My selected vantage point for this early morning practice is the 50 yard line. It is a beautiful sunny and clear sky presentation today. It portends to be rather warm though. The JUG’s machine is to my left at the 20 yard line. Ross Rasner is the first player to trot on to the field, followed by Ben Garland. They are in full pdas today. HORN.
Special Teams punt protection at the line of scrimmage drills against the “Red Hats.” The JUG’s machine begins launching wobbly punts to Trindon Holliday, Omar Bolden and Wes Welker as Assistant ST’s coach Derius Swinton harasses them. The coach begins snapping a towel at the returners. Back in my day, they called that “Horseplay.” HORN.
11 on 11 Goal Line drills at walkthrough speed. Ryan Clady is in full pads today as his workload increases and surprisingly, Chris Kuper is back and in full pads himself. Because of this, I see various positions rotated in and out. Kuper ends up at Left Guard at one point, with Ryan Lilja at Center. HORN.
The 10 minute stretch interval commences and we don’t get full participation from the lethargic crowd, which is disappointing. The crowd is smaller than any other time this Camp, barely spanning the length of the sideline. HORN.
11 on 11’s, quick tempo make up the next segment. Peyton Manning hits Wes Welker for a nice gain and then Montee Ball gets 3 yards. Manning connects with Montee Ball, twice to Demaryius Thomas and lastly to Julius Thomas before ceding the field to the second unit. They switch directions and Brock Osweiler hots Bubba Caldwell. After back to back completions to Virgil Green, C. J. Anderson runs for 5 yards. On the next play, Omar Bolden is blitzing. C. J. Anderson gets a block on him. Bolden tries to work his way around the Running Back, who takes him out of Osweiler’s way. Still Omar is deep enough to force Brock up in the pocket, where he overthrows Virgil Green because he hurries and is throwing off his front foot. HORN.
Individual position drills begin with the Linemen working 2 on 2 over to my left. The Wide Receivers are working through bump coverage being applied by coach Tolbert. This transitions into a tip drill with the coach doing the tipping. The Quarterbacks do footwork drills and after the Running Backs slalom through the Hurdles, they join the Signal-callers for handoff drills. Halfway through this segment, the Quarterbacks throw passing drills to the Running Backs, Tight Ends and Wide Receivers from the 15 yard line. HORN.
11 on 11’s start once more, with the referees, Chain Gang and play clock in effect. Peyton’s first pass is incomplete when the receiver slips and falls. Ronnie Hillman gains 5 yards on the ground and I see Demaryius Thomas limping. He ends up walking to the locker room and returning to practice a few minutes later. Meanwhile, Hillman cuts back and fights for 4 yards, then Manning gets the Defense to jump offsides. Montee Ball gets 6 yards up the middle and then runs over the right side on the ensuing play for another 6 yards.
Osweiler’s turn as the young Quarterback hits Jacob Hester in the flat. After Knowshon Moreno gets 4 yards, I notice there is a lot of yelling coming from the coaches, particularly Dave Magazu and Eric Studesville. Brock’s next pass is behind Bubba Caldwell, who juggles the ball 3 times before David Bruton ensures the incompletion with a hard hit. Knowshon Moreno and C. J. Anderson each carry the ball for 3 yards and then the 3rd unit comes out to work. Lance Ball runs for 2 yards twice, Dysert overthrows Trindon Holliday deep and C.J. Anderson gets a pair of carries for 3 yards each. HORN.
The ball is spotted at the 15 yard line for 7 on 7’s. Manning goes 7 for 7, completing passes to Demaryius Thomas, Virgil Green, Ronnie Hillman, Jacob Tamme, Julius Thomas, Eric Decker and a deep pass into double coverage that Bubba Caldwell comes down with. Great catch, coverage and pass on that one. Now Osweiler steps in and completes passes to Virgil Green and Jacob Hester before an incomplete pass for Tavarres King is interrupted by a push in the back by Kayvon Webster. However, the referee calls it an incomplete pass. After connections to Gerell Robinson and Trindon Holliday, it’s time for the “3’s” to go to work. Zac Dysert hits C. J. Anderson on a short pass and then Trindon Holliday makes two catches, one when he sits down between the Linebackers and the other at the sideline. HORN.
Special Teams punt protection drills start up after a short squirt of water. Britton Colquitt and Ryan Doerr are punting to Trindon Holliday, Wes Welker and Eric Decker. Halfway through this 10 minute segment, the portable narrow Goal posts are carted out onto the field and Matt Prater gets some work in. Chris Harris yells out, “Million dollar kicker!” After a few Field Goal Attempts that appear successful, I hear head coach John Fox, who is standing about 5 yards behind Prater, say, “I like it, I like it.” On the last rep, a fake Field Goal is attempted, but Virgil Green misses the call from Colquitt and doesn’t go out for a pass. Ben Garland is open, but Britton doesn’t see him. HORN.
The ball is spotted at the 35 yard line for an 11 on 11 Situational Drill segment. Up by six in the 4th Quarter, 3 Timeouts and 1:54 on the clock. The goal is to get a first down and run out the clock, or leave as little on the clock as possible for the other team. Montee Ball gets 4 yards and then Manning’s pass on a crossing route to Julius Thomas goes for a bunch as Julius runs away from Quentin Jammer for a 1st down and then some. Manning takes a knee three times and the clock expires.
The 2nd team steps up with the same situation. This time, it’s Fox ball at it’s finest. Knowshon Moreno for no yards. Moreno for 1 yard. Moreno for 4 yards. Punt. Fortunately, the opposition gets the ball at their own 30 yard line with 3.4 seconds left. A new drill begins. 4 seconds left, up by six points. Run out the clock. First Manning throws it into the crowd, then Osweiler. It makes me wonder if they were trying to get the lethargic crowd to participate in practice. HORN.
The ball is spotted at the 25 yard line for another round of 11 on 11’s. Ronnie Hillman gets 4 yards and then Manning hits Demaryius Thomas for a Touchdown. The next pass goes for a Touchdown to Julius Thomas and after a short pass complete to Virgil Green, Wes Welker takes a quick screen in for six. Montee Ball grinds for 4 yards and then it’s Brock’s turn.
Lerentee McCray gets into the backfield and applies pressure. Omar Bolden knocks down the pass. Osweiler hits Lamaar Thomas for a Touchdown and the next pass is dropped by Tavarres King as he gets to the ground. Zac Dysert comes in and throws incomplete behind Kemonte’ Bateman in the End Zone. Mitch Unrein and Lanston Tanyi are there for the Sack on the next play. HORN.
They switch directions and work away from the End Zone with the ball at the 20. Manning’s first pass is complete to Virgil Green and the next one is grabbed by Demaryius Thomas, who skies after the ball. Peyton dumps off to Hillman and then throws deep for Eric Decker, who is interfered with by Mike Adams. As they jog back to the huddle, Decker pushes Wesley Woodyard, who is apparently talking a little trash. Montee Ball gains 5 yards on a Draw play and then runs for 8 yards around the right side. Peyton Manning then finds Wes Welker deep for a 40 yard Touchdown.
The 2nd unit steps in as Brock Osweiler’s first pass attempt goes incomplete for C. J. Anderson. C. J. gains 5 yards on a Draw play and then Osweiler connects with Gerell Robinson. On the ensuing play, a deep pass in the End Zone intended for Lamaar Thomas, the young receiver gets crunched underneath two players and stays down for a few minutes. He ends up walking back to the locker room with assistance. Zac Dysert completes a pair of passes to Gerell Robinson. HORN.
After another water break, the Special Teams punt drills begin from the End Zone. Trindon Holliday, Wes Welker and Eric Decker are back as returners. A couple of reps later, the ball is moved out to the 50 yard line. Britton Colquitt bounces his first punt at the 3 yard line with a little backspin, kind of like Tiger Woods with a pitching wedge. Mario Butler down a punt at the half-yard line. Coach Rodgers explains that he would rather have the Gunner’s catch the ball inside the 5 yard line than letting it bounce. On the last play Gunner Kayvon Webster runs into the returner, in this case, Eric Decker. Assistant coach Derius Swinton throws his ball cap in disgust. HORN.
Time enough for one last 11 on 11 session. Ronnie Hillman dives for 6 yards. Virgil Green catches a Manning pass and then Hillman rushes for 2 more yards before conceding the field to the “2’s.” C. J. Anderson runs for 3 yards and Brock hits D’Angelo Peterson. They switch sides and the 1st unit returns to work. Manning’s first pass is Intercepted by Duke Ihenacho and then Montee Ball scores a pair of Touchdowns from the 5 yard line. Brock Osweiler comes in and hits C. J. Anderson on a flare for a score and then C. J. runs around the left side for another Touchdown. Anderson is stuffed at the line on the next play to finish practice. HORN.
Today was an exceptionally good day. Clady and Kuper get some real work in, more passes were caught and less (obvious) mistakes were made. Hopefully Lamaar Thomas is okay. His stock has been rising lately in Training Camp.
– Kaptain Kirk