The last time Carlton Powell suited up for the Broncos, the defense turned in the type of performance it had been craving all preseason.
The Broncos shut out the Cardinals in the exhibition finale, 19-0, at INVESCO Field at Mile High. Seven games later, Denver is 6-1 and its defense leads the NFL in yards allowed per game (266.7).
Back in orange and blue after being signed to the practice squad on Tuesday, those totals were no shock to Powell.
“I’m not surprised at all, from the work ethic everybody had put in during training camp and the type of scheme that we’re running now,” he said. “I kind of expected this and I’m definitely glad to be back and be a part of it.”
While Powell had grown accustomed to working with teammates and coaches over the course of training camp, Lance Ball’s transition has been more of a whirlwind.
After three weeks on Tennessee’s practice squad, Ball was also signed Denver’s practice squad on Tuesday. He spent his rookie season with Darrell Reid as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, and was also friends with Eddie Royal prior to the move.
Having those familiar faces helped smooth the transition into Wednesday’s practice session.
“Guys have been totally welcoming, from the first time I stepped off the plane,” Ball said. “I know a couple of guys here so I was kind of able to fit in a little bit.”
On the field, Ball’s fitting-in process will be aided by having a renowned running backs coach by his side. The second-year back said he’s looking forward to working with Bobby Turner, whose unit has produced 862 rushing yards over the first seven games.
“He’s a great guy who’s very energetic,” Ball said. “I’m just starting to get to know him, but the first impression was great.”
ON A LIGHTER NOTE…
A power outage at Dove Valley this morning did not stop the club from its preparations for Monday night’s contest with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The lights returned in time for the majority of Wednesday’s press conferences and locker room interviews.
The only effect it had was making for some dark interviews. Brandon Stokley was one of those, and when asked if he had any ghost stories to tell, he bridled at the post-Halloween power problems.
“I don’t believe in them,” he laughed.
Here are some more photos from the start of Wednesday’s practice.
– Chris Gentilviso, DenverBroncos.com