The team was back on the field at Dove Valley for the first time since an afternoon practice on Sunday.
Here are some quick hits from the approximately two-hour session.
ROLL CALL: Ryan Harris was at practice this morning after leaving yesterday’s morning session at INVESCO Field at Mile High early.
Brandon Stokley, Brandon Marshall, Brian Dawkins, Champ Bailey, LaMont Jordan and Wesley Woodyard did not participate.
POSITIONING: With the depth chart released yesterday, most of the first-unit spots remained the same. However, with first-teamers Bailey, Dawkins and Stokley not practicing, a few more players got a chance to enter the rotation.
In Dawkins’ safety position, David Bruton continued to get reps, but Darcel McBath rotated in as well. At Bailey’s cornerback spot, Jack Williams and Alphonso Smith rotated duties. In Stokley’s place at receiver, a multitude of players stepped in, including Brandon Lloyd, Nate Swift, Matthew Willis and C.J. Jones.
DRILLS: Daniel Graham continued to impress in one-on-one drills involving linebackers and tight ends. With Head Coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Brian Xanders watching, Graham didn’t let anyone past him, drawing praise from tight ends coach Clancy Barone.
In the same drill and a few linebacker drills afterwards, Tim Crowder continued to get past his blockers, much to the delight of linebackers coach Don Martindale.
In another drill, three offensive linemen worked against a nose tackle and two linebackers. For example, Fields, D.J. Williams and Andra Davis lined up opposite Casey Wiegmann, Chris Kuper and Ben Hamilton. The purpose of the drill was to have the nose tackle take up two blockers so the linebackers were freed up to find the ball-carrier and make the tackle.
Smith, Kenny McKinley and Knowshon Moreno handled the kickoff return duties during practice.
PLAYMAKERS: Two players shined on coverage during kickoff return drills. First, Joshua Bell burst past his blockers for the wrap-up on Smith during the kickoff. A few plays later, Bruton showed his knack for making plays on special teams by sprinting past his blockers for the stop. “Way to get there!” coaching assistant Keith Burns shouted.
Andra Davis flashed some end-to-end speed on one play during practice. Tony Scheffler caught a quick pass out of the backfield and began sprinting to turn the corner. Davis, however, sprinted with him straight to the sideline and forced the play out of bounds.
Kyle Orton completed virtually every short pass during an 11-on-11 drill, then went long on a pass to Eddie Royal that was just out of the receiver’s reach. The two connected again a little later in practice when Royal leaped up to grab a pass in traffic.
Later in the session, the team worked on quick screen passes — a few times to Correll Buckhlater and a bubble screens to Royal. On one attempt, Royal caught the pass, followed his blockers and sprinted upfield toward the end zone. Meanwhile, Josh Barrett sprinted right alongside his fellow second-year player, catching him near the sideline even after the play was over. The effort on both ends earned pats on the helmets from teammates.
Mario Haggan, a first-unit outside linebacker after the release of yesterday’s depth chart, showed why coaches might have been impressed with him so far this offseason. He streaked into the backfield on a running play, wrapping up Peyton Hillis and causing a fumble that drew cheers from his defensive brethren.
McKinley soared up and over Rashod Moulton to grab a pass that looked like it might be over his head. But the 6-foot rookie reached up and hauled it in.
QUICK HITS: Three rookies sported some interesting hairstyles this morning, most likely styled by their veteran teammates. Tom Brandstater had hair on the sides and back of his head, but a nice bald circle was shaved on top. Blake Schlueter’s head featured some randomly placed bald spots — an apparent case of clippers gone wild. Britton Colquitt’s hairdo remained a bit of a mystery throughout practice, as he wore his helmet throughout the entire session, even on the sideline watching drills. For a brief moment, Lonie Paxton took off the rookie’s helmet and rubbed his head, but the helmet went back on immediately. He later showed his hairstyle after practice however, which you’ll be able to see in a Broncos TV piece a little later today.
A few players donned red “penny” jerseys to represent players from the team’s upcoming opponent. Jerseys such as No. 52 — Patrick Willis — No. 21 — Frank Gore — and No. 85 — Vernon Davis — popped up on the scout team.
Rulon Davis’ helmet came flying off as he ran through a drill and attacked a tackling dummy.
DAILY JUKEBOX: It’s becoming apparent that Smith is a big fan of The Gap Band. After dancing to “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” earlier in training camp, he broke out some moves for today’s Gap Band selection, “Outstanding.”
Here are the rest of the selections from today’s playlist:
T.I. (feat. Usher) – “My Life, Your Entertainment”
Elvis Presley – “Jailhouse Rock”
Chuck Berry – “Johnny B. Goode”
Young Jeezy – “Bottom of the Map” (This choice brought shouts of approval from the defense, and some dancing from Reid, Andra Davis and Ayers)
“Um, I’ve looked better.”
-Britton Colquitt, on seeing his new haircut in the mirror.
The team will be back on the field this evening at 5:30 p.m. MDT.
More pictures from practice below.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com
Tags: Training Camp