The team returned to the practice field on Sunday for the first time since Friday’s 17-16 loss in San Francisco. Players sported shells but no pads and the practice was more of a walkthrough, although several drills were done at full speed.
ROLL CALL: Sunday also marked the return of Brian Dawkins and Brandon Marshall. Dawkins returned to the field wearing an orange jersey and a wrap on his right hand.
“I’m used to it,” the safety said of the wrap. “I’ve done it before in my career. I’ve had to play with it for a wrist way back in the day. So I’m pretty used to it.”
Marshall saw extensive action at wide receiver, making several catches that fans have become accustomed to seeing.
The only players not practicing today were running backs Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno along with Pat Murray.
POSITIONING: The team started the day by working on red-zone nickel defense. The unit consisted of Robert Ayers, Champ Bailey, Darrell Reid, Dawkins, Renaldo Hill, Andre’ Goodman, Elvis Dumervil, Wesley Woodyard, D.J. Williams, Kenny Peterson and Jack Williams.
The team worked through an extensive kickoff and kickoff return session. The first unit on the kickoff team consisted of Woodyard, Alphonso Smith, Vernon Fox, David Bruton, Mario Haggan, Kenny McKinley, Josh Barrett, Spencer Larsen, Darrell Reid, Jack Williams and Matt Prater kicking. The return team included Barrett, Haggan, Bruton, Woodyard, Reid, Larsen, Darcel McBath, Kory Lichtensteiger, Kenny Peterson, Peyton Hillis and Smith as the returner.
DRILLS: Head Coach Josh McDaniels spent some time working with the wide receivers on short routes and setting up their blockers. Immediately after that drill, the receivers ran the routes they had worked on with McDaniels against the defense.
The team worked extensively in red zone offense and defense. During one session, McDaniels had the defense re-do a play four times to ensure the coverage was where it was supposed to be.
The team also worked through some situational drills, including 3rd-and-more-than-10 as well as 2nd-and-long for both the offense and defense.
The final drill consisted of a goal post being wheeled out on the field. Instead of the normal 18-foot-6-inch width, this post is quite a bit narrower, forcing Prater to be extremely accurate with his attempts.
PLAYMAKERS: Smith continues to be around the ball. During an 11-on-11 drill, McBath tipped a pass that then ricocheted off Richard Quinn that Smith was able to catch on his knees.
Marshall made several one-handed catches in traffic, including one where he stuck his arm up to stop the ball before corralling it.
QUICK HITS: On Marshall’s first play of 7-on-7s he lined up across from Champ Bailey. The two exchanged high-fives before the play.
With Buckhalter and Moreno out, recently signed running back Marcus Thomas saw extensive action, as did Hillis, which meant Larsen jumped back and forth from defense to offense.
Before an 11-on-11 session, Royal had the equipment staff make a quick repair to his cleats about 20 yards from the action. The team waited until he was finished, but Royal urged the team to go on, saying to the defense, “You just have to stop them before they get to me.”
Dawkins was unable to bring in an interception, which drew some comments from his teammates including a, “Come on, Clubber!” in reference to his wrapped right hand. But despite the wrap, Dawkins did break up several passes with his left hand.
The safety later talked about the dropped pick, jokingly blaming it on the wrap. “Oh, absolutely — it was all the cast,” he laughed. “That’ll be something I get used to doing, and I’ll come up with those interceptions when the time comes.”
After spending a few days with his rookie haircut, Tom Brandstater hit the field this afternoon with a clean shaved head rather than the bald on top look he sported last week and during the 49ers game.
DAILY JUKEBOX: Quite a bit of music played during today’s practice both during warmups and during 11-on-11 sessions. Here is a sampling of today’s songs to add to your Broncos mixtape:
Young Jeezy – “Put On”
Van Halen – “Standing on Top of the World”
A Tribe Called Quest – “Scenario”
The Sugarhill Gang – “Rapper’s Delight”
Fabolous – “My Time”
The Outfield – “Your Love”
Outkast – “Hey Ya!”
Beastie Boys – “So What’cha Want”
Blur – “Song 2″
Gorillaz – “Feel Good Inc.”
Journey – “Don’t Stop Believing”
The team will be back on the field at 8:45 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. MDT tomorrow, with both sessions open to the public.
More pictures from practice below.
-Kyle Sonneman, DenverBroncos.com
Tags: Training Camp