Despite the oppressive heat, the Broncos jogged out to the practice field at Dove Valley in a festive mood for their only practice of the day.
Marcus Thomas crooned along when Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” blasted out of the speakers before the session, and Ryan Harris played catch with a group of 70 soldiers from Fort Carson who attended practice in their uniforms.
“I think it’s just an incredible sacrifice they make for our country, so I just wanted to play some catch with them. Let them know that we knew they were here, we appreciate what they do,” Harris said. “It’s cool for us because it puts the drudgery of camp in perspective for us. It’s really nice to have them here.”
Champ Bailey and Daniel Graham were two of the veterans sitting out the session, but Eric Decker and Jarvis Moss returned to practice. Both players fully participated in position and team drills and sprung up quickly whenever they were taken to the ground. Moss sported white cast on his left arm.
The offense has had its fair share of success during the two-minute drill, but Wednesday, the defense took control.
The first-team offense started in a situation from its own 20-yard line down 24-21 with 1:45 left on the clock. On first down, Jarvis Moss sacked Orton as he rolled out to pass, setting the tone for the rest of the drill. Lance Ball couldn’t make a short catch over the middle on second down, and the offense could convert long passes on third or fourth down.
The second-team offense had the opportunity to start under the same conditions against the second-team defense.
The drive started with promise when Quinn launched a 20-yard pass to a leaping Nathan Overbay in the middle of the field, but came to an abrupt end on the second play. Tony Carter deflected a deep Quinn pass right into the hands of Kyle McCarthy for the pick.
CATCHES FOR A CAUSE
Head Coach Josh McDaniels designated one offensive player and one defensive player to try and successfully field a punt a piece with a significant prize on the line.
If Russ Hochstein and Justin Bannan both caught the punts, they’d give their teams a night without curfew to spend with their families. Each man came through and made the catch, earning a raucous celebration from their teammates.
Bannan celebrated by taking the ball and rolling it down one arm, over his chest, and off the other arm before punting it high in the air.
“Shows you how much time I have on my hands – I can do all that stuff with a football,” Bannan said. ““I went back to my high school days as a tight end. I can catch a little bit.”
ONE DAY LEFT
Tomorrow is your last chance to come to Dove Valley and watch the Broncos practice for free. The final practice of training camp will start at 8:45 and run for about two hours.
Below are photos from today’s practice.
-Gabe Hiatt, DenverBroncos.com