Clear skies returned to Dove Valley during Wednesday morning’s practice session. Approaching 72 hours until Saturday’s kickoff at Seattle, the Broncos introduced a new scout team, opened up their playbook, and kept the speakers going with plenty of music.
Here are some quick hits from the two-hour session:
ROLL CALL: On defense, Champ Bailey, Brian Dawkins and Jack Williams missed the morning session. Not practicing on offense were running backs Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter, wide receivers Brandon Stokley and Brandon Lloyd, and guard/center Ben Hamilton.
POSITIONING: With Bailey and Dawkins sitting out practice, Alphonso Smith and Darcel McBath saw most of the reps with the first team defense. Kenny Peterson, Ronald Fields and Ryan McBean manned the line, while Mario Haggan, Andra Davis, D.J. Williams and Elvis Dumervil were at linebacker.
With Stokley and Lloyd out, the offense sported plenty of two-tight end sets. Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler shifted along the line, while Chad Jackson, Jabar Gaffney, and Eddie Royal were the primary wide receivers. Brandon Marshall saw time with both the second team and the scout team.
With Hamilton missing the session, rookie Seth Olsen squeezed into the first team line at left guard. Olsen has also seen action at that spot next to Hamilton, when Casey Wiegmann sat out a few sessions at center over the course of camp.
In his second day of practice with the team, Le Kevin Smith demonstrated the versatility Head Coach Josh McDaniels spoke of on Monday. He lined up at right end alongside Nic Clemons and Chris Baker with the second-team defense. In nickel packages, he worked the interior in four-lineman fronts, next to either Baker or Fields.
The No. 1 kickoff return team this morning consisted of Haggan, McBath, Peterson, Josh Barrett, David Bruton, Richard Quinn, Darrell Reid, Kory Lichtensteiger, Peyton Hillis and Spencer Larsen. Rotating on returns were Eddie Royal, Kenny McKinley and Smith on one series, with Matthew Willis and Nate Swift rotating on the other set.
DRILLS: With Buckhalter and Moreno not practicing, LaMont Jordan and Darius Walker got extra reps, working with the quarterbacks on inside handoffs, draw plays and screen passes.
The tight ends and outside linebackers went full speed in 1-on-1 blocking drills. Quinn drew praise from Head Coach Josh McDaniels for sticking Robert Ayers on his rush. Dumervil got a pat on the back from linebackers coach Don Martindale for his play against Tony Scheffler. “There you go, E! There you go. Way to get him up on his kickstand.”
Defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely worked with his unit on protecting their legs. Each defensive lineman went up against a teammate posing as an offensive lineman. While battling for position, a third teammate rolled a medicine ball at their feet. Once they saw it, they poked that ball away to prevent their legs from being taken out.
PLAYMAKERS: Lee Robinson made his presence felt both in the backfield and on pass coverage. In one set of 11-on-11s, he blitzed from his inside linebacker spot, driving Marcus Thomas to the ground. Two plays later, Robinson was defending Marshall, and stepped in to pick off the Tom Brandstater pass for a touchdown. Marshall did everything he could to jar the ball loose, but Robinson was still able to march into the end zone
Joshua Bell was also active on the second-team unit, tipping a pass to Vernon Fox for an interception. Bell was close to having a pick of his own, but dropped the easy offering. He kept his spirits up, and dropped to do 10 push ups – following the lead of Dawkins who set that rule by example early on in training camp.
Kyle Orton and the rest of the offense used the final period of 11-on-11s to open up the playbook. Orton executed a flea flicker with Jordan, finding a crossing Chad Jackson for a 15-yard gain. Two plays later, Orton handed off to Jabar Gaffney, who threw back across the field to Orton. Toeing the original line of scrimmage, Orton hit a streaking Jordan for a 15-yard gain along the left sideline.
QUICK HITS: McDaniels didn’t hesitate to instill some discipline in his defense. After having to blow the whistle on two plays for poor lineup at the line of scrimmage, McDaniels made all 32 members of his defense run a lap around the practice field.
The scout team jerseys were back out at practice on Wednesday. Several Broncos posed as Seahawks, including Lofa Tatupu and Brandon Mebane on defense, and Nate Burleson and Deion Branch on offense. The Julius Jones jersey was used in both offense and kickoff return situations.
After practice, Royal was working on one-handed catches, alternating between his left and his right depending on where the ball was headed.
DAILY JUKEBOX: There was plenty of music during Wednesday morning’s session, from stretches through the final set of 11-on-11 drills. Here’s this morning’s playlist:
Nelly – “Air Force Ones”
Green Day – “Holiday”
Jay Z & Linkin Park – “Numb/Encore”
KC & The Sunshine Band – “Get Down Tonight”
Nelly – “Hot in Herre”
Das Efx – “They Want Efx”
Damian Marley – “Welcome to Jamrock”
Survivor – “Eye of the Tiger”
Ozzy Osbourne – “Crazy Train”
Metallica – “Enter Sandman”
Here are some more shots from the morning session.
-Chris Gentilviso, DenverBroncos.com
Tags: Training Camp