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Broncos 2011 Training Camp-Kaptain's Log-Day Three

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Photos by Kaptain Kirk 7/30/11

Saturday morning comes about 4 hours too soon for my taste, but hey I can sleep when I'm dead right? I make my way north, guzzling coffee along the drive and arrive a half hour early to Dove Valley. Even though I am early, there is a line of cars just waiting to enter the parking lot. Then I remember it is Saturday. I end up parking in the south 40 and grab my gear thinking there has to be a chance to claim my normal spot. I manage to sit at the far 40 yard line, but halfway down the embankment. I normally try to sit as high as I can so I can get pictures and the lookie-loos who think they are strolling at the Mall don't impede my view. 

The wait is short and to no one's surprise, Tim Tebow trots out in full pads 5 minutes ahead of everyone else. Virgil Green joins him and they proceed to play catch. The JUGG's machine is set up right in front of me at the 40. It is hot already and it appears that fans will be packed in like sardines, as they did last year to watch the debut of Tebowmania. I see Lonie Paxton snapping to Steven Hauschka behind the JUGG's machine. HORN.

Practice begins with the first offering from the JUGG's to Eddie Royal and the rotation of Returners that include Syd'Quan Thompson, Perrish Cox and Eric Decker. Special Teams coach Jeff Rodgers has a cadre of other players practice locking up their blocks in the Field Goal Attempt Unit. The rest of the team is separated into their individual position groups. The Defensive Backs are doing a mirror side shuffle back and forth with one another in a 1 on 1 drill. The Offensive Linemen working on their backpedal into pass protection. I see DJ Williams in shorts and spot Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill watching from the sideline as well. Matt Prater is walking around in shorts. coach Rodgers stresses understanding to his players so they don't waste valuable practice time. Then they begin a punt return drill. Two lines of players run about 5 yards downfield and one turns and blocks the other. Actually there are 4 lines, doubling up the practice reps. This is an ongoing theme with this Training Camp--Maximize the reps with less standing around. Anyway, the drill simulates the punt return unit retreating back toward the return man, then spinning around to become a blocker on the return. HORN.  

The 1st team Offense does a walk-through of plays with Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy for about 15 minutes and then the Defense joins them. HORN.

11 on 11's at half speed begin. After a few faux plays, Kyle Orton passes to Brandon Lloyd on a quick post. On the next play, Perrish Cox bears down on Kyle unabated and they stop the play, conceding the Sack. Brady Quinn hits Spencer Larsen who is running a wheel route out of the backfield. Brady throws completes to Eric Decker and Matthew Willis. The speed of play development from the quarterback to the Receivers perspective varies during this segment, but it looks like the Linemen on both sides of the ball are working a bit harder. In essence, it seems like the QB's are waiting for the Receiver's to make their cuts, so they are holding on to the ball longer. But really, they are still warming up at this point in the practice. HORN.

A quick sip of water and the team lines up at the Goal for Tuten's Stretch and Flex ministrations. This goes on for 7-8 minutes before the players spread out on the field for more stretching. I see a player in shorts with a #59 jersey talking with DJ Williams and Coach Fox and I can't tell for sure, but I'm thinking it is Wesley Woodyard. Standing a few feet away from them is a big guy wearing #98. It is probably Ryan McBean. It looks like him anyway. HORN.

The Defense trots off to the far field and the Offense huddles to get instructions for the next segment right in front of me. They begin the drill by lining up, running a play and then running 20 yards down the field as a group, but split up into first, second and third units. When all three have made the 20 yard jaunt, they turn it back the other way and complete another rep. Coach McCoy has to tell Tebow's unit to pick up the pace. They get the play away and then Brady Quinn muffs a hand-off because he has both hands on the ball. HORN. 

The players break off into their individual drills with their position coaches. There are two Running Lane mats set up side by side so 2 quarterbacks can work at the same time. They take hand-off snaps from an assistant and practice handing off to the Running Backs, who hit the right gap as determined by the mat. The Wide Receivers are drilling on getting off the Line Of Scrimmage and into their pass routes. The 4 Tight Ends block each other one on one and the Offensive Line quietly goes about their business. The Wide Receiver move on to running routes with a ball boy passing lobbing balls at them while the QB's work with the Tight Ends for a bit and then the both join the Wide-outs. The tempo goes up and the quarterbacks are firing quick passes to the Receivers. They move down the field, turn around change up the pass route, and work their way back. I can hear the Running Backs hitting the single Blocking Sled hard over in the area between the two fields. The Wide Receivers run quick 5 yard slants now and Tim Tebow keeps throwing behind his receivers. The other 3 QB's aren't having that problem. They switch field direction and simulate throwing short passes over the Linebacker. Tebow sails a 20 yard pass too high and Brady Quinn follows suit. Adam Weber continues to look good in his limited opportunities. Julius Thomas makes a nice sideline catch right in front of me. HORN. 

One on one drills. The Running backs against the Safeties with Tebow and Weber passing to them and the Wide Receivers vs. the Cornerbacks have Orton and Brady Quinn throwing to them side by side. Orton and Quinn's first passes go through their Receiver's hands. They settle into the drill and the Cornerbacks make the Receivers work for their receptions. Eddie Royal goes up against Champ Bailey, giving him a double stutter-step move, but the wily veteran breaks up the pass anyway. I thought it was a good effort by both players. 5 minutes later, Tebow and Weber join Orton and Quinn. Kyle gets a pass completion to Eric Decker with Cassius Vaughn covering him like a blanket. Mark Dell drops Adam Weber's pass, Brady Quinn throws behind his receiver incomplete. Tebow throws behind Britt Davis on a deep out, but Britt manages to turn all the way round and make the catch. Tim then completes a long pass to Decker in the End Zone with great placement and just the right amount of arc on the ball. It was probably his best throw so far in Camp. In the rematch, Eddie Royal beats Champ. HORN.

Full speed 11 on 11's. The Chain Gang is set up blocking my view again. Knowshon Moreno gets hit in the backfield and on the next play, tries to bounce it outside for no gain. I see Von Miller is working with the 1st Defense again. I hadn't even noticed that he was practicing today because of his quad injury. It was an unexpected pleasant surprise. Moreno gains 2 yards up the middle, then Orton completes a pass to Royal off play-action. Then the O-Line responds. Lance Ball gets a 10 yard run and LenDale White barrels for 7 or 8 yards himself. Brandon Minor gets 2 yards and keeps pumping his legs after contact. Quinn passes to Dan Gronkowski off play-action and then LenDale White turns the corner on the right side, with Mario Fannin leading the way. Fannin gets the nod for the best run of the practice. He takes a hand-off running right, gets stopped, then turns back the other way and gets around the corner for some good yards.
He gets the next hand-off and weaves his way for positive yards. Tebow rolls left on play-action and misses Eron Riley too high. Jeremiah Johnson runs for a short gain. Adam Weber makes a nice pass completion to Jeremiah Johnson and then Mario Fannin is stopped at the line for no gain. HORN.

7 on 9's. Orton passes too low for even Goodman to intercept and I'm not sure who the pass was intended for. Kyle then completes a pass to Brandon Lloyd. Perrish Cox was unabated and it probably would have gone for a Sack (my view was impeded by the Sticks), but he passed it to Lloyd anyway. On the next play, Kyle throws a fade to Lloyd over Goodman, a great play by both Orton and Lloyd. Tebow has his pass batted down by Deron Mayo at the Line Of Scrimmage. The next play, Tim hits Matthew Willis. David Bruton comes on a blitz, forcing Brady Quinn's throw to Britt Davis and the pass is broken up by Cassius Vaughn. Quinn completes the next pass to Eron Riley under pressure. Tebow completes a nice pass over the Linebacker to Virgil Green and the Defense strips the ball downfield. Tebow bounces a 7-yard pass intended for Jamel Hamler (11). Brady Quinn passes to Julius Thomas who bobbles the ball a couple times, but maintains his concentration and pulls it in. Quinn's pass to D'Andre Goodwin (16) is broken up by James Rodgers. Adam Weber watches Virgil Green work but his pass is broken up by the defender. Weber completes the next pass to Richard QuinnHORN.

The players take a water break for 2-3 minutes and I meet MHR member BroncoPH aka Steve and we chat for a few minutes. It's always nice to put a face with a name. The HORN sounds and he rejoins the group that he came with.

The JUGG's machine is wheeled out during the interlude and set at the 30 yard line to my right. The operator launches the ball beyond where the returners are lined up, to make them practice going back on the ball. Eddie Royal, Perrish Cox, Eric Decker, Brandon Minor and Cassius Vaughn take part in the drill. HORN.

11 on 11's. The Offense starts in a 2 TE set and Orton throws a complete to Royal (good play). The next pass finds Orton under-throwing Lloyd deep and Champ makes him pay by intercepting the ball. Kyle finds Royal on a crossing pattern with Goodman defending. Orton makes a low catchable pass to Royal that he drops. Willis makes a diving catch from Tebow. The #2 Defense rotates in for some reps. Tebow wobbles a short pass to Eron Riley that is broken up by David Bruton. I see that Nate Irving (91) is getting reps. I believe he has the longest dreadlocks on the team, surpassing Syd' Quan Thompson. Brady Quinn hits Mark Dell and then Lloyd on a comeback on consecutive good plays. Tebow throws to no one over the middle and then hits Jamel Hamler right in front of me. Brady Quinn misses Mark Dell on a quick screen because he threw the ball before setting up, firing wide out of bounds. Quinn fires over the middle to no one. HORN.

7 on 9's. Kyle Orton leads a swing pass to Knowshon Moreno too much for an incomplete pass. They try it again as the third progression and Moreno can't make Quinton Carter miss. Carter wraps him up good. Orton connects with Royal deep over the middle, then Kyle threads a pass to Lloyd in between Champ and Carter. Quinn passes to Dan Gronkowski, who tips it up in the air and I believe Lee Robinson intercepts it (my line of sight is disrupted again). Quinn completes a pass over the middle to Virgil Green. Tebow hits Matthew Willis on a quick slant. It is a soft throw with a good spiral. It makes me wonder if he has a death grip on the ball. Another Tebow pass to Willis is bobbled then dropped by the receiver.  Quinn passes to Gronkowski and Orton hits Jamel Hamler. A Tebow pass goes through Austin Sylvester's hands on a swing pass and although the pass should have been led toward the Line Of Scrimmage, the young Fullback wasn't facing the ball (out of position). Tebow hits Virgil Green and then Adam Weber makes a nice pass to Gronkowski that is dropped. Weber fires a pass to Jamel Hamler, who ducks James Rodgers and scores. A whistle blows and the teams change direction. Kyle connects with Brandon Lloyd and it may have been a Sack, but the chains are in my way again. Orton is flushed from the pocket, rolls right and throws wide incomplete intended for Richard Quinn. Orton's next pass goes to Lloyd right in front of Champ Bailey. Orton pass to Willis on an inside curl. Nate Irving blocks Brady Quinn's pass at the line, then overthrows Britt Davis by 5 yards on a deep out. Cassius Vaughn was defending on the play. Lance Ball takes an inside hand-off for good yardage. Tebow passes to Britt Davis and then throws a quick out to D' Andre Goodwin (16) that goes wide of the mark. The pair hook up one play later with a good read and good throw and catch. Mario Fannin totes the rock through the line and then Knowshon breaks off a 20+ yard run. A guy behind me heckles the Defense for giving up a play like that and Kevin Vickerson waves for him to come join them. Orton is Sacked when the pocket collapses around him then connects with Eric Decker on the ensuing play. I had seen Decker go out with what looked like a cramp earlier and was glad to see him back. The #2's rotate in and Mario Haggan gets an uncontested Sack on Brady Quinn. Brandon Minor runs for 5 yards. Tebow gets flushed and runs sideline to sideline and when he is nearly in my lap, he shovels it 2 yards to Jeremiah Johnson. On the next play, Tebow rolls to his left and throws to D'Andre Goodwin, but the pass is knocked away by  Brandon Bing. Brady Quinn tries to set up a screen to Lance Ball, but the pass is denied by Braxton Kelley. Quinn passes behind and out of reach intended for Julius Thomas. HORN.

The team goes into cool down mode. The JUGG's machine is wheeled out a final time. The Red Caps are adorned by the scout team and punt return drills commence. Then there is a drill where two players lockup and force each other back and forth sideways. Eddie Royal, Syd' Quan Thompson and Perrish Cox are back to field punts. They do a live punt return and Britton Colquitt out kicks the coverage, allowing Royal to return it. Thompson fields the next punt and the final HORN sounds.

The Defensive Line has autograph duty this time and I rush over and get Elvis Dumervil to sign my hat. I also pick up autographs from Jason Hunter, Kevin Vickerson, David Veikune, Louis Leonard and Jeremy Beal. Then I see Eddie Royal signing so I try three times to get his signature, but he was concentrating on the kids. No biggie. Knowshon Moreno is also signing stuff, but since I got his yesterday, I make  a pit stop and turn to leave. A gentleman asks me if I was Kaptain Kirk and we exchange pleasantries. He introduced himself as Mark Bradshaw and said he was an avid reader of MHR. We chatted for a minute and then I went on my way. All in all, it was a good day.

Go Broncos!


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