It’s less than 24 hours until the Broncos host the Cowboys for a couple days of joint practices, and the team held a two hour practice without pads Tuesday morning, the last day for fans to watch training camp.
As has often been the case, things got started with a laugh as D.J. Williams called up coach and former Bronco Keith Burns to lead the team’s breakdown.
ATTENDANCE REPORT: Hamza Abdullah, Boss and Champ Bailey, Louis Green, Peyton Hillis, Tom Nalen, Erik Pears and Ryan Torain were all listed on the out of pads list with their various injuries. Hillis did participate in practice, however. Champ, Green, Nalen and Pears all watched from the sidelines. Boss remained inside rehabbing his sprained ankle.
- Chad Mustard has been moved from the Physically Unable to Perform list to the active roster.
- New cornerback Wale Dada participated in practice after the team waived Lamont Reid. The previous blog entry gives a little more information on the newest member of the Broncos.
POSTURING FOR POSITION: Eddie Royal continues to work with the starting unit opposite Brandon Marshall after Head Coach Mike Shanahan announced last week that the rookie would start at Houston.
- Nate Jackson also worked with the starters for much of practice, sometimes stacked with Daniel Graham and sometimes in the slot. He did not get all the reps however, as both Brett Pierce and Tony Scheffler also rotated into the starting lineup.
- With Hillis getting into some of the action at fullback, Michael Pittman took some reps at running back, sometimes rotating in with the rest of the starters.
- Niko Koutouvides worked with the starters at middle linebacker while Jamie Winborn was in with both Bailey and Green out.
FOCAL POINTS: Practice began with each position group breaking up for their individual drills. They followed that up by running the starting defense against a scout offense and vice versa. They squeezed in a short bit of punt coverage, and then the offense and defense came back together for 11-on-11 drills for the second half of practice.
TAKE AWAYS: With the team not wearing pads, they did not run practice at full speed. The big plays normally present during morning practices were few and far between.
- Mustard garnered most of the attention this morning, considering he saw his most significant action in training camp today. He caught several passes during 11-on-11, drawing shouts from his fellow tight ends as well as the rest of the team. “I see you 85!” they yelled.
- Brandon Marshall, sporting a big grin, participated in the punt coverage segment of practice. It was more him joking around and coaches keeping him active than a serious special teams endeavor.
- Jay Cutler threaded the needle on several pass plays down the middle, including one bullet to Clifford Russell and another to Darrell Jackson. Both receivers caught the ball more with their chests than their hands, making a loud thump. Had they been in pads, it would have just been another pass play. Without pads, those fastballs to the chest could not have felt very good.
- The top two plays came on defense against Darrell Hackney. On one deep out route, Hackney tried to loft the ball up and over some defenders to his receiver. He underestimated the leaping ability of Marlon McCree, however, as he jumped up and snagged the ball, taking it the other way. A few plays later, Hackney attempted a short crossing route, but Nate Webster jumped in front of the receiver and took it for what would have been a pick-six.
QUOTABLE: “Every team I play, I don’t look at the horse or star on their helmet. We all have jobs to do.” — Ebenezer Ekuban, on if practicing and playing against the Cowboys means more than if they were any other team.
– Adam Zinser, DenverBroncos.com
Tags: Adam Zinser, Boss Bailey, Brandon Marshall, Chad Mustard, Champ Bailey, Daniel Graham, Darrell Jackson, Dewayne Robertson, Eddie Royal, Hamza Abdullah, Louis Green, Michael Pittman, Montrae Holland, Nate Jackson, Nate Webster, Niko Koutouvides, Peyton Hillis, Ryan Torain, Tony Scheffler, Training Camp, Wale Dada