It’s a warm but breezy day at Dove Valley this morning. I’m riding with a pair of lovely ladies today, so it’s automatically going to be a pleasant experience. The fact that they are knowledgeable Bronco fans is even better. We find a spot in the shade at the 45 yard line and ease in for the long haul. 10 minutes before the scheduled 10:25 am start time, Tavarres King appears out of the locker room as usual and begins to warm up. Before long, the rest of the team emerges and when they are assembled, the HORN signals the start of practice.
Special Teams Punt protection drills against the Red Hats, while Trindon Holliday, Quincy McDuffie and Mike Adams are shagging punts. I notice the rookies have shaved their heads, clearing their Hazing haircuts. HORN.
11 on 11’s Offense on Offense with the defenders wearing pullover jersey’s that designate the Safeties and Linebackers. They drill for about 10 minutes and then the Defense joins the Offense and walkthroughs continue. HORN.
The Stretch session begins and the crowd joins in. Duke Ihenacho gets the fans going with some catcalls. HORN.
Individual position drills start with the Wide Receivers hitting a bag and then move to the ladder drill. The Running Backs slalom through their low hurdles that resemble parking curbs at the Mall. The Quarterbacks work on dropbacks and footwork until the Running Backs join them for handoff drills. Meanwhile the Defense does their work over on the other field. HORN.
Pass blocking drills commence with the linebackers facing off with the Running Backs. Eric Studesville is giving technique instruction and this time, the Defense doesn’t dominate the session like the other day. At the other end of the field, the Wide Receivers and Cornerbacks battle one-on-one. HORN.
The ball is placed at the 25 yard line for the Offense to move towards midfield. Ronnie Hillman gets the first two reps for 5 and 4 yards. Then it’s time for the second unit as Montee Ball carries for 4 yards. Knowshon Moreno gains five yards and three yards respectively. Lance Ball gets a couple yards and then Brock Osweiler hits Julius Thomas. C.J. Anderson breaks off a 7 yard run and Jacob Hester gets 4 yards before the HORN.
The Offensive Linemen work against their counterparts on the other side of the ball over to my left and 7 on 7’s begin a little to my right. Peyton Manning hits Demaryius Thoma and then Julius Thomas on consecutive plays. About this time, Orlando Franklin goes down. He ends up going to the locker room under his own power and not returning to practice. Manny Ramirez moves from Center to Right Tackle and Ryan Lilja comes in at Center. Eric Decker makes a catch before Manning goes back to Demaryius once more. On the next snap, Peyton connects with Bubba Caldwell down the seam for a Touchdown with Omar Bolden defending. Julius Thomas has another reception and then the “2’s” are up. Osweiler completes a pass to Jacob Hester and then Montee Ball on a swing pass. Broc’s next pass is an attribute to his progress as he threads the needle through tight double coverage to complete a pass to Bubbs Caldwell on a slant. Nicely done. After hitting Lamaar Thomas, the third string gets some work in. Zac Dysert’s first pass drops incomplete and then he hits Gerell Robinson on back to back plays. HORN.
11 on 11’s begin with a 4 yard carry by Ronnie Hillman ends with a Horse Collar take down by Duke Ihenacho. The two exchange pleasantries before returning to the Huddle. Manning hits Decker and Demaryius before yielding the field for the second unit. Montee Ball gets stuffed on the first play and Julius Thomas gets another reception from Osweiler. Then Brock is flushed from the pocket and runs down the middle of the field for about 15 yards. Dysert leads the three’s out and handsoff to Lance Ball for 2 yards. Zac’s next pass is tipped high in the air by Lerentee McCray and drops harmlessly to the ground. HORN.
After the players take a short water break, the Special Teams lead off the next segment. Britton Colquitt and the Punting Unit take a few reps from the End Zone. Then the ball is spotted at the 30 yard line and they continue, with Ryan Doerr trading off with Colquitt. Trindon Holliday, Tony Carter and Eric Decker are fielding the Punts. Trindon Holliday muffs his first punt in a week and must take another rep. I can really tell a difference between the punters. Colquitt has nothing to fear from the rookie. You can tell the difference by the sound of the ball coming off their foot. Ryan Doerr’s punts have a dull thud, while Britton’s sounds like he is hitting the sweet spot each time. HORN.
11 on 11’s at the 25 yard line begin with Ronnie Hillman gaining 2 yards. Knowshon Moreno loses a yard on the next play. After a high snap by Ryan Lilja, Peyton overthrows the End Zone. The ball is spotted at the 3 yard line and Manning’s first attempt for Eric Decker is broken up by Rahim Moore. Osweiler comes in and hits Lamaar Thomas from the 25.
From the 8, Montee Ball carries the ball down to the 1 yard line before being forced out of bounds. Brock’s next pass is intended for Tavarres King but it’s broken up by Aaron Hester. The next pass is a fade that goes long and out of bounds. The ball is re-spotted at the 20 yard line for the 3rd unit. Zac Dysert hits Trindon Holliday, who gets not only stopped at the 1 yard line, but picked up by a picked up by a pair of defenders who look like they are about to fight over a wishbone, but they decide not to break our Return man and set him back on the ground. Dysert’s next attempt is thrown out of the End Zone. HORN.
The Offense and Defense switch sides and the ball is placed at the 35 yard line. Von Miller is there for the Sack on Peyton, but he throws complete to Julius Thomas. Kevin Vickerson gets up limping and walks gingerly to the sideline but stays on the field. Von gets pressure again and Derek Wolfe is there to Sack Manning. Peyton completes a pass to Eric Decker anyway and then Tony Carter is down for a minute and then heads for the sideline. I learn later as he signs a hat for me, that his Quadricep tightened up. Peyton hits Bubba Caldwell twice in a row and then Eric Decker makes a shoestring catch on a crossing route.
The “2’s” step up as Brock Osweiler hits Julius Thomas. After throwing the next one incomplete, Brock connects with Gerell Robinson and Virgil Green on consecutive plays before throwing behind Knowshon Moreno on a wheel route. Dysert enters and passes complete to Trindon Holliday. After a Pass Interference on Nigel Malone,I see Damien Holmes and Jake O’Connell mix it up for a second. After a completion to Gerell Robinson, Zac throws incomplete. HORN.
After a squirt of water, the Matt Prater, Britton Colquitt and Aaron Brewer come out for some Field Goal reps. By this time there is a 20 mile per hour wind that can’t make up it’s mind which direction it wants to blow. Not that it matters, Colquitt is spotting the kick at the far 38 yard line and Matt Prater’s attempts are going on course, but falling in the middle of the End Zone. No sense wasting the Kicker’s leg in Camp. Behind this pair are the Punt Return unit taking reps on their getting off the line of Scrimmage and turning to pick up and block their man. This goes on for 10 minutes before the HORN.
Situation 11 on 11 drills begin with the ball on the farther 35 yard line. There is 1:20 on the clock in the 4th Quarter and the team is down by 1 point with 1 Timeout. The Goal is to get into Field Goal range and kick a 3-pointer before time runs out.
Peyton’s first pass is dropped by Knowshon Moreno and the next one is too low for Eric Decker to haul in. The third attempt, also for Decker, is too short. After the Defense is Offsides and the ball moves up 5 yards, I see Tony Carter limping again. Demaryius Thomas drops the next pass and it’s Osweiler’s turn. Brock hits Gerell Robinson for 20 yards and then Montee Ball runs for 5 yards. The Field Goal attempt from 45 yards is good.
Zac Dysert hits Gerell Robinson, who gets out of bounds to stop the clock.After dumping the ball off to C.J. Anderson, Dysert spikes the ball with 32.4 seconds remaining and the ball at the 41 yard line. An attempt for Gerell Robinson is jarred loose by Quinton Carter. Another pass goes complete down the middle to Robinson and the Field Goal Unit tries the Chinese Fire Drill with the clock ticking. Britton Colquitt does what Dysert should have and spikes the ball with time left. The Field Goal Attempt is good. HORN.
New situation. The Hail Mary with 4 seconds left, down by 5. Manning’s attempt for Demaryius Thomas should have been Intercepted by Tony Carter. Brock Osweiler’s try is short, with Quanterus Smith in for the Sack and Zac Dysert’s pass is batted down in the End Zone. HORN.
Last thoughts on today’s practice. The Pass protection pretty much stunk all day and Peyton Manning can’t be satisfied by the passing game because he looked disgusted at times. The day off didn’t do any favors for the team, in my opinion. Tomorrow is a new day however and the chance to get better awaits.
– Kaptain Kirk