After a warm afternoon, dark clouds and a cool stiff breeze welcomed the players for the afternoon session. And while the weather may have thrown the guys for a loop, it was noting like the surprise the rookies had coming after stretch.
ROLL CALL: Brandon Stokley, Daniel Graham and Correll Buckhalter returned to practice this afternoon after sitting out the AM session. Those not on the field this evening included Brandon Marshall, Brian Dawkins, Nic Clemons, Ryan Torain and Rulon Davis.
POSITIONING: The team went through some extensive 11-on-11 work including time in the red zone, from the 30-yard line going to the opposite end zone and a spirited goal line session.
DRILLS: As the players wrapped up their stretching period, Head Coach Josh McDaniels called the team over to the south end of the field. There, the turf crew had been watering a grassy patch, making it a swampy mess. He asked the rookies to form a line and one-by-one, each rookie had to run and jump in the homemade Slip ‘n Slide to recover a fumble.
If going through the muck wasn’t enough, Lonie Paxton was standing off to the side with a hose, dousing the players as they slid across the mud. Buckets of water were also passed around by veterans who took turns adding to the dampness. The once-white pants they were wearing quickly became a dirty brown.
But it wasn’t just the players who had to go after the ball, offensive assistant Ben McDaniels and defensive assistant Jay Rodgers also took their turns.
“That was definitely an eye opener,” Tom Brandstater said of seeing the coaches take part in the drill. “I wasn’t expecting that. I turn around and see Coach flying through the air. We had two young coaches doing that and it was cool to see them doing the same thing with us. It’s Ben’s first year at this level, too, so it was good to see him do that.”
PLAYMAKERS: The hit of the day belongs to Kenny Peterson. During an 11-on-11 drill, Peterson jumped the gap and met Buckhalter flush, drawing praise from teammates and coaches alike.
QUICK HITS: As mentioned above, the goal line drill was the most spirited session of the practice with the offense scoring four times and the defense stopping them four times. As the horn blew to end the drill, both sides of the ball begged and pleaded to break the tie, but they will have to wait another day.
DAILY JUKEBOX: It was a flashback to the late 70s and early 80s for the afternoon practice.
QUOTABLE: “Lonie (Paxton) told me — I guess he said in pregame when we were punting a little bit. He was like, ‘You ever recover a fumble?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Alright, you’ll get to today.”
Britton Colquitt, on when he knew about the Slip ‘n Slide drill
More pictures are below. The team has moved tomorrow morning’s practice to 11:15 a.m. MDT. Also, don’t forget about tomorrow evening’s open practice at INVESCO Field at Mile High. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. MDT with practice starting around 6. The practice is free and open to the public. Click here for more on tomorrow night.
-Kyle Sonneman, DenverBroncos.com