Now that the Tebow stuff is off my chest, let's get to the meat and potatoes of tonight's Training Camp. It was a sloppy workout, sloppy because of the weather when the practice started and sloppy because of all the new faces that got on the field for the first time thanks to the ratification of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement by the players. That meant Ty Warren, Willis McGahee and other new Broncos could finally work with their new teammates.
Let me just say this about the quarterbacks as a group - the gap between #1 and #2 is a lot greater than the gaps between #2, #3 and #4. Now, maybe that changes once games are played - preseason and regular season - but that is what it is right now. Brady Quinn seemed to get quite a few reps with the #2 offense as well, something to keep an eye on moving forward.
After the practice, coach John Fox kept with the same line he's had since being hired.
"In there [the locker room], I think everyone understands where it is and understands that is why you go to camp, that's why you play preseason games and that's why you pick a 53-man roster. You earn it in the evaluation process. So nothing has changed from seven months ago. We've been really looking at this team before I even took this job, but I had a pretty good idea of where it was and how we would start and we have maintained that all the way along, so really what happens on the outside I don't concern myself much with-just those guys in the locker room."
Now, on to some other areas. I wanted to see the new look defensive line go up against the offensive line - a group that I think is going to be pretty damn good if they can stay healthy.
As expected, it was the O-Line that had the early advantage. Ryan Clady, Zane Beadles, J.D Walton, Chris Kuper and Orlando Franklin opened large holes for Knowshon Moreno, Willis McGahee and Lance Ball. Even Mario Fannin got into the act. (Damn he's fast!)
Speaking of McGahee, he touched the ball four times that I counted. Part of the plan, according to Fox, who said he wanted to work the new guys in slowly.
"We are easing into it. I think the thought-even in the new CBA of starting off camp with not being in pads the first two days- we didn't do that per say, but we did lighten up the reps just to get them in some kind of hitting shape and we will monitor that as we move forward."
McGahee agreed with the amount of work, especially since it is the first time on a practice field in a long time. He did say, however, he was a bit anxious coming in.
"When I was taking off my earrings, I was in the locker room shaking and I was like, ‘Why am I shaking?' I was anxious to get out here and get the feel for things and get a feel for the guys."
When McGahee did touch the ball he was impressive to watch, and man, is he BIG! He's got thighs the size of oak trees and it's pretty impressive to see just how much bigger he is than Knowshon.
Of course, Moreno did lose some weight during the offseason and he is SHREDDED. How that translates to game speed intrigues me. Moreno is a physical back - he has to be because he runs so upright - so slimming down while bulking up is an interesting experiment.
My favorite part of the day was goal-line. The offense and defense squared up for 6 plays from the one yard line, and this time it was the defense that got the upper hand.
Kyle Orton was in for the first three plays. The only touchdown scored was on the first play, a pretty play-action pass to TE Dan Gronkowski.
Next came two runs by Lance Ball that got stuffed on nice plays - first by Wesley Woodyard and next by a host of Broncos defenders.
In came Tebow, who handed the ball to Mario Fannin. It looked like Fannin was going to score to the left side until David Veikune and Nate Irving slammed him to the ground. The play was met with a rousing cheer from the Broncos defense.
Next came Brady Quinn, who threw the second pass of the session. While he did complete a pass to Julius Thomas, the whistle had blown indicating the coaching staff felt he was sacked.
the sixth and last play of the session went to Adam Weber. He, too, could not get the ball across the goalline. In the end, six tries from the 1 yard line. One success. A win for the defense.
All in all it was GREAT to see football again, no matter who it was and how they played. Everyone is rusty, and I have a feeling that similar thoughts can be said about 31 other teams in the NFL as well.
Kirk will have his awesome TC report later as well, so be on the lookout for that. Until tomorrow, GO BRONCOS!