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



Photo by Kaptain Kirk 7/31/11

I arrive at Dove Valley around 2:00pm for a 2:20 practice and immediately wish it was a weekday. The parking lot is full and I have to hoof it from down the street. To compound matters, I realize I somehow forgot to open the valve on my oxygen bottle. I resolve that situation and then find a seat on the far 42 yard line just as the quarterbacks come out to warm up. It is another full pad practice. HORN. 

Practice begins with the Special Teams coverage unit. Coach Jeff Rodgers has the players drill on maintaining their coverage lanes for directional punts. They collapse and merge with one another squeezing to the ball carrier. Rodgers is adamant about his instructions and paying attention. He does not like to repeat himself. I am amazed that he still has any voice left. And this is just Day 4! The players change drills and work on lane adjustments midway through their coverage. HORN.

11 on 11's walkthrough at 1/4 speed. Rahim Moore and Darcel McBath are at Safety. I see Robert Ayers and Elvis Dumervil on the right side of the line, with Von Miller on the other side, but off the line. The next play sees a different look by the 3 players. I think it's safe to say that Dennis Allen will move those 3 to create confusion and mismatches during games. There isn't really much to tell during this. I mean how can you tell if a quarterback is holding th ball too long at 1/4 speed. I will say that it's too close to call whether Nate Irving or Quinton Carter has the longest Dreadlocks on the team. I think I will call Carter "Q-Cart" and see if it sticks to the wall. Among the players watching practice in civvies are Brian Dawkins, Demaryius Thomas, Ryan McBean, Wesley Woodyard and DJ Williams. David Anderson is here trying to soak up his surroundings wearing #85. Willis McGahee is wearing #23 and checking out the Running Back drills. In the meantime, the players switch sides and run two or three more plays before the HORN.   

It is time for Stretching and Flexing with Strength and Conditioning Coach Rich Tuten yells, "Readygo!"  More people arrive and I am thinking that they will have to open up the End Zone seating. After Tuten releases his charges, the Offense stays and the Defense trots over to the other field. The 1st team Offense lines up snaps the ball and sprints 20 yards. The number 2's and 3's do the same. They switch sides and work their way back up the field. After that, the Tight Ends and Offensive Lineman go work on their blocking. The quarterbacks hand off  to the Running Backs, who use the Running Lane mat and the Wide Receivers run slaloms and catch quick passes from a ball boy. I hear the Defensive Linemen throwing around the one-man blocking sled, the Wide-outs are catching ball boy passes with the coach tipping the ball 10 yards downfield. HORN.
Another Special Team's session begin to my left. At Midfield, Adam Weber hands off to a Running Back who tries to get by a Linebacker. Tim Tebow runs a 5 on 3 drill while Brady Quinn and Kyle Orton pass to the Wide Receivers. The 5 on 3 match ups even up sides at five apiece and then I see Jeff Byers and Joe Mays get into a scuffle. The hitting is picking up now and you can hear the pads clash. Jeremy Beal gets taken down to the ground by a double-team blocking him. HORN.

The Chain Gang returns and 7 on 7's begin with Orton pass to Eddie Royal on a crossing pattern. Kyle then hits Brandon Lloyd sitting down in zone coverage. On a pass over the middle to Royal, Rahim Moore gets there a little early with the hit. Tebow hooks up with Dan Gronkowski on a comeback, then passes to Mark Dell after holding the ball for 8 seconds. Quinn hits Royal on a slant and then tries to connect with Mark Dell, but Syd' Quan Thompson breaks up the pass. Tebow passes to Julius Thomas, then hits Brandon Minor on a swing pass and Braxton Kelley knocks the rookie into the crowd. Brady finds D'Andre Goodwin over the middle and then Goodwin drops Quinn's pass downfield. HORN.        

More 7 on 7's with an emphasis on the run. Orton runs these drills while Adam Weber, Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn go through Red Zone passing with the WR's against the Cornerbacks. After a few reps, Tebow moves over and joins Kyle. Jeremiah Johnson runs for 10 yards and then another nice run on the following play. Mario Fannin looks good on his two carries, running around the right side and then the left. Both were good runs. If he keeps it up, it's going to make the cuts tougher. Jeremiah Johnson gets another carry. HORN. Water break.

The ball is placed at the 20 yard line and Red Zone drills are next. There is a wall of players impeding my view, so I can only see some of the action. Orton's first pass is batted down at the Line Of Scrimmage. I don't see which player did, but my money is on Kevin Vickerson. Kyle hits Eric Decker in stride and E.D. gets down to the 5 yard line. Kyle then passes for Brandon Lloyd in the corner of the end zone, but Andre' Goodman has the inside position and breaks up the play. Kyle hits Decker on a quick slant for a TD. Tebow hands off to a player I can't see and then throws an incomplete pass. Brady Quinn connects with Britt Davis for a score. Mario Fannin gets a couple of yards off the right side. Tebow finds Julius Thomas for 10 yards. Then lobs a late pass that Mark Dell catches for a TD and the crowd roars, completely ignoring that Dumervil had him sacked. Quinn to Marshall Williams and then he finds Julius Thomas in the end zone. Thomas gets a "Welcome to the NFL" hit by Braxton Kelley and holds on to the ball. Julius is a tad bit shaken up on the play, but doesn't leave the field. HORN.

After a 2 minute break, the Special Teams coverage unit gets some more work in. This time they are shedding blockers to close in on the returner. They are split into two separate groupings. Coach Rodgers takes one half and Assistant ST's coach Keith Burns works with the other half. After a few reps, they change technique and drill some more. The groups merge and the kickoff cover unit gets some work. At the end of the third rep, the second team gets a shot. HORN.

7 on 7's in the Red Zone. Orton starts off with a quick pass to Decker, then another to Julius Thomas that he snatches out of the hands of Joe Mays. Orton then has all day to throw, then finally hits Royal in the end zone. Tebow overthrows his receiver in the end zone, then throws an interception to Syd'Quan Thompson. Brady Quinn passes to Gronkowski and throws it to Britt Davis' feet. Adam Weber passes to  Jamel Hamler. Tebow hits Julius Thomas with a short pass. Quinn and D'Andre Goodwin connect for a TD. Weber's pass broken up by Nick PolkHORN.

11 on 11's. Orton throws a screen pass to Knowshon Moreno who gets popped by Von Miller after a 4 yard gain. Kevin Vickerson bats down Orton's pass at the line. I see Von Miller's speed move around the left side gets pressure on Orton. Kyle passes to Moreno for a 1st down. A fumbled snap is picked up by Elvis Dumervil. Lance Ball scampers for 5 yards. Quinn passes to Knowshon who makes a nice grab and runs for 15 yards. Tebow fields a low shotgun snap and overthrows a fade pattern in the endzone. The next snap is even worse, a roller on the ground that Tim fields well and throws to the sideline. Quinn to Jamel Hamler with a quick pass and then I miss seeing more plays because of the wall of players blocking my view. Tebow connects with Lloyd for a TD, then overthrows the end zone on the next play. HORN.

The Kickoff cover unit works against a scout team that wears red socks over there helmets. After a couple of reps, coach Burns tells them to speed things up. This turns into live kickoff coverage with Steven Hauschka kicking the ball. HORN.

11 on 11's full speed. Orton throws behind Eric Decker who is covered by Darcel McBath. Moreno runs for a couple yards over the left side twice. Tebow gets pressured and throws up a prayer so high that the wind blows it 5 yards. Lance Ball hits the hole hard and the defense holds him to a minimal gain. Quinn pass intended for Britt Davis is tipped near the line and falls incomplete. Brady succumbs to heavy pressure and throws high on a deep out to Jamel Hamler. Adam Weber gets flushed from the pocket and weaves his way downfield for 20yards. Tebow runs up the middle. HORN.

End of practice. I see rookies carrying the veteran's shoulder pads and helmets and the four quarterbacks sign autographs. Since i have had all of their signatures except for Adam Weber's, I decide to not fight the horde and head for home. It's been another long day and after falling asleep transcribing this post, must decide to take Monday off.