Training camp continues on day five at Dove Valley, and on the verge of a record-setting heat wave, the offense got back into gear Tuesday. It seemed as if the defense had the offense all dialed in yesterday, but today the men in blue redeemed themselves and appeared to be firing on all cylinders.
ATTENDANCE REPORT: Montrae Holland worked out on a side field with Strength and Conditioning Coach Rich Tuten for the morning session…Peyton Hillis watched from the sidelines for a second day with a left hamstring injury, but he was a practice-time decision, signaling he could return soon…Chad Mustard remains sidelined with his right hamstring injury…Tom Nalen sat out the morning session in an effort to give his surgically repaired knee some rest.
POSTURING FOR POSITION: With Nalen out, Casey Wiegmann worked at center with the first team.
At defensive end, Tim Crowder rotated in with the ones. Alvin McKinley also saw action on the interior of the line with the first unit.
Nate Jackson had a strong showing at tight end, working with the first unit opposite Tony Scheffler.
Michael Pittman worked almost exclusively at fullback.
FOCAL POINTS: After a standout performance by the defense yesterday, the offense rebounded with a focus on 11-on-11s, 7-on-7s and the normal position drills. The team brought out the clock for the first time in training camp to work on the four-minute offense. On three different series, the offense drove down the field, working against the defense and the clock, and got into the endzone.
TAKE AWAYS: Practice began with a laugh as D.J. Williams dismissed Brett Kern for his poor leadership of team stretching. Williams brought up P.J. Alexander to finish the job.
- Jackson made the most of his time working with the ones at tight end. Cutler looked his way on several plays, including two in a row, both of which Jackson turned into big gains. He also impressed coaches, teammates and fans with an impressive contested grab in traffic from Patrick Ramsey.
- About half-way through practice, the team worked on punt formations and returns. Eddie Royal, Glenn Martinez and Marquay McDaniel took turns fielding the punts, with Royal getting the first crack at them. Coaches praised him for his work, particularly when he adjusted well and cleanly fielded a short, wobbly punt. Both Sam Paulescu and Kern kicked, and both booted them well as they compete for a roster spot.
- Rookie Jack Williams got into the rotation with the second unit, working opposite Domonique Foxworth. On back-to-back plays, Williams sniffed out the play and took out Selvin Young and Cecil Sapp, drawing shouts of “Way to go Jack” from his teammates. On one play, Williams blanketed Brandon Marshall as he ran a deep route down the sideline. The 5-foot-9 Williams leaped and broke up the pass intended for the 6-foot-4 Marshall.
- In the ongoing battle at middle linebacker, Niko Koutouvides worked with the first team defense this morning after Nate Webster had done so for the past few days.
- Rookie Josh Barrett got cheers from his teammates and fans when he burst through the line on a blitz and took down Anthony Alridge in the backfield.
- Competition at running back continued to heat up, with Ryan Torain and Andre Hall both taking a lot of snaps behind Selvin Young. All three of them, along with Alridge, broke plays for big gains at various points in 11-on-11 drills.
- Pittman worked well at the fullback position this morning and did a combination of blocking, rushing and catching. He often would run a pattern into the flats where both Cutler and Ramsey connected with him several times.
- The offense won the day, and with the exception of a few fumbles and dropped balls, the only miscue appeared to be when an errant Ramsey throw landed in Marlon McCree’s waiting arms.
- Brandon Marshall continued to have a solid camp, with Cutler looking his way on the first pass of almost every drill. He made several difficult grabs in traffic, evading would-be tacklers.
“Fullback, I am fine with it. If coach asks me to do it, I’ll do it and do the best I can.”
Michael Pittman, on his work at the fullback position.
– Adam Zinser, DenverBroncos.com