With the season drawing near, the team is now following their regular season schedule, meaning only the first 10 minutes of practice are open to the media. But following the morning walk-through, we spoke with a few players as they left the field.
Marlon McCree talked about how the starting defense has been performing thus far, and he was impressed with their outing against Green Bay.
“I think the first team did pretty well,” McCree said. “I think we held them to 30 yards rushing, and they got some passes on us. But when you’re putting so many guys down in the box you’re kind of inviting them to throw it on us. We have to understand that teams are going to make some completions. We just have to rally and make the tackle.”
McCree and the rest of the defense have really aimed at stopping the run, and through three preseason games, they have been successful. In the first half of each of the first three games, when starters on both teams have played the most, the Broncos defense have held their opponents 31, 34 and 31 rushing yards, respectively.
“If you can stop the run, you can control the game,” McCree said. “We can control their playmaking ability.”
A welcome sight for the defense — Boss Bailey returned to practice. The sixth-year player and first-year Bronco has been out since the opening drive in Houston when he suffered a high ankle sprain.
“It feels good to be out there running around on (the ankle,)” Bailey said. “I’m not afraid or anything. It’s just fighting through the pain right now. As many practices as we’ve been through, mentally I’m fine.”
But it was Marquand Manuel that drew the biggest crowd of reporters, having broken his finger in the team’s preseason game against the Packers on Friday. He has since had surgery on that finger.
“I’m just going one day at a time and trying to get ready,” Manuel said.
When asked about what the doctors did during surgery, such as placing a pin in his finger, Manuel had a simple reply: “I’m not sure.”
“I woke up, and they told me I broke it,” Manuel said. “A broken bone is six weeks, but with regards to what I can and can’t do, depends on what kind of cast I’ll be in.”
Manuel said he will be fine and ready for the season opener at Oakland, and he is participating in today’s practice.
Elvis Dumervil also injured a hand against the Packers, and he too is participating in practice today. Check back here or DenverBroncos.com to see if there are any more updates when Head Coach Mike Shanahan and more players speak after practice.
– Adam Zinser, DenverBroncos.com