Today was a good day in Broncos Country. 41,000 plus Bronco fans filed onto Sports Authority Field at Mile High to see their new Quarterback Peyton Manning and get a realistic sniff at the 2012 Football season in Denver. The offseason has been too long.
I got to see a few friends that I haven't seen in a while and fellow staffers Troy and Steve were on hand as well. Other notables in attendance were Rod Smith, Ed McCaffrey, Keith Bishop and Mark Schlereth.
Special Teams led off the day's events as the Punt Unit got some work in. Matt Willis and Syd'Quan Thompson were the return men and Squid had a very good return on one play.
The second segment up was 7 on 7's. Peyton Manning completed passes to Demaryius Thomas, Joel Dreesen, Eric Decker and Jacob Tamme all against the first team Defense. Then the second team Defense substitutes in. Manning goes deep to Andre Caldwell for a touchdown with Tony Carter defending.
Caleb Hanie relieves Manning and immediately connects with Demaryius Thomas. Hanie then hits Chris Gronkowski. Adam Weber's turn comes and his first pass is a deep out to Andre Caldwell. Bubba is looking good. On Adam's next attempt, he leads Mark Dell too much for an incomplete. His last pass of the segment is caught by a leaping Cameron Kenney. Brock Osweiler hits Mario Fannin on a swing pass to the left.
The Field Goal Unit steps on the field and Matt Prater is 4 for 6 from 35, 40 and 45 yards. HORN.
Scrimmage time. On the first play, Manning throws deep towards a streaking Demaryius Thomas, who has Champ Bailey beat. Manning overthrew his receiver by a good 10 yards. That should immediately dispel the weak arm arguments since the ball traveled at least 50 yards downfield. Talk about giving the fans a show. Peyton throws for Brandon Stokely, but the ball is dropped. Danny Trevathan is there for the Quarterback hit too (of course he didn't touch #18). Lance Ball is stuffed by Derrick Wolfe on the next play.
Manning's next pass goes to Jacob Tamme for a 5 yard gain, with Drayton Florence making the tackle. Peyton lobs the next pass and it is intercepted by David Bruton. For the purpose of the workout, the Offense keeps the ball.
Willis McGahee rushes around the left end for 7-8 yards and gives Florence a forearm shiver as they clash and McGahee goes out of bounds. Peyton hits Brandon Stokely for a 10 yard gain. Lance ball rushes for 4 yards and then Manning hooks yp with Demaryius Thomas again, this time for a 12 yard gain. Willis McGahee runs for 12 yards and then Manning throws the ball away through the back of the end zone. Lance Ball gets another 4 yards on the ground and it's 3rd and Goal from the six.
Here is Peyton Manning at his best. The play clock is winding down. He makes an adjustment, then calls an audible, gets the snap off with one second to spare and hits Eric Decker on a back shoulder fade for a touchdown.
Could you imagine that happening last season? This is what Peyton Freaking Manning brings to the Denver Broncos organization.
Are you getting there? Because I'm already excited.
It could just be the simple fact that the season is nearly upon us. Or it could be spending a week at Training Camp. Those of you who are as yet in the wait and see mode, I don't blame you one bit. I freely admit that I have a strong tendency to look at the positive and also see the possibilities, but they don't always happen. So take my Training Camp posts with the thought that it is merely practice. They aren't doing heavy contact drills and the Quarterbacks don't get hit. Read all the information you can get and make up your own mind. You can fit the puzzle together.
That was basically it for the Scrimmage. The second team Offense ran with the 1st team Defense and the "D" got some work in. Elvis Dumervil and Derrick Wolfe met Quarterback Caleb Hanie for a sack. Von Miller was nearby also.
Ty Warren and Joe Mays stuffed Xavier Omon in the backfield for a loss. Von Miller drew a holding penalty against Adam Grant. On 3rd and long, the Defense called for the "Rocky Mountain Thunder," and the 12th man complied. Jeremiah Johnson took a draw play for 9 yards, but it wasn't enough after a False Start and an illegal man downfield penalty. The Thunder rolled once again and Adam Weber took off up the middle for a long gain. Wesley Woodyard got a Tackle For a Loss on Jeremiah Johnson and Weber had to throw the ball away on the following play. HORN.
The "two's" got to play against the other "two's" and the 3rd string Offense vied against the 3rd string defense. I didn't transcribe much because I was taking pictures. I took over 250 pictures and will likely spend a week editing them.
Before practice, I hit the Team Store and got a football for autographs. I also picked up a Peyton Manning Bobblehead figure. Those will undoubtedly be part of the swag given away this year.
I missed getting John Elway's signature by that much too.
Oh and the football? I gave it to Troy since he was sitting at the rail in a primo spot and charged him with the task of filling it with signatures. I'll tell you what. He didn't disappoint either. Here are the names on this ball:
Rod Smith, Ed McCaffrey, Justin Bannan, Brandon Stokely, Brock Osweiler, Lonie Paxton, Mitch Unrein, Lance Ball, Zane Beadles, Von Miller and Joel Dreesen.
A Mile High Salute to Troy. Someone is going to win that football this year and you will have Troy to thank.