This morning the team got a little break only having to wear shells and shorts for practice. But this afternoon, full pads were back on – but only for a portion.
After one 11-on-11 period and a live goal line period, McDaniels told his players to take off their shoulder pads. About an hour into the practice, players took several minutes slipping into shells for the remainder of the workout.
Brian Dawkins returned for the session after missing the morning workout, while several veterans, including Daniel Graham, Champ Bailey, D.J. Williams and Renaldo Hill, got the afternoon off.
A crowd of 953 watched a practice that included several big plays on both sides of the ball and a lot of pre-practice dancing during stretching.
HURRY UP OFFENSE
The practice’s final drive found Orton faced with driving 65 yards for a winning touchdown with 1:30 on the clock and no timeouts. The scoreboard said that a field goal would send the game into overtime, but Orton made sure to get the winning score. He accomplished that with a drive that included a 13-yard pass to Lance Ball and a 22-yard reception by Brandon Lloyd.
Orton and the offense thought they had won the drive when Lloyd hauled in a 25-yard pass in the back of the end zone over Alphonso Smith. Lloyd ran over to the other field, dropped to his knees and threw his hands skyward to celebrate. After a few seconds, Head Coach Josh McDaniels ruled him out of bounds, and the drive continued.
Two plays later, the offense got the last laugh as Orton found Eddie Royal for a 15-yard touchdown with 14.6 seconds to spare.
Robert Ayers made the play of the day when he picked off an Orton screen pass and returned it for a touchdown. That drew a good ovation, which only increased when Ayers celebrated with a reverse dunk of the football over the goal post.
Justin Fargas provided the highlight of the goal line drill when he pushed through Smith at the line to score from two yards out, drawing yells from his offensive teammates.
The secondary showed explosive playmaking ability, even without its top corner, Bailey. During 7-on-7 drills, Andre’ Goodman and Kyle McCarthy came up with interceptions. During 11-on-11 drills, David Bruton and Cassius Vaughn pulled in picks.
Orton has showed good rapport with Lloyd during training camp, and the quarterback demonstrated it again early in 11-on-11 drills when he squeezed a deep ball to Lloyd over Perrish Cox. Lloyd drew applause as he tapped his feet along the sideline, and most importantly, avoided the crowd while heading out of bounds with the catch.
Talk about finishing a play strong. At one point, Royal hauled in a pass in stride and jetted toward the end zone some 50-yards away at full speed chased by Goodman. Goodman never caught Royal, but the receiver didn’t pull away either. After crossing the goal line, Royal stopped to high-five the veteran cornerback for an admirable effort.
The defensive backs might have looked a little silly playing with multi-colored Nerf footballs, but the drill clearly had a purpose. The players practiced rushing from the outside and had to reach up and try to bat down coaching assistant Jay Rodgers’ Nerf passes. However, they were not supposed to jump after the passes, in case the quarterback merely pumped and scrambled away. On the last rep of the drill, Rodgers tried that one on Brian Dawkins, but the veteran wasn’t fooled. He stayed on his feet to chase down the quarterback and soon launched into a quick sack celebration.
The linebackers did a drill where they had real footballs thrown at them as they moved toward the passer. The coaches drilled the passes at the players, providing a good test of their hands. Some passes needed a few bobbles before becoming interceptions, but the linebackers generally held their own. However, after one drop, Akin Ayodele sentenced himself to push-ups anyway.
Early in position drills, tight ends coach Bob Ligashesky had to get a little creative when his position group consisted of only rookies Nathan Overbay and Riar Geer. Soon, Marquez Branson showed up to give him a trio. Graham and Richard Quinn sat out the workout.
Late in the workout, the Broncos held an extra special teams period. First, players worked on a drill designed to test corralling return men. Then, they went through punt return with Royal and Cox taking turns back deep.
Brandon Stokley left the practice early after pulling up lame on the last rep of a non-contact position drill. Stokley limped to the sideline where he went to the ground to be examined by trainers. After a few minutes, he walked inside under his own power and did not return.
Smith split time with Cox as the first-team kick-off returner during the session. On defense, the second-year cornerback took some extra time standing behind the play with secondary coach Ed Donatell during several periods.
TRAINING CAMP JUKEBOX
The song “Apache” by the Sugar Hill Gang, more popularly known as “Jump On It,” provided the practice’s musical highlights. As soon as it came on while the players headed to their warm-up run lines, Robert Ayers, Mario Haggan, Wesley Woodyard and Brian Dawkins stopped in their tracks and started showing off some dance moves. As the warm-up runs began, Woodyard tried unsuccessfully to be Tim Tebow’s dance instructor and Chris Baker was able to incorporate some slick moves into several of his runs.
The last three selections didn’t inspire nearly as much passion. The song list closed with Bob Marley’s “Tomorrow People,” James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and Kanye West’s “Power.”
- Eric Detweiler, DenverBroncos.com
Below are some more photos from the workout:
Tags: 2010 Training Camp, Andre' Goodman, Brandon Lloyd, Denver Broncos