After last night’s physical practice at INVESCO Field at Mile High, the team’s workload was a little lighter Friday afternoon. The players wore shorts — though some wore sweat pants — and most didn’t have pads on.
Here are some quick hits from the session, which lasted a little longer than two hours.
ROLL CALL: Nic Clemons was no longer wearing an orange jersey, back to his normal blue defensive jersey.
Rulon Davis, Brian Dawkins, Vernon Fox, Brandon Marshall and J’Vonne Parker did not participate in the session.
Wesley Woodyard walked off the practice field after a set of drills and did not return.
POSITIONING: The first offensive unit consisted of Brandon Stokley, Eddie Royal and Jabar Gaffney at receiver, Daniel Graham at tight end, Kyle Orton at quarterback, LaMont Jordan at running back, and the same five starters on the offensive line — Ryan Clady, Ben Hamilton, Casey Wiegmann, Chris Kuper and Ryan Harris.
The first defensive unit saw Ryan McBean, Ronald Fields and Kenny Peterson on the line, Darrell Reid, D.J. Williams, Andra Davis and Elvis Dumervil at linebacker, Champ Bailey and Andre’ Goodman at cornerback and David Bruton and Renaldo Hill at safety.Several other players cracked that lineup depending on the formation, including Robert Ayers, Josh Barrett, Jack Williams and Alphonso Smith.
Joshua Bell looked to be lined up at safety during a couple plays in one package, but also stepped up to play cornerback when an extra receiver came into the game.
DRILLS: Brett Kern worked one-on-one with special teams coordinator Mike Priefer on what looked like footwork and drops before punts. Priefer threw him the ball under-handed like a snap, and Kern caught it, took a few steps and dropped it as if he were punting.
Almost every day, linebackers coach Don Martindale and assistant linebackers coach Roman Phifer have run their unit through a drill that has them run side to side before the coaches throw them the ball to practice catching interceptions. During the drill today, Woodyard sprinted left, then right, then straight back, catching a pass over his shoulder left with one hand.
When the team worked on kickoff returns, the usual names came up — Royal, Smith and Kenny McKinley. But another player fielded a kick today who fans might not expect — Spencer Larsen. No, the inside linebacker/fullback isn’t making a run at the returner gig, he just practiced fielding kicks because he’s the “up” man, and short kicks might fall into his arms.
PLAYMAKERS: The slow tempo of practice meant there weren’t too many spectacular plays, but a few names stuck out.
Jordan broke up a potential interception by Hill early in what seemed to be an 11-on-11 walkthrough session, getting his hand on the ball in Hill’s arms to make sure the pass fell incomplete.
Nate Swift caught a long pass from Orton down the sideline, drawing some cheers from the crowd.
It was just walkthrough speed, so no plays were called dead, but on one play, Jarvis Moss broke through the offensive line to get to Simms. Instead of going for the hypothetical sack, he let the play continue, simply standing in front of him, jumping and waiving his arms.QUICK HITS: Orton spent a lot of time under center this afternoon. Chris Simms and Tom Brandstater still got some snaps, but it seemed like today Orton got even more reps than usual, often staying at quarterback no matter who else was in on offense or defense.
The team seemed to be using the scoreboard placed on the side of the building at Dove Valley to help set up different situational plays. It displayed time left in the game and the score.
The players got to have a little fun at the end of practice. Harkening back to the first days of minicamps, two defensive linemen dropped back to field punts to earn a privilege for the team. This time it wasn’t to get out of meetings, however — it was the right to have no curfew tonight, the day before the team gets a day off from practice — a “mental health day,” as McDaniels put it. Peterson stepped back first, and as teammates reminded him to take the wind into account, tossing grass into the air and watching the wind take it, the veteran lineman calmly hauled in the punt before being mobbed by his teammates.
But the fun wasn’t quite over, as Chris Baker stepped back to field a punt to earn the same privilege for the rookies. The first punt sailed over his head and he tried to run back and catch it over his shoulder, but it fell to the ground as he and his teammates laughed. McDaniels gave him another chance, however, and this time he called for a fair catch, stepped forward and let the ball fly over his head into the end zone, earning more laughs and high fives. On the third attempt, he found the ball in the air, backed up and fielded it perfectly in the end zone before throwing his arms in the air as his fellow rookies congratulated him.
DAILY JUKEBOX: Just a few tunes today, but they were some goodies.
Practice opened up with a little Michael Jackson – “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”
Stone Temple Pilots – “Plush”
Arrested Development – “Tennessee”
Metallica – “Enter Sandman”
During the last song, Ayers threw down some serious air guitar skills as the team finished up stretching, and Woodyard did a little head-banging as he started to run through linebacker drills.
“I don’t have to see these guys. I can actually lay in my own bed and watch my own TV and cook my own food. Well, I won’t really be cooking. Eat my own food.”
-Kenny Peterson, joking on why tomorrow’s day off will be nice
The team has a day off from practice tomorrow, and will be back on the field at 2:30 p.m. MDT on Sunday, Aug. 9.
Below are the pictures from the morning session.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com
Tags: Training Camp