The Broncos closed out the fourth day of camp with a quick, hour-long special teams practice. As always, here are some quick hits:
ATTENDANCE REPORT: Domonique Foxworth did not participate in today’s practice — he ran with the special teams on Saturday.
POSTURING FOR POSITION: In the team’s first drill, six returners took turns fielding kickoffs — Anthony Alridge, Andre Hall, Glenn Martinez, Michael Pittman, Eddie Royal and Clifford Russell. In the second drill, only five returners rotated in: Taylor Jacobs and Marquay McDaniel joined the group of Martinez, Royal and Alridge.
FOCAL POINTS: The team focused on kick and punt returns for the duration of the practice. The attention was less on the actual returns but rather the blocking and pursuit.
TAKE AWAYS: It was a pretty straight-forward practice, just running through different return formations with Special Teams Coordinator Scott O’Brien making sure the players are exactly where they should be. That is until Matt Prater started kicking off.
First, let me say that yes, he was kicking from the 35-yard line (teams kick from the 30 in actual games), and yes, there was a significant breeze blowing in his favor, but nevertheless Prater’s foot was a wrecking ball out there, blasting kicks way past the endzone.
On his first kick, the ball hit the right field goal post. His second kick sailed into the trees behind the endzone and would have made it into the employee parking lot if it hadn’t gotten caught in some branches. The return drill went on as if the ball had been caught, but Prater kept drilling the ball almost out of the fenced-in fields. Hey, nobody’s arguing with a few touchbacks this season.
Speaking of Prater, before he stepped into the kickoff drill, he was practicing kickoffs off a tee from the 35-yard line on the opposite field. I’m not sure if he was actively trying to make it into the uprights, but he had enough distance that each one was close. Yes, that would be a 75-yard field goal, but the wind was a little too much and the kicks never actually sailed through. Watching in person it was still pretty impressive.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: We appreciate all the comments we’ve been getting lately, and we’re glad we’re gaining your readership. Hopefully our comments back have been helpful, and sorry if we haven’t gotten to every one — we’ve tried so far. If you want to know about specific players, keep checking back. We’ll try to put as much information about as many players as we can in these blogs, but keep in mind we’re also trying to let you know specifically about who had the standout performances of the day. Keep the questions and requests coming and we’ll keep attempting to accomodate.
Back with another full day of practices tomorrow…
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com