The second day of practice for the Pro Bowl started out with the NFC squad taking the field. And I thought the AFC practices were loose…
The NFC’s 11-on-11 session eventually turned into which quarterback could heave the ball the farthest, and which receiver could beat his man quickly enough to catch it. At one point, Atlanta’s Roddy White streaked past Philadelphia’s Asante Samuel, and the cornerback exclaimed, “I’ve got jet lag! I just got off the plane yesterday!” The last play of the drill brought an all-out blitz from the defense toward a laughing Aaron Rodgers, who quickly tossed the ball to a receiver.
Shortly after the NFC players left the field, the buses filled with AFC Pro Bowlers pulled up to St. Thomas Aquinas High School, and one of the first players off the bus was Brandon Marshall. If it seemed like he was ready to get practice started, it showed, as he caught passes left and right, including one over New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who placed second in AP Defensive Player of the Year voting. Granted, nothing is full speed in the practice sessions, but the catch still brought cheers of “Marshall! Marshall!” from autograph seekers just outside the gate surrounding the field.
After yesterday’s practice ran approximately 90 minutes, Thursday’s session was far shorter. In fact, throughout the day, Ray Lewis kept shouting “This is it!” to signify the final drill — he jumped the gun a few times, but it was a relatively short session.
Just like earlier in the day when the NFC took the field, there was plenty of laughing throughout the AFC session. Brian Dawkins explained what the week of practice is all about, with a hint of his gameday intensity that will surely show up come Sunday.
“It’s just a chance to come out and mingle with some of the best at what we do for a living and have a good time, but at the same time we realize that when Sunday comes around, we want to be on top,” he said.
A few hours after practice ended, the team announced that Don Martindale has been promoted to defensive coordinator after serving as linebackers coach for the 2009 season. We will bring you player reaction following tomorrow’s session. For now, here are some pictures from Thursday’s practice.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com
To see Broncos TV’s report from today’s practice, click here.
For more photos of Thursday’s action, check out the gallery.