If ever a picture accurately encapsulated its subject, I think the above image of special-teams coordinator Scott O’Brien is it.
He spent the hour-long afternoon session exhorting, teaching, chiding and — most notably — participating with his players as they drilled specific kickoff situations such as squibs, pooches and on-side kickoffs. His hands-on coaching reached a new peak when he started diving around the grass at midfield, showing his players how to properly retrieve on-side kickoffs — whether they were on the receiving or kicking teams.
At one particular instance, O’Brien excoriated running back Andre Hall, who failed to cleanly field a pooched kickoff that took its time before coming down at around the 15-yard line. “That’s why you can never be a punt returner, Andre!” O’Brien yelled.
Mistakes like that can happen; after all, no one is perfect. Assignments and tackles will sometimes be missed. Loose, bouncing footballs will occasionally go unfielded. But what is inexcusable is a lack of effort — which is why the Broncos opened the special-teams session by gathering in a huddle, putting their hands together and collectively yelling, “One, two, three — hard work!”
And the key to working hard is simple — just follow O’Brien’s lead.
A few more images from the special-teams session:
That’s it for today. I’ve got content for the first two editions of Broncos Gameday to write — the two cover stories for the preseason editions of our game program. So, hopefully if you come down to the stadium for the Browns and Cardinals games, you’ll buy a copy. Shameless plug, I know, but what better souvenir of a night at the stadium can you have than a game program?
This concludes the sales-pitch portion of my blog. With the next entry Wednesday morning, we return to your regularly scheduled programming. Until then, vaya con Dios.