Wednesday’s trivia question comes from a red-zone drill during practice. A defender picked off a pass from quarterback Peyton Manning intended for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Who made the interception?
Leave your answers in the comments section of the blog. The answer — and winner — will be revealed at 8 a.m. MDT Thursday morning.
The Broncos practiced in shells and shorts on Wednesday afternoon at the Dove Valley Facilities.
Head Coach John Fox announced afterwards that defensive end Jason Hunter had triceps surgery and will be out four months. He also officially announced that guard Chris Kuper broke his forearm, had to have surgery and will be out four to six weeks.
In Hunter and Kuper’s stead, defensive lineman Derek Wolfe and guard Manny Ramirez worked extensively with the first-unit defense and offense, respectively.
Safety Jim Leonhard (knee), Quinton Carter (knee), cornerback Tracy Porter (illness), linebacker Keith Brooking (hamstring), wide receiver Tyler Grisham (knee), linebacker Danny Trevathan (ankle) and running back Ronnie Hillman (hamstring) did not practice.
Porter and Trevathan came out and watched some of practice.
Grisham, Carter, Leonhard and Hillman did lower body and core exercises with Strength and Conditioning Coach Luke Richesson and his staff during the first half of practice. Head Athletic Trainer Steve “Greek” Antonopulous watched the injured players work out.
- Eric Decker caught at least one pass from quarterback Peyton Manning during each team drill. In the first set of plays, Decker caught a 20-plus-yard laser from Manning over the middle of the field in between safeties Mike Adams and Rahim Moore. Adams was visibly frustrated after the completion.
- During goal-line drills at the end of practice, Manning and Decker connected on a back-shoulder throw to the back left pylon of the end zone.
- Tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen were able to make big completions during Wednesday’s practice. During team drills, Tamme was wide open down the left side of the field and Manning found him easily for a huge gain.
Dreessen’s catch was a bit more difficult. Manning led Dreessen on a route down the middle of the field, and with two defenders in his pocket, the tight end extended his arms for an over-the-shoulder grab, picking up a nice chunk of yards.
- (Today’s trivia answer) picked off Manning in the end zone during red-zone drills on a pass intended for wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
- Safety Rafael Bush intercepted Brock Osweiler and also reached Adam Weber on a blitz off the edge for a would-be sack, if tackling the quarterback was acceptable.
- Cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson grabbed the third and final interception of the afternoon, picking off Adam Weber on the sidelines and running it back for a touchdown. Tackle Ryan Harris made a valiant effort to chase down the speedier Thompson, but to no avail.
At the end of practice, the scoreboard lit up as the Broncos finished practice in several fourth-quarter situations. The offense was down three points with 1:40 remaining and one timeout. The ball at the offense’s 35 yard-line.
Manning started the drill with a first-down pass to Lance Ball, followed by short completions to Thomas and Brandon Stokley. Manning killed the clock with 37 ticks left and the ball on the defense’s 34-yard line. He completed one more pass to Decker before Matt Prater trotted out with seven seconds to go. The kicker hit the 48-yard field goal to tie the score at 24 and give the offense the win in the drill.
Adam Weber was the other quarterback who got a chance in the same situation. Weber’s drive began with some fireworks. He launched a pass deep down the field to Jason Hill, who leaped and made the grab for a 38-yard completion over cornerback Omar Bolden. With the ball spotted on the defense’s 27-yard line, Weber threw what appeared to be a touchdown pass to running back Jeremiah Johnson, but it was called back on a false start, and the offense moved back to the 32. But not too long after, Weber hit Hill again, this time for a first down at the 16-yard line. Hill got out of bounds on the play and stopped the clock at :40. Then, Weber went for the win. He lobbed one to wide receiver Greg Orton in the back right corner of the end zone, who made a diving catch and jumped up to signal a touchdown. But right in position to make the call was Special Teams Coordinator Jeff Rodgers, who signaled an incomplete pass and emphatically smacked the ground. Orton and the offense loudly disagreed. The defense made a stand after that, and Prater made his second game-tying field goal of the practice.
In the last situation that the team rehearsed, the offense trailed by two points with 23 seconds left, no timeouts and the ball on the opponent’s 40-yard line. Manning quickly hit Thomas over the middle for 7 yards, and the special teams unit sprinted onto the field with the clock still running. Prater came on and nailed the game-winner from 50 yards out.
Quarterback Caleb Hanie was also successful. Hanie completed his first and only pass to wide receiver Andre Caldwell, who ducked out of bounds at the 31-yard line. Prater came on once again and nailed his fourth clutch kick of the practice, this one from about 48, as the Broncos offense succeeded in all four end-of-game drills at Wednesday’s practice.
- After stretching, the team broke into drills. One of the setups that each defensive position group cycled through was an interception drill. A coach threw a pass as two players crossed each other, running in opposite directions. The player in front purposely missed the ball, but jumped at it to distract the defender behind him, whose job was to intercept the ball. If a defensive back failed to make the pick, he dropped and did pushups. For a defensive lineman, however, the punishment was a bit different. Cyril Obiozor and Kevin Vickerson each had balls bounce off their hands, and while they didn’t do any pushups, their fellow linemen had a good, hearty laugh at their expense.
- Owner Pat Bowlen watched practice on the sidelines. Broncos Ring of Fame receiver Rod Smith was also in attendance.
- Cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson and wide receivers Cameron Kenney, Eric Decker and Matthew Willis caught punts during special teams drills.
The Broncos will be back on the field Thursday morning for the final open practice of training camp. Though the team has one more session on Friday, Thursday’s practice marks the last time fans can head to Dove Valley to watch the squad. The session begins at 8:50 a.m., and gates open an hour prior.
Tags: Training Camp 2012