This was the Broncos’ shortest training camp. It saw two afternoon practices canceled entirely. But if camp went so fast, then why am I so tired?
The answer? Because training camp means turning one’s entire focus to what transpires on the field and inside the headquarters building. In by 8 a.m. for an 8:30 practice, out somewhere between 10:30 p.m. and midnight. Training camp requires a total commitment from everyone in the building, from the head coach to the youngest ballboy.
And even though few training camps ever last longer than two weeks, the players were generally glad it was over after Saturday morning’s well-attended practice.
“This is about the drag of football,” tight end Daniel Graham said. “It’s about the drudge, you know you have to get through it, but we made it through and we’re looking forward to this first game.”
So now, the crowds that descended upon practices — a Dove Valley-record 33,071, for an average of 1,438 persession — are gone for another year. The trees and knolls bracketing the west practice field now belong to the rabbits, hawks and raccoons once again. As I type, I can see sprinklers soaking the west practice field where nearly all of the camp action took place. I keep hearing the words “last day” in my head, as though I’m in Logan’s Run, and not at Dove Valley.
With such a musty cinematic reference, I’m instantly reminded of how it seems like some aspects of popular culture have long since passed me by. Music, for instance. I had never before heard of the music for which D.J. Williams signaled this morning at the start of camp. Nor do I know what is being referenced when Nick Ferguson and Dre’ Bly get the fans to sing (or sing themselves), “Hey (insert name here), I’d like to get to know you, oooooh…” Ferguson did that again today, and I have to be honest, I have no clue what the song is, who sings it, et. al. So Nick, Foxie — somebody — if you’re reading this, help me out. Popular music left me behind somewhere in the era of grunge and I need to catch up. My girlfriend’s been trying and now she pretty much throws her arms up and leaves me in my ’70s/’80s/early ’90s happy place. Fellow web maven Kyle Sonneman had to tell me who The Fray was. This is my public cry for help.
Anyhow, enough meanderings.
Now, the scene shifts … first to San Francisco, then to Dallas. The next week will be draining, too … but for different reasons entirely — two games, six practice sessions and a pair of road trips within a 120-minute span. Before then, though, let’s take a look back at the final training-camp day:
ATTENDANCE REPORT: Missing practice were running back Andre Hall (right hamstring), guard Ben Hamilton (concussion), offensive tackle Ryan Harris (back), offensive tackle Matt Lepsis (groin), wide receivers Glenn Martinez (right thigh), Marquay McDaniel (left hamstring), Rod Smith (left hip) and Brandon Stokley (left thigh), and offensive tackle Jacob Rogers (right knee) … Warrick Holdman will miss at least the next three months … David Kircus was in uniform but did not take part in team work … Safety Hamza Abdullah was back in uniform … Detroit Pistons standout Chauncey Billups visited.
WHO’S WHERE: The first-team offensive line consisted of left tackle Erik Pears, left guard Chris Myers, center Tom Nalen, right guard Montrae Holland and right tackle Adam Meadows.
POINTS OF EMPHASIS: Red-zone, goal-line offense and defense and field-goal drills (with Brandon Pace handling the kicking chores).
STANDOUT PLAYS: Sometimes it’s nice to see the old standbys work … such as a goal-line toss to Kyle Johnson or the playaction bootleg for a downfield toss, as seen when Patrick Ramsey found Brian Clark … Jarvis Moss batted down a pass from Darrell Hackney. Sure, you might say, ‘Oh, Moss is 6-foot-6 and Hackney is 5-foot-11,’ but Hackney has encountered no issues with passes getting knocked down at the line of scrimmage throughout camp, in spite of a defensive emphasis on getting hands up … Brandon Marshall had some nice catches but will not play Monday night … Stephen Alexander split the secondary and linebackers, getting past D.D. Lewis for a long touchdown reception in seven-on-seven work.
That’s it. Time to do all the things that have been delayed by training camp’s schedule … haircut, laundry, bank, new external hard drive. Vaya con Dios for now, and I’ll check in Sunday from San Francisco.
Tags: Training Camp