Cold and Rainy Minicamp
June 12th, 2010 - 11:44am by Eric Detweiler
The calendar may say June 12, but the weather outside at Dove Valley had many thinking it was still early March. Rain, cold temperatures, dark skies and the occassional rumble of thunder marked the middle day of a mandatory three-day minicamp at Dove Valley.
As the practice opened in a steady rain, members of the equipment staff tried to keep the footballs dry by stuffing them inside their jackets. During the opening defensive drill stations, one of the exercises tested the players’ mettle in the messy conditions by forcing them to grab the slippery ball out of the air as if it was tipped or scoop fumbles off the slick grass.
Despite less than ideal conditions, the team still got in a full workout.
4th AND GOAL
After a spirited red zone 7-on-7 drill, McDaniels decided to stoke the competitive fire between his units a bit more by declaring they would run the next few plays as 4th-and-goal scenarios from the five-yard line. The ensuing plays proved some of the most intense and loud plays of the day.
On the first play, Kyle Orton hit Demaryius Thomas for a quick score on a slant pattern. Head Coach Josh McDaniels celebrated the play, much to defensive coordinator Don Martindale’s chagrin.
On the second play, Andre’ Goodman broke up an Orton pass for Kenny McKinley.
Then, Brady Quinn took his turn, hitting Jabar Gaffney for a touchdown in the back of the end zone after buying some time in the pocket.
After a defensive timeout, Tim Tebow zipped a pass to Matthew Willis in traffic for a score. The rookie punctuated the throw with a fist-pump, but Martindale wasn’t as enthused. “Oh, we sacked him six times on that one, but ok, touchdown,” Martindale said, earning a playful shove from Willis.
The defense got the last laugh in the drill when Orton couldn’t hook up with Gaffney in the back of the end zone on the drill’s final play.
On Brady Quinn’s first snap of 7-on-7 drills, he pump faked and showed off his arm strength with a bomb toward Willis. However, Alphonso Smith recovered in time to knock the ball out of the second-year receiver’s grasp more than 40 yards down field.
Knowshon Moreno continues to impress with his work in the receiving game during 7-on-7 drills. He’s also having fun with his success by orchestrating some of the biggest celebrations. He punctuated one long catch by high-stepping toward McDaniels, who was standing behind the play, for a big high-five. After a touchdown catch during red zone drills, the second-year running back purposefully stalked through the back of the end zone and handed the ball to a reporter.
Thomas continues to be a favorite target of the quarterbacks. He nearly came up with several highlight-reel grabs in traffic, but on one play that got the offense excited, the Georgia Tech-product snuck behind the defense and Orton found him wide open down the sideline. Lineman Seth Olsen, standing behind the play with the extra offensive players, signaled it a touchdown.
The play of the day came during the closing two-minute drill. After McDaniels set the scenario as 2nd-and-10 from the 15-yard line with 26 seconds to go, Orton lofted a pass for Willis in the back of the end zone. Willis leaped and grabbed the pass between two defenders for the score before being mobbed by a pack of offensive players.
During 7-on-7 drills, Tebow tried to hook up with fellow first-rounder Thomas down the left sideline but Thomas got tangled with Goodman for an apparent defensive pass interference. The offense pleaded for a call. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale made light of the play, coyly saying, “We’ll decline it.”
After some recent success, the defense failed to come up with any interceptions during any offense-defense drills. The closest was when Orton tossed a pass into the flat during 7-on-7 drills that hit off Jarvis Moss’ hands. Moss popped up and spiked the ball in frustration, while his defensive teammates razzed him. On the dreary day, Moss decided not to wear the darkened face shield he normally sports. After that play, Bruton pointed that out, saying, “He doesn’t have his visor on. He should’ve seen that [pass].”
At the beginning of practice, Matt Prater worked on onside kicks under the watchful eye of special teams coordinator Mike Priefer. Later during kick coverage drills, he tried out a few more onside kicks.
The first team kickoff coverage unit consisted of Nate Jones, David Bruton, Wesley Woodyard, Spencer Larsen, Alphonso Smith, Willis, Josh Barrett, Kevin Alexander, Nick Greisen and Darcel McBath.
For the second consecutive day, Moss, Kevin Alexander and Perrish Cox saw extensive action with the first-team defense. During several first-team plays during 11-on-11 drills, Cox stood behind the action with secondary coach Ed Donatell to get a different angle of the play before substituting in.
After practice ended, several young players stuck around for an extra round of 7-on-7 drills with Tebow under center. Kyle McCarthy came up with an interception on a tipped ball deep down field.
At the end of practice, the kicking unit went through a series of fake field goals to prepare the kick block unit for a variety of trick plays.
Below are some photos of this morning’s practice.
- Eric Detweiler, DenverBroncos.com
Tags: Andre' Goodman, Don "Wink" Martindale, Head Coach Josh McDaniels, Justin Bannan, Korey Bosworth, Kyle McCarthy, Lonie Paxton