On an afternoon that got started with a press conference announcing the departure of John Lynch, the Broncos headed to the practice fields for a jog-through session. The defense practiced against itself on one field while the offense ran through its plays on the other. Here are some quick hits.
ATTENDANCE REPORT: The out of pads list remained the same as this morning with one exception — Peyton Hillis, Chad Mustard and Tom Nalen all watched practice from the sidelines, but Michael Pittman was dressed out in his jersey…The usual suspects got the afternoon practice off — Champ Bailey, Ebenezer Ekuban, Darrell Jackson, Dewayne Robertson and Brandon Stokley — though they still watched from the sidelines.
POSTURING FOR POSITION: Mike Leach, Tony Scheffler and Josh Mallard took turns rotating in at the long snapper position during punting drills.
FOCAL POINTS: The teams worked on their basic plays for much of practice, but toward the end of the session the offense picked things up a bit. The offense practiced their last-minute offense, including hurrying up to the line, spiking the ball, the hook-and-ladder play, a couple laterals and the tip drill.
TAKE AWAYS: During the first unit’s last-minute-offense, Tony Scheffler, Keary Colbert and Glenn Martinez lined up on the right side of the offensive line. All three ran toward the endzone, and Jay Cutler launched the ball high in the air. The play went perfectly to plan — Scheffler leaped, bent backward and tipped the ball to the back of the endzone. Colbert had to jump, stretch out his right arm and reach for the ball, all while making sure he dragged his feet in the endzone. He caught it, stayed inbounds, and needless to say it was a pretty impressive play met with cheers from the rest of the offense.
- In another last-second play, Patrick Ramsey threw the ball to Clifford Russell who immediately shoveled the ball to Glenn Martinez, who was running behind him toward the sideline. Martinez continued running up the field and lateraled the ball to Andre Hall who streaked into the endzone. The old hook and ladder.
- In a play reminiscent of the “Music City Miracle” from the 1999 NFL playoffs, Jay Cutler took the snap from center, faked a quarterback scramble to the right, stopped at the line of scrimmage and threw a lateral all the way to the other sideline into the waiting hands of Selvin Young, who ran about 20 yards before stopping and launching another full-field lateral back to Cutler as a receiver. Cutler ran the rest of the way into the endzone as the rest of the receivers and offensive line feigned blocks.
- Not quite as exciting but interesting nonetheless — wearing gloves on each hand, Matt Prater launched underhand spirals to punter Brett Kern at a close distance so Kern could practice catching long snaps. Special Teams Coordinator Scott O’Brien threw the spirals to Sam Paulescu, minus the gloves.
It was a pretty interesting jog-through, being able to watch the offense execute its hurry-up offense. The team even practiced drawing the defense offsides, as Cutler would shout out his cadence as coaches would jump offsides and see if he could hike the ball in time.
The squad is back on the field tomorrow morning, but the session is closed to the general public, so check back with us in the A.M. for all the practice info you need.
Ryan Torain is also posting his first rookie blog later this evening, so come back even earlier to check that one out.
-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com