The Broncos couldn’t have asked for better conditions for their final training camp practice. The morning session took place under slightly overcast skies with a cool breeze — a stark contrast from yesterday’s oppressively hot afternoon practice. A slight rainbow even marked the sky as players walked onto the practice field.
A crowd of 923 gathered to watch the final workout of the team’s 2010 training camp — putting the final Dove Valley attendance at 22,553. Two days before the preseason home opener against Detroit, the workout ended without post-practice running, providing an even happier ending to training camp 19 days after it officially kicked off.
From a personnel standpoint, defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith returned to the practice field after a few days off, while veterans Champ Bailey, Daniel Graham, Brandon Stokley and rookie Tim Tebow sat out the workout.
After the defense won yesterday’s two-minute drill, the team lined up with exactly the same stakes on the final drive this morning. With 1:45 on the clock and one time out, the Kyle Orton-led offense took over at its own 20-yard line, down by three. The result was the same. Orton missed Bruce Hall on first down before hitting him for a 7-yard gain on second down. On the next play, Perrish Cox darted in at the last moment to knock a pass away from Jabar Gaffney. On fourth down, Orton missed Gaffney on a short pass, ending the drive without a first down as Mario Haggan triumphantly pointed the other way.
After a few more situational plays, punts and field goal attempts, practice ended for most of the veterans. The second-team offense and defense stayed out for a little longer to run their own two-minute drill.
The linebackers went through a position drill where they engaged a blocker holding a pad and reached up to swat down passes. Not wanting to risk an unnecessary injury, the coaching staff devised the drill to be done using Nerf footballs, instead of the real thing.
Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale personally tossed short passes to the defensive backs, who worked on securing interceptions near the sideline while staying bounds.
During position drills, Matthew Willis, Alphonso Smith, Perrish Cox and Cassius Vaughn went through several special teams tackling drills with special teams coordinator Mike Priefer. One drill had the players working on staying low and launching themselves into a tackling dummy to simulate hitting a punt returner as he starts his return.
Britton Colquitt spent time during a 7-on-7 period angling punts toward the sideline on the other field.
For the second straight day, most of the full-team drills involved one side in red jerseys to simulate the Lions. During a defensive period, Ryan McBean stripped Lance Ball and recovered the fumble.
During an offensive 7-on-7 period, Matthew Willis made a nice adjustment on a jump ball from Brady Quinn to pull down a catch around Smith.
During a special teams period focused on punt coverage, Colquitt started by hitting punts from his own end zone and slowly worked up field. On one of the last reps, Colquitt’s strike bounced high inside the 5-yard line and Nate Jones saved the ball to Willis to pin the opposition deep in their own territory.
On the last play of a red zone 11-on-11 drill, Brandon Lloyd made a nifty catch in traffic from Orton and punctuated it with a reverse dunk of the football through the goal posts.
During special teams walkthrough at the beginning of practice, Marcus Thomas and Ronald Fields had some fun with the arm pads often used to help the receivers simulate getting off the line of scrimmage against press coverage. The defensive lineman conducted a brief fencing battle.
Between reps during an individual pass rushing drill, linebackers Jarvis Moss and Jammie Kirlew spent time working on using their hands at the point of attack, taking turns slapping away each others hands off their pads.
TRAINING CAMP JUKEBOX
The final day of training camp featured a diverse playlist that kicked off with “The High Road” by Broken Bells. Lil’ Wayne’s “We be Steady Mobbin’,” Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” and The Black Keys’ “Everlasting Light” finished the warm-up tunes.
- Eric Detweiler, DenverBroncos.com
Below are some pictures from the session:
Tags: 2010, Britton Colquitt, Denver Broncos, Kyle Orton, Le Kevin Smith, Training Camp