Same spot, different day at Dove Valley this morning. I suspect the weather will be a tad warmer, so I inch closer to the tree I’ve been sitting under for the last 3 practices. In case you haven’t heard it already and are keeping score at home, new Free Agent Center Ryan Lilja will be wearing #57 and Cornerback Nigel Malone has been given Mario Fannin’s #42. Tavarres King and Ross Rasner continue their trend as the first players out on the field. The players are in Shells and Shorts for this practice, a respite before tomorrow’s Summer Scrimmage at the stadium. HORN.
Special Teams kicks off practice. Literally. The kick coverage unit is drilling on “closing in on the return man from 10 yards out.” 5 minutes later, this turns into Kickoff drills and the first 10 yards of coverage and transitioning into coverage lane responsibilities. This includes Onside Kick responsibilities and then Free Kick after a Safety is also covered in today’s early Special Teams reps. HORN.
The ball is placed at the 25 and the Offense is moving towards midfield. 11 on 11’s at walkthrough speed. I see Jacob Tamme is still out and hear Derek Wolfe isn’t practicing. Jeremiah Johnson and Sylvester Williams have returned, but throughout practice I don’t pay attention to see if Sly is doing drills or not.
The Offense is using their uptempo pace and moving down the field. Montee Ball carries for 6 yards and then Peyton Manning hits Demaryius Thomas. Kevin Vickerson is getting good pressure. After a completion to Wes Welker, Julius Thomas makes a nice grab over Rahim Moore. The “2’s” step up and C.J. Anderson runs for 2 yards. Brock hits Andre Caldwell twice and on the next snap he rolls to the right to extend the play but ends up throwing the ball away. C.J. Anderson carries for 5 yards and then Osweiler connects with Gerell Robinson. HORN.
Time for everyone to stretch along with the team. I send a few pictures out to the Twitterverse showing Ryan Lilja and Jeremiah Johnson. HORN.
Individual position drills commence with the Wide Receivers during quick step ladder drills in front of my vantage point. The Quarterbacks do their footwork and dropbacks as the Running Backs are having passes thrown to them. Across at the other field, I can see (and hear) the Linebackers hitting the sled and the Defensive Backs do a backpedal transition drill. 10 minutes later, the QB’s, RB’s and receivers gather at the 5 yard line for Goal Line Fade passes. I can hear the Offensive Linemen behind the VIP tent hitting the sleds with a noticeable clang that echoes throughout the complex. The passing drill moves out to the 20 yard line and resumes for another 7-8 minutes. HORN.
To my right, the Wide Receiver/Cornerback one-on-one drills begin from the 10 yard line, with Zac Dysert and Ryan Katz during the throwing. To my left, 7 on 9’s start up, with Peyton and Osweiler driving the bus. Ronnie Hillman gets three reps, gaining 5, 1 and 3 yards respectively. Montee Ball gets 2 yards behind Jacob Hester’s lead block and then runs for 3 yards from a single-back set. The second unit rotates in with Ryan Lilja in at Center. Knowshon Moreno runs for 2 yards and then 4 yards. Montee Ball gains 3 yards behind Hester. The “3’s” go to work as Jeremiah Johnson gains 4 yards followed by a 6 yard carry. Lance Ball gets 2 yards behind Jacob Hester and another 2 yards behind C.J. Anderson’s lead block. C.J gains 5 yards and 3 yards on consecutive carries. Jeremiah Johnson is stuffed on the last play of the segment. HORN.
11 on 11’s and Peyton Manning’s first pass is batted up by Tony Carter and Intercepted by Danny Trevathan, who ends up being Face Masked by Chris Clark and starting another bout of fisticuffs at the sideline. I’m sure the fans down there had an eyeful. When they continue, Manning hits Wes Welker for a Touchdown. Manning throws a Fade to the left intended for Eric Decker, but it goes long. They do it again with the same result. Montee Ball gets nothing through the middle and then Lerentee McCray leaps high and bats down Peyton’s pass attempt at the Line of Scrimmage. The second team is up and Shaun Phillips is there for the Sack. Brock runs down to the End Zone anyway. Terrance Knighton is there for the Sack on the next play. The “3’s” get their shot. On the first snap, Zac Dysert runs to the left on a stretch run, but the Running Back went to the right. Someone went the wrong way and I never end up finding out who. Dysert’s next pass goes through Trindon Holliday’s hands and hits Quentin Carter in the hands. The ball falls to the ground. A Fade pass for Kemonte’ Bateman is incomplete. HORN.
After a squirt of water the Special Teams Kickoff coverage begins again for about 10 minutes until the next HORN.
Red Zone 11 on 11’s from the 15 yard line begin with Manning throwing behind Joel Dreessen, who can’t quite reach over the Safety in coverage. Peyton’s next pass is intended for Eric Decker, but falls incomplete. A Fade to Julius Thomas is good for a Touchdown is followed by the same play to the opposite side for Demaryius Thomas, who also scores.
Osweiler leads the second unit on to the field and hits Bubba Caldwell for 8 yards. After a five yard penalty due to a False Start is walked off, Brock fires a quick pass to Virgil Green for a Touchdown followed by a scoring toss to Caldwell. on the next snap, Osweiler rolls right and then grounds the ball to the left in disgust. Zac Dysert handsoff to Jeremiah Johnson who gains a couple of yards. Zac passes for Virgil Green, but the ball is tipped and goes incomplete. The next pass is meant for Quincy McDuffie, but is thrown into the crowd. They move the drill down to the Goal Line (3 yard line) and Dysert’s pass is batted away by Sealver Siliga. HORN.
More 11 on 11’s continue as Peyton hits Ronnie Hillman despite pressure from Robert Ayers. After a completion to Demaryius Thomas, Chris Harris breaks up a pass intended for Wes Welker. Ronnie Hillman takes an Inside handoff for at least 20 yards. However, he doesn’t get past the Safety, who has assistance from the sideline. Duke Ihenacho breaks up a pass intended for Demaryius Thomas and then Wes Welker makes a catch that goes nowhere, as Chris Harris makes the stop. Shaun Phillips is there for the Sack on Osweiler and then Brock completes a pass to Jeremiah Johnson. Johnson runs for 5 yards on the next play. Terrance Knighton and Shaun Phillips force Osweiler to ground the ball. Jeremiah Johnson runs for 1 yard and Lamaar Thomas makes a nice catch from the tall Quarterback. HORN.
Special Teams go at it once more with the Kickoff Unit running against the “Red Hats.” The only highlight from this segment was a Trindon Holliday showing the fans that he still has the jets and a second gear. The crowd showed their appreciation with applause. HORN.
The ball is spotted at the 20 yard line with the Offense moving towards midfield. Manning throws a swing pass to Jacob Hester, hits Montee Ball on a wheel route and then Wes Welker at the sideline. After a second completion to Welker, it’s time for the “2’s.”
Osweiler drops back and Terrance Knighton and Danny Trevathan are there for the imaginary Sack. Brock passes for Gerell Robinson near the sideline and Omar Bolden knocks it out of the receiver’s hands at the last second. Osweiler tries Robinson again to the other side with success despite good coverage by Mario Butler. As the third unit enters for their reps, Danny Trevathan is walking back with Ronnie Hillman and the two are jawing at each other for about 15 yards. Finally, Trevathan gives Hillman a playful push like he got the best of the Running Back.
Dysert starts off with a swing pass to C.J. Anderson and then hits Quincy McDuffie, who holds on at the sideline after a big collision with Mario Butler. Zac’s next attempt is for Gerell Robinson, but Nigel Malone breaks up the play. One last pass for Jake O’Connell is broken up by Steven Johnson and the double HORN blows 30 minutes early. The team got their work in, so the coaches decide to shorten practice.
The Defensive Line is signing today and I pickup Terrance Knighton and John Youboty. I linger around to see if I can get a Manning autograph, but it wasn’t meant to be. But when I get to my car, I find that someone has made of with one if the signed hats. Pretty pathetic when an alleged Bronco fan is reduced to acting like a Raider fan.
– Kaptain Kirk