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Broncos 2014 training camp: Kaptain's Log, 7/25

The Kaptain says, Good Morning from Dove Valley!

Casey Barrett, Mile High Report

This morning's Training Camp practice at Dove Valley began with some loose warming up and some long toss for the Quarterbacks, who are directly in front of me at the South End Zone. The JUGG's machine is set up at the 30 yard line and lobbing kicks towards the North Goal Line. The players emerge in Shorts and Shells and it is rather anticlimactic due to the absence of fans at the facility. I meet Media Relations reps Erich Schubert and then Patrick Smythe, who tells me I should have just said "Kaptain Kirk." This blows me away immensely. They both heartily welcome me to Dove Valley and I am presented with a Media Guide. The morning keeps getting awesome. But I regress. The first HORN kicks off practice.

The Special Teams kick return unit works out first on the field directly in front of me. Rookie Wide Receiver Cody Latimer takes the first rep as the Return man, followed by Ronnie Hillman, who muffs his initial attempt. Emmanuel Sanders looks to be fleet of foot. Isaiah Burse fields the next offering as Special Teams Coordinator Jeff Rodgers calls out the blocking assignments. Over at the other field, players are working on their downfield blocking assignments during the return. This first segment ends in a Special Teams Huddle. HORN.

To my surprise the 1st team does their "Walk Through" segment on the field directly in front of the media, while the second unit works out their differences across the complex. To me, this is thoughtful of the team. As I overhear the first "Omaha" of the season, I know in an absolute way, that football is finally back. Ans as a rookie in the media pit, that makes my first day jitters even worse.

Peyton Manning runs the first team through the Passing Offense at about half speed now. I notice Von Miller, Sylvester Williams, Derek Wolfe and DeMarcus Ware on the Defensive Front lines in the Nickel, with Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall taking reps at Linebacker. Kayvon Webster, Rahim Moore, T.J. Ward and Bradley Roby make up the rest of the unit. Among the Cadences used by Peyton this morning are: "Meatball, Reload, Polar, Louisiana and Zebra." Derek Wolfe gets the first Pick of practice off of Manning. Wes Welker and Andre Caldwellcatch passes and then Joe Ellis walks by and says, "Good Morning" to Kyle Montgomery and I and I wonder if I have died and gone to Bronco Heaven already. HORN.

The Defense works on the field in front of us. They are split up into Individual drills. I see the Linebackers during a tip drill that has a similar resemblance to a Basketball Lay Up drill. Von Miller looks quick once more and that brings a smile to my face. Over on the far field, the Offense does their individual drills too. The Quarterbacks are throwing to the Ball boys at the 20 yard line. The Running Backs are near the Goal Line running their hurdle drills. The Receiver are during their pass route drills as Coach Tyke Tolbert puts them through their paces. The O-Line is down at the North Goal Line pushing each other around. HORN.

After a short water break, the team spreads out across the field for the Stretch Interval as Eminem's "I'm not afraid" blasts out through the PA system. Duke Ihenacho starts in with his high pitched "Whooo-eeee" and then the "Woo-Hoo" song comes on. Kyle says it is "Song 2" by blur, but I've never heard who does it. I just know it is a popular song at sports events. HORN.

Action picks up with 11 on 11's. Peyton Manning's first pass is dropped by Emmanuel Sanders. Welker catches the next one. They are moving down the field with referees and the Chain Gang working. Brandon Marshall picks off a pass and there is a Flag on the play. Emmanuel Sanders catches Manning's next offering and then the second unit rotates in. Working from the End Zone out at the 15 yard line, David Bruton drops a sure "Pick 6" on Brock Osweiler's first pass attempt. After a complete swing pass to Ronnie Hillman, and a completion to Jordan Norwood, Bruton gets his "Pick 6" and celebrates with a Chest Bump with Aqib Talib because he took it to the House. Osweiler's next pass goes to Greg Wilson. HORN.

Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio calls for the "Turnover Circuit" to begin and the position groups break into their units. The Defensive Backs work on a "Tip drill" while the Linebackers are during a sideline Fumble drill where on player prevents the ball from going out of bounds by tipping it to a teammate. Over at the other field, the Offensive Individual drills continue. The Safeties are during a backpedal transition drill where a coach fires the ball at them right after they turn. Again I see Von Miller moving well. HORN.

The Offense continues to work across the field while the Defense gathers to work against one another with one side wearing the "Red Hats." For those of you who don't know about these, they are soft, bright red sock-like covers that go over a player's helmet and are easily removed. You would call the wearers of these hats, the Dummy squad. They wear these to differentiate who is during the work and who is being practiced on  for the film crew and coaches to determine who is during their job. In other words, "you can't fix what you can't see." As the individual drills continue, I can hear Terrance Knighton being more vocal and encouraging his teammates. Inwardly I do a Fist Pump with a silent Heck yeah! HORN.

7 on 7's begin the next segment and I notice Nate Irving and Danny Trevathan (wh0 has shorter locks this season) at the Linebacker spots. Peyton Manning hits Julius Thomas on a Flare and then Bubba Caldwell makes a terrific sideline catch on the near side followed by another grab on the opposite side of the field. Peyton zips a bullet over the middle for Emmanuel Sanders, but Aqib Talib gets a Flag for Holding. Ronnie Hillman catches a short pass. Brock Osweiler has his first attempt broken up by Steven Johnson. Brandon marshall and Lerentee McCray are playing alongside Johnson at Linebacker during this rotation. Brock hits Cody Latimer and Jordan Norwood on consecutive plays, the latter throw was threaded in perfectly at the sideline. I see Lamin Barrow, and Nate Irving as the Nickel Linebackers with Louis Young as the extra Defensive Back. Jordan Norwood makes another catch, followed by a completion to Greg Wilson. With Zac Dysert at the helm, Jameson Konz turns upfield and fails to catch the ball, but is redeemed with a catch that he successfully turns upfield on the ensuing play. Dysert completes a swing pass to Isaiah Burse and the rookie CFA showed a tiny glimpse of elusiveness. Cam Morrah makes a catch from Dysert. The next play involves an effective Safety Blitz forcing Zac to throw an Incomplete pass intended for Morrah. HORN.

11 on 11's start the next segment with the intent of Running the ball. On the first play, Derek Wolfe penetrates into the backfield to stop Montee Ball from escaping around the left side. Ball gets nothing on his next carry. Ronnie Hillman gets around the corner and then through the middle of the line on his second carry.

Osweiler leads the "Two's" out and C.J. Anderson has a decent run. Brennan Clay gets the next two carries for a few yards each. C'J. Anderson gets through the line on a run up the middle. With Zac Dysert taking the snaps, Juwan Thompson gets a carry and then Marvin Austin catches C.J in the backfield for a loss. Kapri Bibbs gets into second gear around the left side and Jerodis Williams gets a small gain up the middle on the last carry. HORN.

After a short water break, 11 on 11's begin again with the Offense at the 15 yard line heading towards midfield. Montee Ball runs for a few yards and then Manning tries to hit Virgil Green on a timing play that goes out of bounds. Bubba Caldwell is the next recipient of a Peyton pass and then Montee Ball makes the catch of the day. He runs straight up the sideline and catches the ball on his back shoulder. Perfect execution between Ball and Manning.

On the next play, Sylvester Williams Intercepts Manning and starts returning the ball. At this point I thought he Fumbled it in his excitement, but after practice he said,

"I tried to dump it off, but ‘Q' (Quinton Carter) dropped it."

Manning dumps off the next pass to Hillman and then the second unit rotates in and they switch ends and directions. After waiting a bit too long (in my opinion), Osweiler finally gets the pass out to Jacob Tamme. On the next play, Gerell Robinson makes the grab off a double-move and talks some smack to the defender. The talking is picked up by T-Knight, who won't let it go. All in good fun though, it hasn't gotten chippy yet.

Juwan Thompson takes the next handoff and gets around the corner for extra yards. Brock and Gerell hook up once more and Osweiler is looking more decisive or confident so far. His next pass, intended for Isaiah Burse, is broken up by John Boyett, but it is partially due to a timely Safety Blitz. HORN.

Special Teams kick return team takes their reps again, with Omar Bolden, Cody Latimer, Andre Caldwell, Isaiah Burse, Bradley Roby (who muffs his rep) and Ronnie Hillman. They rotate and continue their repetitions until Special Teams Coordinator Jeff Rodgers is satisfied. And only then does he signal for the HORN.

7 on 7's with Nate Irving and Danny Trevathan working side by side at Linebacker. Peyton Manning's first pass is intended for Julius Thomas, but T.J. Ward makes a play on it and breaks it up. After a swing pass to Montee Ball, Wes Welker catches a pair of consecutive passes. Then, Cody Latimer beats Bradley Roby deep and Manning gets the ball to him for a 60 yard Touchdown. Keep in mind that this was at about 70-75% speed, but it was also Peyton's first work with the rookie Wide out.

Brock Osweiler's turn. His first pass, intended for Greg Wilson, is broken up by Omar Bolden, who seems to be working at Cornerback once more after a season a Safety. Brock throws a completion underneath to Hillman and then hits Nathan Palmer on a crossing route.Osweiler throws his next pass into double coverage. Duke Ihenacho and Omar Bolden are there and Bolden might have Intercepted it except for the collision with Duke. Either way, Jordan Norwood wasn't getting the ball. Louis Young Intercepts the next pass that is too long and Jacob Tamme gets flagged for Offensive Pass Interference. Zac Dysert comes in and hooks up with Isaiah Burse on a short cross. After another completion to Burse, Cam Morrah makes a catch. Bennie Fowler drops the next pass with Jordan Sullen applying the pressure and then Dysert overthrows a streaking Bennie Fowler. HORN.

11 on 11's continue with the focus on 3rd down scenarios. The referees and Chains are still in effect. Peyton Manning hits Julius Thomas on a slant and then the next play goes incomplete. Peyton throws complete to Jacob Tamme and then connects with Hillman on a pass out of the backfield.

Brock Osweiler hits Nathan Palmer on a crossing pattern and then Tucks the ball and runs on the following snap. I notice Chris Harris walking around without his jersey on and assume he had an early day. Osweiler hands off to Brennan Clay, who turns the corner. Then, Kevin Vickerson, Lamin Barrow and Derek Wolfe collapse the pocket. Osweiler makes a late deep throw complete to Greg Hardin in the End Zone. With Zac Dysert taking snaps, he hits Cam Morrah on a pass that Lamin Barrow nearly breaks up and then throws too long for Bennie Fowler. On the next play, Dysert gets the ball to Isaiah Burse who does a quick double move (Dub Step?) that jukes Louis Young completely. Zac throws complete to Greg Wilson. HORN.

Full Special Teams kick return action with the coverage unit donning the Red Hats. Jeff Rodgers calls the tempo speed and return play before each repetition. Cody Latimer, Ronnie Hillman, Isaiah Burse, Bradley Roby, Omar Bolden and Bubba Caldwell (muff) all take multiple reps. HORN.

11 on 11's. Montee Ball gains a few yards. a quick dump off intended for Jacob Tamme goes incomplete due to Aqib Talib breaking up the play. Montee Ball gets through the line for more than 5 yards. Apple! Apple! Julius Thomas gets Manning's last pass. Osweiler comes in and completes a pass over Bradley Roby and into Greg Wilson's hands. C.J. Anderson gets a carry and then Wilson catches another Brock pass when the Wide out beatsTony Carter, who appeared to give up on the play. Juwan Thompson gets a carry and then Zac Dysert steps up. Jerodis Williams gets a carry and then Dysert throws a completion to Jameson Konz. Jerodis Williams gets a nice run up the middle and Zac throws complete for Kapri Bibbs on the final play of practice. HORN.

I caught up with a few of the players after the practice session.

Sylvester Williams:

" Man, I am excited about the middle of the Defensive Line. I mean we got T-Knight, Wolfe, Big Vick, myself, Marvin...whoever makes it, we are going to be dominant."

Andre Caldwell on his comfortability with Peyton Manning:

"Things are going fine. We are working it out. (I'm) just trying to make plays. Peyton and I are comfortable. I just want to stay consistent and be dependable."

Bradley Roby on his rough outing:

"It's a process. I'm just trying to work past the mistakes, trying to be perfect in every way. That's what Camp is for. I need to shed a couple of pounds too. I'm heavier than my normal playing weight. I'll get my conditioning up and the speed will be there."

Just remember folks, they are still in their Underwear as John Fox likes to say. Tomorrow is expected to be a Full Pad practice. Then we'll see some hitting.

Go Broncos!

-- Kaptain Kirk

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