With injury matters covered in the last two blog entries, let’s get right to the notes:
DEFINING QUOTE: “Hit the guy! That’s why you’ve got pads on.” — Head Coach Mike Shanahan, to his players early in practice
ATTENDANCE REPORT: Marcus Thomas missed practice for the second time in the last three days with a right calf injury … Tight ends Teyo Johnson and Chad Mustard again missed practice with calf and hamstring injuries, respectively … Among the wide receivers, Marquay McDaniel (left hamstring) was out for a fourth consecutive day, Glenn Martinez (right thigh) missed a third straight day and Brandon Stokley (left thigh) sat out for a second practice in succession … A groin injury shelved fullback Paul Smith for a second consecutive day … Guard Ben Hamilton was not in uniform while recovering from a concussion … Linebacker Warrick Holdman was on the field, but not in uniform, two days after suffering a spinal-cord concussion … NFL Europa allocations Doug Nienhuis and Lamont Reid continued to be absent, along with Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler and Rod Smith, all of whom are on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Head Coach Mike Shanahan could not put an exact timetable on Marshall’s return.
POINTS OF EMPHASIS: Goal line, goal line, goal line. The first Saturday in August has historically seen the Broncos wear full pads and work heavily on goal-to-go situations, and this year was no different. The Broncos worked on short yardage both in team and seven-on-seven segments.
With Travis Henry sidelined because of a hip pointer, Mike Bell, Cecil Sapp, Andre Hall and Selvin Young received the carries. Bell and Hall looked particularly strong in short-yardage and red-zone work; Hall scored twice — once from outside of 10 yards when he made a spin move to elude Dre’ Bly and another time when he leapt over a morass of players. Bell had one touchdown where he ran through a hit and found the end zone, with the crowd cheering loudly in response … The wide receivers and cornerbacks also worked on red-zone and goal-line one-on-one moves; they faced off, but no quarterback was throwing the ball, allowing them to concentrate on moves coming off the line of scrimmage.
WHO’S WHERE? Jimmy Kennedy spelled Sam Adams for a few plays in the base defense … Chris Myers continued filling in for Ben Hamilton as first-team left guard … D.D. Lewis handled first-team strongside linebacking work … The first-team defense in the goal-line package included tackles Kennedy, Adams and Gerard Warren, ends John Engelberger and Ebenezer Ekuban, linebackers D.D. Lewis, D.J. Williams and Ian Gold and defensive backs Nick Ferguson, John Lynch and Curome Cox.
STANDOUT PLAYS: The hustle play of the day belonged to Steve Cargile, who kept pursuing Mike Bell upfield after a good run and stripped the football loose. Bell had slowed down noticeably, allowing Cargile to make the play … After dropping a pair of potential interceptions on Friday, Jeff Shoate snared a Jay Cutler pass to the left side … Patrick Ramsey turned fourth-and-goal for the second-team offense into a touchdown when he playfaked and found Troy Fleming just inside the goal line near the right sideline for a score. When the first-team offense took the field, it only took until second-and-goal for a score against the No. 2 goal-line defense, as Jay Cutler located Stephen Alexander in the back of the end zone for six … And a shout-out to the fans, who came out in droves. The attendance of 3,089 was the largest for a practice since the Broncos moved training camp to Dove Valley in 2003.
A photographic glimpse at the day:
Off to see The Simpsons Movie. Training camp has kept me from seeing the film version of my favorite all-time television show, but no longer. Review to follow later tonight, along with responses to comments around the posts; I have been caught up with editing and writing for the next issue of Broncos Magazine and have enjoyed no spare time to get into the discussion in recent days.
Until next time, vaya con Dios.
Tags: Training Camp