The Broncos were back with the early sun, completing the first half of their second two-a-day stint of training camp. Here are some quick hits from the morning session.
ROLL CALL: Carted off the field during Saturday’s practice, Nic Clemons missed the session.
“Nic probably won’t be out here for the next couple of days, but nothing serious, and hopefully he’ll be back here soon,” Head Coach Josh McDaniels said.
Towards the middle of practice, Brandon Marshall went inside, which McDaniels later explained.“I don’t know anything about it yet,” McDaniels said. “We’ll see. He left the field, don’t know to what extent or what it was. We’ll find out when we get in here.”
After missing Saturday’s session due to soreness, Vernon Fox returned to the field Sunday, wearing the orange jersey designated for players recovering from injuries. He saw plenty of action, including time with the first-team defense in 11-on-11 drills.
Jarvis Moss was also excused by McDaniels.
POSITIONING: There was plenty of rotation on the defensive side. The first team consisted of Kenny Peterson, Ronald Fields, and Ryan McBean on the line. Elvis Dumervil and Darrell Reid planted themselves at the outside linebacker spots, while Andra Davis and D.J. Williams navigated the inside positions.
The starting secondary was comprised of Andre’ Goodman and Champ Bailey at cornerback, along with Renaldo Hill and Brian Dawkins at safety. Jack Williams, Wesley Woodyard and Alphonso smith were among the players to crack the first team unit on some full-contact plays.
Correll Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan took most of the carries with the first-unit offense, with Ryan Torain also getting his share. Peyton Hillis often shifted from the fullback/running back spots. In three-receiver sets, Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal and Brandon Stokley were the primary targets. Tony Scheffler and Daniel Graham were on the line for most of the two-tight end packages, while rookie Richard Quinn also saw time with the primary squad.
DRILLS: Working with trios, defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely drilled his players on rotations in coverage. With one lineman posing as a running back and another as an offensive lineman, the third defender had to fight through the initial block and then cover the running back out of the backfield. “They open the door, something’s up,” Nunnely yelled. “They open the door, something’s up.”
Secondary coach Ed Donatell worked with the defensive backs on 1-on-1 bump coverage. With one lined up as a receiver, he stressed that the cover man leave enough yards of space to adjust.
Head Coach Josh McDaniels pulled aside Elvis Dumervil during 1-on-1 drills with the offensive linemen, giving him pointers for putting pressure on the opposing front.”He made some adjustments with his hands,” McDaniels said. “Elvis has got really long arms for a shorter player, and when he gets his hands into the blocker first, it’s hard to control Elvis. He made strides, and every day he comes out and works his butt off to try to improve.”
The Broncos concluded practice with full 11-on-11 two-minute drills. New threads included Kyle Orton working the no-huddle, D.J. Williams and Jack Williams executing inside blitzes, and Daniel Graham sliding to reach for a first down, before the offense came up for the spike to stop the clock.
PLAYMAKERS: The wide receivers and defensive backs went at it on a series of 1-on-1 encounters.
Brandon Marshall gave Fox a stiff challenge. Using all of his strength, Marshall impressed Fox enough that when the safety came off the field, he said: “Man, that’s a big dude.”
The defense had its share of big plays as well in this series, with Dawkins deflecting what appeared to be a sure catch for Matthew Willis. With his back to the ball, Dawkins made a quick-footed move and slapped the ball away with his left hand.
In seven-on-seven play, Orton was sharp on his deep balls, completing four of five stop-and-go routes to ignite the Dove Valley crowd.
On the first play of 11-on-11 drills, Gaffney and Orton appeared to connect for a big play down the right sideline. Dawkins again came out of nowhere, batting the ball away. In a case of deja vu from yesterday, he again did 10 push ups for not snaring the interception, drawing even more cheers from the fans.
Two plays later, Orton and Gaffney attempted to execute some trickery. Gaffney took a handoff right before lateraling back across the field to Orton. Orton fired deep to what appeared to be an open Royal. To the surprise of Royal, Hill streaked across the field and made an outstanding pass breakup.
QUICK HITS: Fans enjoyed another day of picturesque morning weather in Englewood, with temperatures climbing into the mid-80s and plenty of sunshine.
At the conclusion of stretches, the entire team circled around Director of Special Services Fred Fleming, singing him Happy Birthday.
Broncos coaches haven’t been shy about taking the opportunity to use training camp for plenty of teaching. This was again apparent during coaching assistant Keith Burns’ special teams tackling drill. Each player navigated through a first blocker before wrapping up the returner at an angle toward the ball. When inside linebacker/fullback Spencer Larsen went too low, Burns had Larsen repeat the drill. On the second attempt, he nailed it.
DAILY JUKEBOX: The players made their way onto the practice to the tune of Brooks & Dunn’s “Hillbilly Deluxe.” Other selections included:
Mary Mary’s “God in Me”
Mtume’s “Juicy Fruit”
There is another practice session this evening at 4:45 p.m. MDT. Here are photos from the morning session.
-Chris Gentilviso, DenverBroncos.com
Tags: Brian Dawkins, Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney, Josh McDaniels, Kyle Orton, Training Camp