Knowshon Moreno has been there.
Well, every NFL player has been there at one point — putting on the pads for the first time and trying to play with the big boys as a rookie.
“It’s a little bit of pressure, it’s something new,” Moreno said. “You’re around new people, a new system — you’ve really got to hit that book and learn as fast as you can because it’s all going so fast.”
Speed seems to be a common theme when discussing rookies.
It is often said that the “speed of the game” is so much faster in the NFL than in college. Tim Tebow isn’t one to argue with that point, but he clarified that it doesn’t always refer to the speed of the players.
“It’s not necessarily how fast guys are, because they don’t necessarily get faster, but what they do get is a lot quicker as far as their thinking,” Tebow said. “There are guys jumping in and out of coverages and so I think that’s where the game speeds up for you.”
For that reason, Head Coach Josh McDaniels said it’s easy to point out a rookie during OTAs.
“Right now they’re out there and their heads are just spinning,” he said. “When your head is spinning, you can’t play football the way you know you can play football because it’s hard to just go as fast as you can and play with the speed that you need to play with to be competitive.”
So the players are picking up whatever they can, running plays — as Kyle Orton put it — “over and over and over again,” concentrating in the meeting rooms and constantly studying the playbook.
McDaniels said that, as expected, “there have been some bad plays … but there have been a lot of good ones, too,” and he expects that by the time training camp comes around, many of the rookies will have the speed of the game better under control.
On the whole, the head coach has been impressed with the way the young group has handled itself so far in OTAs.
“There are a lot of young guys who are playing in our system for the first time, but they’re responding very well,” he said.
McDaniels addressed several injuries on Thursday.
On Brandon Stokley:
“He’s got a minor deal with the shoulder and just kind of fell on the ground but hopefully he’ll be back out there.”
On Ryan Harris:
“(He’s) good. We’re hopeful – and I don’t want to say an exact day or date – but hopefully (we will) see him out there soon. He’s doing well and we’re excited about getting him back out and I know he is too.”
On Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Ryan Harris all recovering from foot injuries:
“At this point we’re going to err on the side of being real careful and not put them in a situation where (it’s) the last day of minicamp on June 13th and all of a sudden we have a foot injury. If there’s a guy who is borderline ready and not ready, we’re not going to push it. Really, we’ve told all the players August is the time we want you to be ready to go. If they are ready I think we’ll be excited to see them out there. They’re all taking a bunch of mental reps. They’re all in the film session and they’re all seeing the things were doing and getting all the information but hopefully everybody will be ready by August.”
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com