The hot, sunny weather was back in full force as the Broncos hit the training field today after rain and clouds brought some much needed relief from the heat during practice yesterday.
Some players were hoping that the clouds, and the cooler temperatures they brought, stuck around for today, including the offensive linemen. As five linemen came out of the locker room squinting, one of them said to center Jeff Byers, “What the heck, Byers, I thought you promised it was going to be cloudy.”
To which Byers responded matter-of-factly, “No, I said there were clouds on the horizon.” It was good to see the heat didn’t take away the players’ sense of humor.
Linebacker D.J. Williams, running back LenDale White, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, cornerback Brandon Bing and defensive linemen Mitch Unrein and Louis Leonard all sat out practice.
Running back Mario Fannin got carted off the field during 9-on-7s with a knee sprain, and offensive tackle Eric Olsen suffered a hyper-extended elbow, but continued practicing.
There were a number of one-handed catches that it almost deserves its own subhead. Lloyd started it off while running a fade route to the back corner of the end zone. The pass from quarterback Kyle Orton was coming over his opposite shoulder so he twisted his body, jumped and snagged the ball with his right hand as if there was Super Glue on his gloves. He never brought the other hand over to help. Lloyd made several other impressive catches, albeit with two hands, during individual drills. Tight end Dante Rosario continued the one-handed trend during the first team portion. He caught a 20-yard pass from quarterback Tim Tebow that he tipped in the air before bringing it down.
During the first play of individual drills, Orton threw a 50-yard bomb to receiver Eddie Royal, much to the crowd’s enjoyment. Royal showed his excitement by laying up the ball through the goalposts.
Cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson continued his camp of picks, intercepting a Tebow pass he tipped to himself during one-on-one drills.
During 9-on-7s, defensive tackle Ty Warren made a big stop at the line, as defensive end Robert Ayers along with linebacker Wesley Woodyard ran onto the field hollering and dumped water on Warren’s head to celebrate.
Also during 9-on-7s, defensive tackle Ryan McBean stuffed running back Mario Fannin at the line of scrimmage, after which Fannin was taken off on a cart. As a result, tensions were high and the next play the defensive line made another stop and some pushing and shoving ensued before things calmed down.
Running back Jeremiah Johnson turned in a couple of good reps back-to-back during 9-on-7s. The first one he found a hole and Running Backs Coach Eric Studesville shouted, “Way to go Jeremiah!” and the offensive line gave each other high fives. On his next rep, Johnson found another hole to close the session and Studesville gave him props again.
Linebacker Von Miller blew by rookie right tackle Orlando Franklin with a quick first step during one of the first plays of the team scrimmage to get in the backfield and help defensive end Elvis Dumervil record a virtual sack, but Franklin held him in check him on the next rep.
Safety Darcel McBath gave receiver Jamel Hamler a wake-up call with a huge hit right as he jumped to catch a ball during the team scrimmage.
Tebow had a swing pass to Moreno during the red zone scrimmage, where the running back turned the corner and leapt into the end zone.
The defense returned to a drill it did a few days ago, but with a new twist. Like last time, the five players started facing a coach at midfield, and when the whistle blew, they sprinted to the sideline he pointed to. But instead of four balls lying on the sideline, there were three, so two men were left without a ball and had to do extra up-downs.
The defensive backs again worked on playing aggressive. They did a 1-on-2 drill where two defensive backs had to hold up and strip the ball carrier.
Kickers Steven Hauschka and Matt Prater split kickoff duties during a kickoff drill.
Long snapper Lonie Paxton spent the first five minutes of practice animatedly talking with a referee and Head Coach John Fox, going over new rule changes.
Orton talked with Brandon Lloyd on the side several times during one-on-ones.
Tebow ran a few goal-line plays during the drills and the team scrimmage that incorporated his trademark jump pass. One notable pass was to newly acquired receiver David Anderson, who went up and got the high ball.
Speaking of Anderson, he was a popular target throughout the day, catching multiple passes on short routes.
Receivers Matt Willis and Britt Davis got some first team reps. Willis had two touchdowns during the red zone scrimmage, one each from Orton and Brady Quinn.
Miller spent a drill with the defensive line as they went through their sets.
Tight end Daniel Fells started at the position during team drills. Julius Thomas swapped in with him.
Safety Brian Dawkins gave rookie safety Rahim Moore a fist pound before they got into position during the first 7-on-7 drill.
Safety Nick Polk showed awareness and talent as he dove and caught a pass that ricocheted back into play off the uprights. The ball was dead as soon as it hit the goal posts, but it was a cool play.
Tebow threw with Demaryius Thomas during special teams drills at the end of practice.
Quinn connected with Julius Thomas for a 60-yard catch-and-run touchdown on one of the last plays of practice in which Thomas reached back for the catch and sprinted past two safeties.
“Not Afraid” by Eminem
“Oops Upside Your Head” by The Gap Band
“Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)” by Jay-Z
These are the songs the team listened to during stretching period. Players submit song requests and three got played.
“You Give Love a Bad Name” started playing for just a few seconds before stretch period ended and the players returned to drills sans music.
The team heads to INVESCO Field at Mile High for a free practice open to the public tomorrow from 2:05-4:05 P.M.
Check below for more photos of today’s action.
Tags: Training Camp