After the team had a day off Sunday, the Broncos returned to the practice fields at Dove Valley at 10:35 a.m. Monday morning. The practice was originally scheduled to start at 2:20 p.m., but was moved up to avoid bad weather forecast for later this afternoon. The decision allowed the Broncos to practice in some of the most favorable conditions of camp, as it was 77 degrees with a light breeze blowing throughout practice. Here are some notes from the practice, which featured a number of big plays in the passing game.
For today’s trivia question, the answer comes from one of the final plays of the team’s first session of team drills. A defensive player picked off quarterback Brock Osweiler on a pass over the middle. Who made the interception?
Leave your answers in the comments section of the blog, and the answer — and winner — will be revealed at 5 p.m. MDT.
Safety Jim Leonhard (knee), safety Quinton Carter (hamstring and knee), wide receiver Tyler Grisham (knee) and linebacker Danny Trevathan (ankle) did not participate in Monday’s practice. Linebacker Keith Brooking left practice with a hamstring strain.
Defensive tackle Ty Warren was excused from practice for personal reasons.
Linebacker D.J. Williams was back in pads after not attending Saturday’s practice, and defensive tackle Justin Bannan dressed out, marking the first time in a few practices that Bannan has participated.
Monday’s practice featured a good bit of back-and-forth battling between cornerback Champ Bailey and wide receiver Eric Decker in a continuation of what has been one of the most compelling matchups during this year’s training camp.
- In one-on-one drills, what looked like a completion to Decker was slapped out of his hands by Bailey near the sideline. Later in the drill, Decker broke free for a touchdown. During 7-on-7′s, Decker was able to get behind Bailey and haul in a deep post route for a long completion. Arguably the most notable play between the two happened when Decker got a step on Bailey on a go route during a team drill. Quarterback Peyton Manning’s pass dropped right into Decker’s hands. Decker’s momentum carried him up the hill near the sideline, and as Decker made his way back down, Bailey gave him a thumbs-up.
- Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas enjoyed a big afternoon, making several highlight-reel catches. Thomas pulled in one touchdown reception during a red zone period on a fade route with cornerback Tracy Porter and safety Rahim Moore in coverage. A few plays later, Thomas hauled in another touchdown after faking to the outside and breaking back toward the middle of the end zone, where he was all by himself for the catch.
- Another wide receiver who played well was rookie Gerell Robinson. Robinson made a nice catch near the sideline for a touchdown during the red zone drill. Later, during a team drill, Robinson leaped to make an impressive catch along the sideline for a substantial gain.
- Quarterback Brock Osweiler used a pump fake to help freeze the defense, then fired a perfectly thrown pass to a streaking Julius Thomas, who made the reception in stride. After the play, Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio shouted to his defense, “Don’t fall for the pump!”
- The defensive line and linebackers won consecutive plays during a drill designed to simulate third-and-1. But on the third play, running back Lance Ball found room behind linebacker Wesley Woodyard and made the catch well beyond the first down markers.
- During a run-focused drill at the end of the practice, running backs Xavier Omon and Jeremiah Johnson both found a way to push the pile and get into the end zone for short touchdown runs.
- One of the best runs of the afternoon came from rookie running back Ronnie Hillman. Just one play after a scrum broke out during 9-on-7′s, Hillman took a carry designed to stretch toward the right sideline, stopped on a dime, and raced back toward the left side of the field, making it all the way to the end zone untouched.
The Broncos will be back on the practice fields at Dove Valley Tuesday morning at 8:50 a.m. MDT. The session is free and open to the public, with gates set to open an hour prior to the start of practice.
For a photo gallery from Monday’s practice, click below.
Tags: Training Camp 2012