shaken up. Kuper missed about 10 minutes of action before returning.
- I also took note that Seth Olsen was running with the first-team offense at LG. Zane Beadles had been playing there earlier in the session. Beadles looked better today, and as a unit the O-Line was improved. I wouldn't read much into it since Josh McDaniels had already said he was going to rotate guys in a out.
- Speaking of sloppy, that was one way to describe the entire offense. At one point during the session, the entire group was sent for a lap. It was quite the site. When asked after the workout the reason for it, McDaniels stated the multiple mistakes - too many men, false starts, etc, as reasons. He clearly was not happy with the way the offense finished out the day.
- I was watching the workout with Andrew Mason, for Broncos web guru and current MaxDenver owner/operator/writer. We were commenting on the lack of interceptions by the defense. Just then, two near misses by Tony Carter in the Camp's first 2-minute drill. Perhaps I'll try that method during the season as well.
- As for the 2-minute drill, both the 1st and 2nd offense and defense had their crack. Starting from their own 30, 2 minutes to go and no timeouts, the 1st team offense was able to pick up one first down before being stopped at their own 46. The 2nd team offense was a bit better. With Brady Quinn at the helm, the unit picked up 3 first downs, moving the ball to the opponent 27 yard-line with 4 seconds to go. The session ended without what would have been a 'game winning field-goal'. I would deem the effort a success.
- Today's full-team workout ended with a field-goal blocking drill I had never seen at Camp. A huge mat was placed on the field, and players dove onto the mat to block kicks. An effective drill to try and teach proper bloacking technique.
You'll notice I haven't mentioned a certain name. Tim Tebow. Tebow is a huge quandary for me. I'll go into why in a second. I did notice, after the full team workout had ended, Tebwo worked with some WR's and DB's in what looked to be a progression drill. The Broncos are making sure Tebow gets the work - whether it is during the practice or after.
Here is what makes watching and evaluating Tebow so tough. He got into the action, he threw some passes and ran some QB sneaks. He seems pretty obvious that Tebow will likely be a part of the 45-man roster every Sunday.
Where he is at right now, as a quarterback, is anyone's guess, and that is all it is, a guess. You'll see people on both sides, but there is no way to fairly to evaluate Tim.
We know Tim can run. We know he can improvise. He can do it very, very well. He has instincts you can't teach. That delivery, however, wow. Everything about it is wrong, except one thing. The ball gets form Point A to Point B. Fast. It has lead me to make a determination.
I am not going to give my opinion on Tebow again until I see him against a live defense that is trying to take his head off. These practices are too controlled, the hitting too limited. I need to see him against a real defense, playing the game. Honestly, that is what I think Tebow's strength is. Some guys are good passers, some guys good runners, other guys smarter than the rest. Tim Tebow is a really good football player. I want to see him play football. Only then, when there are tangible results, can I make a FAIR analysis.
Otherwise it is simply guessing.
Videos, Quotes, and more analysis coming later tonight. GO BRONCOS!