I’m sitting at the 47 yard line in the shade for this Wednesday late morning practice at Dove Valley. There is one day remaining for the 2013 Denver Broncos Training Camp, for the public anyway. Tavarres King is the first player to emerge from the locker room and he is in Shells and Shorts. The JUG’s machine is set up at the 30 yard line to my right and as more players appear, the machine shoots a few early punts to Tavarres and C. J. Anderson. HORN.
The Special Teams drills consist of the punt coverage unit working from the last 15 yards out and closing in on the return man, while the JUG’s launches spiral missiles to Trindon Holliday, David Bruton, Omar Bolden and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. I notice Greg Orton, Jeremiah Johnson and Knowshon Moreno on the sideline not participating. HORN.
20 minutes of 11 on 11 walkthroughs make up the next segment and that in turn transitions into the 10 minute stretch interval. Today is a full crowd participation. I hear plenty of chuckles out of the fans and deem them to be at their first Camp practice this year. HORN.
The next session is the individual position drills. The segment time clock resets to 20 minutes and begins counting. I see the Linebackers on the opposite field working on tipping Fumbles back in play to prevent them from going out of bounds. The Defensive Backs are during backpedal transitions and the Defensive Linemen are working on their technique getting around the corner on the Tackle.
In front of my position, the Wide Receivers do theor ladder drills and coach Tolbert has his hand pads on as he simulates press coverage at the line of scrimmage. The Running Backs are blocking against pads on the left and right, practicing anchoring and resetting their feet to deliver another blow. The Quarterbacks are during footwork and drop back drills and I hear the Offensive Linemen hitting the sled behind the VIP tent. I notice that Trindon Holliday is working with the Running Backs instead of his usual spot with the Wide Receivers. HORN.
11 on 11’s breaking out of the End Zone at the 3 yard line. Ronnie Hillman carries the ball for 2 yards and then Peyton hits Demaryius Thomas at the sideline near the 15 yard line. After a completion to Julius Thomas, Montee Ball gains 4 yards and then the second unit enters. Montee Ball gets 2 yards and then Brock Osweiler connects with Bubba Caldwell and Virgil Green on consecutive plays. C. J. Anderson gets a couple yards. HORN.
The first unit starts again at the 35 yard line. 11 on 11’s still. Ronnie Hillman for 2 yards and then Manning hits Demaryius Thomas. Ronnie Hillman gets a yard on a delayed handoff and Montee Ball and Jacob Tamme. Montee gets through the Defensive line for about 8-9 yards.
The second team reps begin with an End Around to Trindon Holliday, who fumbles and then picks up the ball and takes off 40 yards for a score and outrunning David Bruton in the process. Osweiler rolls out to the right and throws incomplete and then zips a nice pass to Andre Caldwell on the following play. Brock throws a quick out to Tavarres King, but he can’t get past Mario Butler to gain any yardage. Osweiler’s next pass is complete to Gerell Robinson who is blanketed by Mario Butler. Trindon Holliday runs for 2 yards and then Zac Dysert dumps a pass off to Lance Ball. The next plays sees Dysert hit Cornerback Kayvon Webster straight in the chest, but the rookie defender can’t come up with it. HORN.
More 11 on 11’s with a Manning pass complete to Jacob Hester to start things off. Ronnie Hillman gets a couple yards and then Peyton hits Demaryius Thomas once again. Hillman jets around the right corner for about 8 yards and then Montee Ball picks up 3 on the next play.
The “2’s” are up and Bubba Caldwell’s number is called on an End Around good for 8 yards. Montee Ball carries around the right for 5 yards and C. J. Anderson picks up a couple after that. Brock waits too long on the next play and must throw it away. Lance Ball gains 5 yards on the next two plays as the 3rd team gets a turn. Zac Dysert passes to Tavarres King, but the young wideout drops the ball. Then, Trindon Holliday gets three carries for 4, 5 and 3 yards respectively. I don’t expect Holliday to get more than 3 up the middle. HORN.
They switch sides and directions as 11 on 11’s continue. Peyton Manning’s first attempt is intended for Demaryius Thomas, but Chris Harris breaks it up. Ronnie Hillman gains 7 yards around the left side and then Peyton hits Eric Decker at the sideline. Demaryius Thomas takes off with an inside cut on a Bubble screen. The second unit continues things with a 6 yard carry from C. J. Anderson. Sylvester Williams is there for the Sack on Osweiler, who throws the ball into the ground way short of Caldwell. John Youboty gets pressure on the next play and forces Brock to throw the ball away. Lance Ball runs three times for 2, 3 and 3 yards. HORN.
After a short water break (it isn’t that hot today), the Special Teams work one-on-one blocking at the line of scrimmage during punts. Meanwhile, the JUG’s machine is shooting four consecutive punts for Wes Welker, who catches the first three and holds each punt while trying to catch all four. He isn’t able to catch the 4th and maintain his hold on the others, but it is entertaining. Trindon Holliday is next and he says something like “No way I’m doing that.” Holliday catches all four in succession and tosses each away before fielding the next one. Eric Decker steps up and catches two, but on the third one, he lobs one in the air and tries to catch it and number 3, but can’t hold on. The 4th one, he turns around and tries playfully to catch it behind his back. That doesn’t work even though I have seen him execute that maneuver before. HORN.
11 on 11’s in the Red Zone (Goal line drills). Peyton throws 3 straight incompletions before hitting Ronnie Hillman with a low fireball for a Touchdown. On the next play, it looks like a run all the way, but Manning checks out of that and moves back into the Shotgun. He hits Andre Caldwell with another low heater for a score. Wes Welker gets open in the End Zone for another 6 points and then it’s time for the “2’s.”
Brock Osweiler throws a fade intended for Andre Caldwell in the End Zone, but Offensive Pass Interference is called by the referee even though the Cornerback never turned to find the ball. Brock’s next attempt is picked off by Danny Trevathan. Osweiler manages to find Gerell Robinson for a Touchdown and then Dysert comes in and hits Jake O’Connell for two back to back scores. HORN.
Special Teams Field Goal Unit drills. Matt Prater boots six or seven Attempts and they throw in 3 or 4 Fake plays in. On the first, Britton Colquitt completes a pass to Zane Beadles over Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. I see Chris Kuper riding a stationary bike between the two fields. The second fake attempt is caught by Virgil Green and the third is a near Interception that is dropped by David Bruton. HORN.
Situational drill time. The Line of Scrimmage is the far 40 yard line. The score is tied with 59 seconds left and no Timeouts. The goal is to get into Field Goal position and get the kick off. Manning’s first attempt goes incomplete for Wes Welker, but the two hook up on the next one, good for 15 yards. Then Peyton connects with Julius Thomas downfield. The Field Goal unit runs out and the 33 yard attempt is good. The second unit isn’t as successful in their endeavor. Osweiler throws three successive incompletes, one to Tavarres King and two to Bubba Caldwell.
Another Goal Line drill begins with Peyton Manning scrambling to his right. It ends with Chris Harris Intercepting it. Ronnie Hillman carries the ball in from the 5 yard line and Manning hits Virgil Green for another score. HORN.
The second unit got the most work today in preparation for Saturday’s game against the Seahawks. There hasn’t really been any surprises this week, other than C. J. Anderson getting more reps. Part of that is due to the injuries to Jeremiah Johnson and Knowshon Moreno sitting out today, but he does deserve an extended look with a step up in competition. We will see how he does this week. Until then…
– Kaptain Kirk