The Broncos closed out day one of training camp with an afternoon jog through practice. Head Coach Mike Shanahan has decided against holding two-a-day practices and risking injury to his 80-man roster. Instead the team’s afternoon practices will be mostly geared toward seeing plays and getting mental reps rather than full speed football drills.
Some afternoon practices during camp will be these types of jog throughs and others exclusively scheduled for special teams.
The wind picked up and a few raindrops could be felt outside at the team’s practice facility as afternoon practice got underway. With a few small storm clouds in the distance the Broncos broke into offense and defense with each grouping on seperate fields.
The offense ran plays with fellow members of the offense playing defense. This led to some formations that would look rather odd to most Broncos fans. At times, Darrell Hackney lined up safety, Ryan Clady at defensive end, Ben Hamilton at defensive tackle, Anthony Alridge and Lorne Sam playing the corners.
The defense did similar drills with members of the defense running offensive plays and the with members of the defense defending.
The plays were run at less than game speed and usually over within a few moments of the ball being snapped with very minimal contact.
Chad Mustard was out of pads during both practices due to a right hamstring injury.
Montrae Holland has held out of practice for reporting to camp heavier than his reporting weight.
“We’re not going to have him practice until he gets back to his reporting weight,” Shanahan said. “When he does, we’ll let him practice, but until then we’re going to keep him in that weight room with [Strength & Conditioning Coach] Rich [Tuten] and get him back into football shape.”
Select veterans don’t have to dress out for the afternoon practices.
The veterans not dressed out for this afternoon’s practice included Champ Bailey, John Lynch, Dewayne Robertson, Tom Nalen and Ebenezer Ekuban. Other veterans that were in uniform but saw limited action were Brandon Stokley and Darrell Jackson.
Bailey said it is an advantage that some of the veterans are able to recouperate in the afternoon.
“I think it’s great that coach sees where I’m at and gives me the opportunity to practice once a day, and I’m just taking advantage of that and getting my rest but when I’m out there I’m out there to get better,” he said.
One player that was making the most of the afternoon practice was punter Brett Kern. The rookie out of Toledo was booming punts downfield at approximately 70-80 yards a kick.
“That’s the reason why we’ve got both guys on our 80-man squad—it’s very close right now,” Shanahan said on Thursday. “We’ll evaluate that like the other positions, obviously, but with [Brett] Kern and Sam [Paulescu], may the best man win.”
The Broncos are set to do it all again tomorrow with day two of training camp. Keep checking the NEW DenverBroncos.com blog for further coverage from training camp.
-Jake Grilley, DenverBroncos.com
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