Photos by Kaptain Kirk 8/10/11
When I arrive at the Broncos Training Complex this morning, I find out that practice has been not only delayed, but shortened. So I use the 45 minutes listening to the Vic and Gary show on "The Ticket." The time goes by soon enough and end up sitting at the 47 yard line. Surprisingly, Austin Sylvester is the first player to take the field. A minute later, Tim Tebow emerges out on to the field and begins to toss around the football. This will be a "Shells and Shorts" session and I don't expect much. HORN.
At precisely 9:30 am, practice begins. The players all assemble at the Goal line for Rich Tuten's stretch interval as Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate One" blasts from a large speaker next to the building.Next up is "Yeah Ya Know" by T.I. The players move up and spread out for upper body stretching to "Rockin’ In The Free World" by Neil Young. I see that Wide Receivers Eddie Royal and Brandon Lloyd are both back practicing. Eddie was held out of yesterday's session and Lloyd missed the latter half. D.J. Williams is on the sideline and I didn't expect Richard Quinn to be on the field today. I'm told that Nate Irving, Derek Domino, Syd’Quan Thompson, Louis Leonard and Mitch Unrein were not on the field today either, but because of the nature of this practice, I didn't notice. HORN.
The Offense goes through their usual routine of running a play and then trotting downfield 20 yards. The first, second and third teams do a rep and then turn and work their way back up the field. I was informed via Radio this morning, that Dante Rosario is switching jerseys. He goes from #49 to #42 and will play a lot of H-Back for the 2011 Broncos. HORN.
Position drills begin. The Running Backs are catching passes from Coach Eric Studdesville while running crossing routes. The Offensive Line as well as the Defensive Line (on the opposite field) keep to themselves. The Defensive Backs are doing their backpedal drill and the Quarterbacks are passing to the Tight Ends and Wide receivers. After about 10 minutes, the Receivers huddle around Kyle Orton and it looks like kyle is showing them hand signals for the audibles during the game. It's either that, or he's telling them "They can't see me" a la Brandon Lloyd. HORN.
11 on 11's. 1st team Offense vs. 2nd team Defense. They start off in the Base scheme with Kyle Orton in command. Knowshon Moreno carries twice (at half speed) and then Willis McGahee gets the next two. The 2nd team Offense with Tim Tebow at the helm moves in for the next set. Willis McGahee carries the ball once more and then we have a package substitution. Lance Ball gets two carries and then LenDale White runs twice. Brady Quinn steps in for Tebow and Brandon Minor, Jeremiah Johnson and C.J.Gable get one carry each, running behind the lead blocking of Dante Rosario. HORN.
The ball is re-spotted at another point on the field for more 11 on 11's. This time it's both 1st units working against each other. Moreno runs twice and on the second carry he is following Spencer Larsen's lead block. Adam Weber brings the #2 Offense with him and Jeremiah Johnson has the first carry in a single back set. Daniel Fells provides a lead block for Jeremiah's next carry. Weber passes to Matthew Willis and then Brandon Minor gets a carry. Minor gets the next four carries. HORN.
1st team Offense vs. 2nd team Defense 11 on 11's. Kyle Orton passes to Julius Thomas, Daniel Fells and Eric Decker. Tebow and Orton trade spots, the 1st Offense stays in. Tim completes passes to Virgil Green, Spencer Larsen and two to David Anderson. The 2nd team Offense, along with Brady Quinn gets their turn. Quinn passes to D'Andre Goodwin, Eron Riley and Mark Dell. HORN.
After the ball is re-spotted, Tim Tebow passes incomplete behind Britt Davis, hits Julius Thomas and overthrows Britt Davis. Brady Quinn comes in and lobs a lazy pass to Eron Riley that Andre' Goodman picks off. His next pass is incomplete. Either it was tipped at the line or he lost his grip because it is wobbling like a wounded duck. Brady's third pass is intended for Eron Riley and broken up by Nate Jones. Adam Weber hands off to LenDale White and then is intercepted by Kyle McCarthy, who stepped in front of Virgil Green. Adam completes a pass to Eron Riley, another to Virgil Green and two to Austin Sylvester. HORN.
1st string Offense vs. 2nd string Defense. Kyle passes to Brandon Lloyd. Knowshon Moreno runs twice and Eddie Royal catches a pass from Orton. Tebow and the two's get their turn. Tim passes twice to Matthew Willis, and the second is a high wobbler that Willis somehow comes up with. Willis McGahee runs and then Tebow hits Willis for a TD. Red Zone drill. 1's vs. 2's. Orton to Fells, then Quinn brings in the 2's and Lance Ball gets a carry. Goal Line drill. Coach Fox joins the huddle and offers up a few words. Brady Quinn passes to Eron Riley. HORN.
This time around the 1st team defense gets some work against the 2nd team Offense led by Adam Weber. Jeremiah Johnson gets the first carry and then Weber connects with Mark Dell. 2nd team vs. 2nd team. Brady Quinn hands off to Jeremiah Johnson three times. Weber is nearly picked off in the End Zone by Darcel McBath, who drops the pass. After a Brandon Minor run, Weber misses Mark Dell. Weber rolls right and passes to Dante Rosario. Quinton Carter breaks up Adam's next pass and I randomly yell a Happy Birthday to Matt Prater, who is 27 today. Weber hits Goodwin and the coach calls for Goal Line situation. C.J. Gable gets the carry. HORN.
The entire team assembles on the sideline between fields. Coach Fox addresses them and I get the feeling that practice is over. That feeling dissipates as the Kickoff coverage unit huddles up at the 30 yard line. Fox and ST's coach Rodgers join the huddle and give instructions. They break the huddle and take their positions. This unit is currently manned by Matt Prater, Cassius Vaughn, Britt Davis, David Bruton, Dante Rosario, Perrish Cox, Mario Haggan, Matthew Willis, Quinton Carter, Lance Ball and Lee Robinson. The coach calls for the Kickoff return team to take the field. Then the Punt coverage unit. It looks like they are practicing substitution packages when the coach calls for each unit, so they are alert and ready to get on the field and into formation so as to avoid Delay of Game penalties, like the punt unit took in scrimmage yesterday. Coach Fox blows his whistle and calls for the 1st Regular Defense. Then, the sub packages are called out to rotate (like the Nickel package substitutions). Other units called out on the field into formation are the Field Goal team, the Goal Line package and the "Hands" group. Coach Rodgers explains that he wants the guy who recovers an onside kick to fall on it and cradle the ball, instead of trying to field it and return it. He also covers different Onside Kick scenarios. HORN.
Another team huddle and then Strength and Conditioning coach Rich Tuten has the players line up on the yard lines (every 5 yards) and spread out for their upper body stretches. He tells them things will be faster and shorter on game day so make sure they get their stretching done. The team huddles a final time and then breaks for the locker room. There will be no autograph session today. The next practice is scheduled for Saturday morning and on the ride home. I hear that the 1st team Offense will run 12 to 15 plays in Dallas and the Inactive List has not been named yet. Finally though, we get to see our team in game action. Even though it's been months, it seems like a decade since we've had some foot ball to cheer for.