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PostPosted: Mon 08.03.2009, 11:18 
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Training Camp Day 1: A.M. Blog
July 31st, 2009 - 11:52am by Gray Caldwell
www.denverbroncos.com

Check one more thing off the list on the road to the 2009 season — training camp is here. And the mass of fans lining the far hill of the Broncos practice fields almost an hour and a half before practice kicked off was a little taste of the excitement surrounding Day One.

As players came onto the field — dressed in full pads and uniform, including pants — some took a knee as soon as they hit the grass, pausing to take a moment before the unofficial start of another season.

It was perfect weather for the first day of practice — sunny with a little bit of shade. So without further adieu, here are some quick hits from the first practice session of the team’s 2009 training camp.

ROLL CALL: Champ Bailey, Renaldo Hill and Marcus Thomas did not practice on Friday.

“As soon as they’re ready to practice physically, they’ll be out here,” Head Coach Josh McDaniels said. “It’s the same with all three of them — just making sure we take the right precautions with those three players.”

POSITIONING: Among the hybrid players practicing with linebackers today — Tim Crowder, Elvis Dumervil, Spencer Larsen, Jarvis Moss and Darrell Reid.

# When the team went 11-on-11, the first unit defense sported Kenny Peterson, Ronald Fields and Ryan McBean on the front line, Darrell Reid, D.J. Williams, Andra Davis and Elvis Dumervil at linebacker and Alphonso Smith, Andre’ Goodman, Brian Dawkins and Darcel McBath in the secondary. Occasionally that lineup changed slightly, with Tim Crowder seeing some time at outside linebacker, Jack Williams seeing some time at cornerback and Vernon Fox once lining up alongside Dawkins at safety.
# The first unit offense consisted of Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall at receiver, Daniel Graham at tight end, Kyle Orton at quarterback, Correll Buckhalter at running back and last year’s starting offensive line — Ryan Clady, Ben Hamilton, Casey Wiegmann, Chris Kuper and Ryan Harris. Ryan Torain, LaMont Jordan and Peyton Hillis also got some reps at running back.
# During one-on-ones between wide receivers and defensive backs, Josh Barrett practiced with the cornerbacks. He continued to line up at safety in other drills.

DRILLS: Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer continued to preach “catch it inside the 10″ to his players. The unit worked on downing punts inside the 20-yard line, and his rule is not to let the ball bounce if it’s inside the 10.
# Defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely told his unit that there will be plenty of water breaks between drills, but no water in the middle of them. That way players pay more attention to their teammates in front of them, so they can watch, listen and learn from their mistakes. Nunnely also gave the linemen pointers on how to push away a blocker, shouting, “Open the door!” to remind them to extend their arms.
# Tight ends and offensive linemen worked on a 2-on-2 drill that involved a tight end and a lineman blocking one defender, then one of the blockers would break off and take on another defender who blitzed late.
# On one field, receivers, running backs and offensive linemen worked with Kyle Orton on screen passes. Some were quick bubble screens to receivers and the unit practiced blocking upfield. Others were typical screen passes to running backs and the back followed his blockers away from imaginary defenders.

PLAYMAKERS: Brandon Marshall put on a show for the fans in attendance Friday morning. He consistently drew applause from the crowd, once hauling in a catch by reaching an arm out in the opposite direction he was running to pull in the pass. On another occasion he caught a deep ball and proceeded to high-five a young fan walking on the sideline.
# Orton showed some of his chemistry with former Chicago teammate Brandon Lloyd, connecting on a tight pass near the sideline. Lloyd tiptoed the line, drawing cheers from nearby fans.

# Alphonso Smith busted through the field goal blocking unit and batted away a Matt Prater attempt, and it looked like the rookie could’ve returned it for a touchdown had the whistle not blown. Including that block, Prater was 7-of-8 during the kicking drill.
# During 11-on-11s, Chris Baker got past his man and bumped into fellow rookie Tom Brandstater while he wasn’t looking for the sack. There’s no tackling the quarterbacks, but the sack still drew some “ooohs” from the crowd because of its potential impact had it been in a live game.
# In contact drills between the offensive and defensive lines focused on running plays, Torain broke through on a few different runs, often sprinting toward the end zone and leaving defenders behind. That drew plenty of cheers from the fans.
# In one-on-one drills between receivers and cornerbacks, Goodman lined up against Royal with Chris Simms at quarterback. Royal ran a quick inside slant and looked like he would come away with the ball, but Goodman closed quickly and caused an incompletion. In the same drill, Joshua Bell had a few breakups, including an impressive one against rookie Kenny McKinley.

QUICK HITS: Music made its glorious return to practices at Dove Valley, and the playlist remained eclectic. When U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” blasted through the speakers as the team began to warm up, the crowd gave a loud applause to start the first day of training camp. Young Jeezy’s “Put On” brought a little dancing from Marshall during warm-ups, and Rick James’ “Super Freak” gives you an idea of just how diverse the selection was.
# Tony Scheffler jogged onto the field sporting a new look — a virtually shaved head. Now the player who leads all NFL tight ends in yards per catch since 2006 is even more aerodynamic.

# General Manager Brian Xanders was on the sideline for Friday’s practice, spending a chunk of it toward the beginning talking with NFL Network and CBS Sports analyst Charley Casserly about the team.
# Some military service members arrived toward the beginning of practice, walking the sideline to find a seat. A few people in the crowd began to applaud and soon the entire hill was clapping and thanking them for their service.

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PostPosted: Mon 08.03.2009, 11:22 
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Training Camp Day 1: P.M. Blog
July 31st, 2009 - 9:32pm by Zach Eisendrath

Day one of training camp has come to a close. The Broncos completed their first evening practice on a brisk night at Dove Valley, lasting just over two hours.

After enjoying ideal conditions for the morning practice — warm temperatures with a bit of shade — temperatures dropped considerably for the p.m. practice. Still, for the most part the weather again cooperated, as the team managed to avoided the rain that fell at Dove Valley for much of the afternoon.

Here are some tidbits from the team’s second practice of the day:

ROLL CALL: After displaying his playmaking skills during the club’s a.m. practice, Brandon Marshall sat out the p.m. session due to a coach’s decision. Champ Bailey, Renaldo Hill and Marcus Thomas also missed both sessions, however, the trio did run sprints following the conclusion of tonight’s practice.

POSITIONING: Offensive and defensive starters didn’t change much from the morning session, other than Marshall not being out there with the offensive unit. We did, however, get a glimpse of who may be in the mix to return kicks this season. Alphonso Smith, Eddie Royal, Kenny McKinley and Mathew Willis took turns rotating returning duties.

# Spencer Larsen, while wearing a defensive blue jersey, switched between offense and defense. Head Coach Josh McDaniels has made it clear that will be the norm this season for the inside linebacker/fullback.

DRILLS: The players got a chance to really start to get physical during the one-one-one drills. When running backs went up against fullbacks, Peyton Hillis was able to show his resolve. On one play he was beaten by Andra Davis. He quickly redeemed himself, keeping D.J. Williams away from the quarterback on the very next play.

# Meanwhile, the defensive line and offensive line went at it, too. Darrell Reid and Ryan Harris had one noteworthy battle. Reid made a nice spin move on Harris to get by him, but Harris quickly recovered and maintained his ground. Elvis Dumervil and Ryan Clady also went at it during the drill.
# The team stressed kickoff return coverage from the onset of Friday night’s practice. The opening special teams session proved to be the most interesting one of the night, as gusting winds made the task of snatching the ball out of the air more difficult. As the balls were released from the JUGS machine, the wind held them up before quickly dropping them to the ground.
# In one special teams sequence, Matt Prater alternated between high and low squib kicks. The high-arcing kicks appeared to cause confusion for the offensive and defensive linemen trying to return them.
# The tight ends drilled themselves on ball control during a series in which a rope was attached to the ball. While the players held the ball, tight ends coach Clancy Barone tried to strip it from their hands by tugging at the rope.

PLAYMAKERS: Kenny McKinley was very active in the passing game during the evening practice, tallying receptions all over the field. His biggest play came early in practice when Chris Simms found the former South Carolina standout for a long touchdown along the left sideline.
# During 11-on-11’s, Smith jumped in front of a route, but the ball went through his hands and Royal ended up catching Kyle Orton’s pass.
# Larsen’s versatility was on display in a one-on-one drill between linebackers and fullbacks centered around blitz pickup. He rotated from blocking fullback to blitzing linebacker throughout the period.

QUICK HITS: The unsolved mystery of the night came in the form of a car alarm from the team’s neighboring player parking lot. Although it’s common to hear horns at the end of drills during camp, it is unusual to hear that sound continuously away from the field. Though not confirmed, rumor has it that the sound was coming from Matt Prater’s car.
# The evening session ended with sprints, and Rulon Davis — running with the rest of the club’s offensive and defensive linemen, showed his speed by finishing before the rest of his teammates.

TODAY’S PLAYLIST: As is quickly becoming a tradition during practices at team headquarters, music was again booming on the practice fields (thanks to the wonders of the IPod). Here’s a sampling from tonight’s practice selection:
# Tom Petty - The Waiting
# Michael Jackson - Beat It (Note: During team stretching, Alphonso Smith accompanied this song with his “Thriller” dance moves).

# Ice Cube - Check Yo Self (Remix)
# Pearl Jam - Even Flow (personal favorite of Kyle Sonneman)
# Led Zeppelin - Kashmir


– Zach Eisendrath, DenverBroncos.com

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PostPosted: Mon 08.03.2009, 11:23 
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Day 2 Blog
August 1st, 2009 - 6:04pm by Gray Caldwell

After getting through two practices on the opening day of training camp, the team had just a single session on Saturday.

Here are some quick hits from the day.

ROLL CALL: Absent from yesterday evening’s practice, Champ Bailey, Renaldo Hill, Brandon Marshall and Marcus Thomas all participated in Saturday’s session.

# Later in practice, play was stopped during an 11-on-11 drill and Nic Clemons was carted off the field.
# Vernon Fox missed the session today, which Head Coach Josh McDaniels explained afterwards.

“Vernon Fox has a slight deal where he is a little sore, and he will be out until he can come back. Hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later.”

POSITIONING: A few new faces cracked the first-unit defense when the group lined up in what appeared to be a nickel package. Only Ryan McBean and Kenny Peterson were on the line, while Darrell Reid, Wesley Woodyard, D.J. Williams and Elvis Dumervil were at linebacker. Cornerbacks Andre’ Goodman, Jack Williams and Alphonso Smith joined safeties Brian Dawkins and Darcel McBath in the secondary.
# Correll Buckhalter, Peyton Hillis, LaMont Jordan and Ryan Torain continued to split carries with the first unit offense. The starters at the receiver and tight end positions rotated depending on the formation. Jabar Gaffney and Eddie Royal were in on most every play, while Marshall and Brandon Stokley played with the unit at different times. The same goes for Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler, who each saw their share of reps with the first unit.

DRILLS: Dawkins let out a giant shout and gave Bailey a powerful high-five before the first drill of the day began. Then the defensive backs proceeded to essentially stand still, working on getting the right play call and calling audibles. It was just a little taste of the intensity Dawkins brings to the field even during drills.
# Brett Kern and Britton Colquitt practiced holding by taking a knee and catching the snap from a JUGS machine before placing it down for Matt Prater.

# During one drill, tight ends worked on blocking one-on-one with linebackers. Two battles stood out — when Tony Scheffler took on Darrell Reid, the blocking was so vigorous that Reid’s helmet came off. Then when Richard Quinn took on Mario Haggan, he locked up the linebacker and blocked him all the way out of bounds, drawing loud praise from tight ends coach Clancy Barone.
# In a full-speed, full-contact, one-on-one drill, several collisions drew “ooohs” from the crowd, including Hillis against Tim Crowder and Graham against Andra Davis. Josh Barrett’s battles with Marshall might have been the most physical, resulting in what looked like a ripped shirt or two.

“We were both going out there, trying to get the best of one another,” Barrett said, noting that he couldn’t judge who won the matchups. “I’ll give it to him if he thinks he won. I know he didn’t score.”

PLAYMAKERS: Dawkins had a near interception during 7-on-7s, bobbling the ball before it fell to the turf. He then dropped to the ground and immediately did 10 pushups, drawing cheers from the crowd.
# During 11-on-11 drills, Kyle Orton launched a pass downfield to a streaking Marshall, who looked like he had a leaping grab. Bailey had other plans, however, bolting in seemingly out of nowhere to break up the reception.

“I saw him looking and looking and waiting for everybody to clear,” Bailey said of Orton. “I don’t think he saw me … so I just made him throw that ball, and he did.”
# Prater showed off some of his power while Lonie Paxton and the punters worked on the snap and hold before field goals. Prater only had to kick it through an extra set of uprights brought onto the field a short distance away, but the far uprights were 53 yards downfield. He cleared the far field goal posts by at least 10 yards on one attempt, booting it over the back wall into the staff parking lot. On another attempt he hit the very top of the right upright.

# In one-on-ones between defensive backs and wide receivers, Orton threw a strike to Eddie Royal, who jumped up and grabbed a nice catch over the back of Andre’ Goodman. Later in practice, however, during a two-minute drill, Goodman snared an interception from Orton to put an end to a drive by the first-unit offense.
# Rulon Davis batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage.

QUICK HITS: It was a good day to be a fan at Dove Valley today. The only shade on the field during the 90-plus degree practice was on the hill where the fans sat.
# Though it wasn’t used on Saturday, a scoreboard has been installed on the side of the building at Dove Valley, facing the practice fields.
# Rookies Blake Schlueter and Tom Brandstater botched a snap, which resulted in a fumble. The ball on the ground meant both players had to take a lap around the field. They weren’t alone, however, because a few minutes later coaches didn’t like the play of the defense and sent the entire unit on a lap around the field.
# It’s worth noting that an interesting rule has been mandated during offense vs. defense drills. When the ball hits the ground, no matter the situation, both units have to treat it as a fumble. The rule came into play a few times on Saturday, including on a dropped interception that was picked back up by another defender and taken back the other way.

DAILY JUKEBOX: As the team was filtering outside and fans were lining the hill alongside the far field, “Apache” by the Sugar Hill Gang pumped through the speakers. It was a fun start to a hot day of practice that featured yet another eclectic mix of music. A few other choice grooves:
# Jay-Z “Oh My God”
# Bruce Springsteen “The Rising”
# Snoop Dogg “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?”
# Rolling Stones “Start Me Up”
# Outkast “Hey Ya”



-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com

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PostPosted: Mon 08.03.2009, 11:25 
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Day 3: A.M. Blog
August 2nd, 2009 - 12:32pm by Chris Gentilviso

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”


-Chris Gentilviso, DenverBroncos.com

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Day 3: P.M. Blog
August 2nd, 2009 - 7:14pm by Zach Eisendrath

The Broncos ended the weekend — and their second two-a-day of training camp — with a light practice on Sunday night. The hour and fifteen minute session consisted mostly of a series of walkthroughs until the final period, when a slew of the club’s rookies — and a few younger veterans such as Josh Barrett, Spencer Larsen, Tim Crowder and Ryan Torain — put on pads and went through 11-on-11s to conclude the nightcap.

As was such for tonight’s practice, this blog will be a bit shorter. Still, here are some quick hits from the evening practice:

# Suited up in pads during 11-on-11s, the defensive unit — for the most part — got the better of the offensive unit, applying pressure to the quarterback, stuffing the run and breaking up passes downfield. But the practice session didn’t end before the offensive unit showed sparks of its own.
# On the final play of scrimmage, Kenny McKinley recorded arguably the highlight of the evening. Taking the snap behind center, Tom Brandstater looked McKinley’s way, firing a pass in the direction of the former South Carolina standout. Able to get a good jump on the ball, Tony Carter batted the pass. However, McKinley kept his eye on the ball, tipped it into the air, and while battling Carter for position, snagged it with his left hand. He turned upfield before being wrapped up by Lee Robinson — drawing a strong reaction from fans lined up on the far sideline.

# After enduring a hot morning practice, a number of players were taken aback by the heat as they walked onto the field for the night session. Perhaps growing accustomed to the mild temperatures of the first few days of camp, a few rookies — such as Stanley Bryant and Britton Colquitt — looked surprised by the heat. Mocking the warm temperatures, Rulon Davis made a joke as he walked onto the field, proclaiming, “It’s nice and cool out today.”
# A special teams walkthrough kicked off Sunday night’s slate, with special teams coordinator Mike Priefer working with his unit on punting plays. While most of the work focused on gunners attempting to get downfield, Priefer showed some fake punts, too. On one play, Spencer Larsen received a handoff. On the next, Larsen took the snap and threw a short pass to a streaking Richard Quinn.
# During offensive walkthroughs, the team threw in a few wrinkles. On one play, LaMont Jordan received a direct snap out of the backfield as Chris Simms went in motion and blocked on the play. A few plays later, Kyle Orton handed off to Eddie Royal on an end around.

DAILY JUKEBOX: There was no music during Sunday evening’s practice session, but players and coaches walked out onto the field to an array of hits. Here are a few:
# Neil Young’s “Keep on Rockin’ In The Free World”
# The Roots’ “The Seed (2.0)”
# John Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good.”

Lastly, I thought I’d share a video from ESPN’s Outside the Lines featuring Coach McDaniels. Enjoy.

The team will be back on the field for another set of practices tomorrow. The first one begins at 8:45 a.m., and the evening session commences at 5:30 p.m. MDT.



– Zach Eisendrath, DenverBroncos.com

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DEN - RB Peyton Hillis the early star of camp


Source: Frank Schwab - the Colorado Springs Gazette

Frank Schwab, from the Colorado Springs Gazette, writes in the four days that the Broncos have put on the full pads in training camp, running back Peyton Hillis

might be the standout player of the camp. He was the best tailback in 7-on-7 drills today, using his power and explosion to get through the line on multiple runs. In an 11-on-11 red zone drill, Hillis showed off his hands by swinging out of the backfield and leaping for a touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone. He had a few extra repetitions at tailback because Correll Buckhalter

was held out.

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Day 4: A.M. Blog
August 3rd, 2009 - 12:00pm by Gray Caldwell

There was a little bit of a different feeling when the team headed out to practice Monday morning, thanks to Peyton Hillis. But more on that near the end of this blog in the “Daily Jukebox.”

For now, check out some quick hits from the approximately two-hour practice.

ROLL CALL: Vernon Fox was on the field today, back in his defensive blue jersey — no longer the orange jersey he sported yesterday, signifying he was recovering from an injury.

# Nick Greisen was carted off the field during practice, but walked through the doors leading to the training room under his own power.
# Brian Dawkins, Brandon Stokley, Brandon Marshall, Wesley Woodyard, Jarvis Moss and Correll Buckhalter were among the veterans who didn’t participate in the morning session. Head Coach Josh McDaniels said that all the players that were out were coaches decisions, and some will be back on the field for the afternoon session.

POSITIONING: The base first-unit defense today looked the same — Kenny Peterson, Ronald Fields and Ryan McBean on the line, Elvis Dumervil, D.J. Williams, Andra Davis and Darrell Reid at linebacker, Champ Bailey and Andre’ Goodman at cornerback and Renaldo Hill at safety. The only difference was at the other safety position, which was manned by rookie David Bruton. Fox also spent some time with the group at safety.
# When the team brought in a nickel package, the defensive lineup looked a little different. Fields and Peterson were on the line, with Reid and Dumervil at the outside linebacker spots close to the line of scrimmage. Bailey, Jack Williams and Goodman set up at cornerback and Bruton and Hill were the safeties. The two players in the inside linebacker spots were Andra Davis and Josh Barrett.

DRILLS: Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer had his unit work on making the play on kickoff and punt coverage. One returner stood in the end zone and two gunners sprinted downfield from about the 30. When the gunners neared the 10-yard line, the returner’s job was to make them miss and get upfield, while the gunners’ job was to “squeeze” in on the play, as Priefer said, and make the tackle.
# Wide receivers and defensive backs lined up about 15 yards apart from each other in one drill, and the secondary’s job was to demonstrate that the tackle was made — without actually fully tackling the receiver. The focus in the drill was using the sideline, as the coaches applauded when the receivers were forced out of bounds.
# During one-on-ones between the receivers and defensive backs, Kenny McKinley made a catch past a diving Alphonso Smith. Later in the drill, however, Smith came back and broke up a pass intended for Nate Swift, drawing praise from defensive backs coach Ed Donatell that Smith did a good job reading the route.
# The team also worked on situational drills, with McDaniels shouting things like, “It’s the first quarter, second-and-1.” The offense and defense had to react accordingly. Jeb Putzier talked about that type of drill earlier this offseason.

“They’re putting us in tough situations where we have to think on the move, and it’s great,” he said.

PLAYMAKERS: Eddie Royal made his presence known in the morning session, making catch after catch after catch. At one point he went one-on-one with Champ Bailey in a receivers vs. defensive backs drill, coming away with a short reception. He continually showed off his moves in 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s, weaving through defenders after making the catch.

# Chad Jackson had a big catch as well, running to the back corner of the end zone with Darcel McBath in tight coverage. Kyle Orton let loose a spiral and Jackson leaped to haul in the pass at its highest point and come away with a touchdown.
# Peyton Hillis flashed some of his skill in the morning session, too. He twice found a hole in a drill that consisted of the offensive line, quarterback and running back against the defensive line and linebackers, breaking loose for two touchdowns. He also layed a big-time block on Bruton to free up Ryan Torain for a big gain during 11-on-11s.

# The defense had its fair share of plays as well. Lee Robinson laid a big hit on Ryan Torain on the last play of drills focusing on running plays that drew “ooohs” from the crowd. Champ Bailey also demonstrated why so many quarterbacks elect to avoid his side of the field, jumping up to grab an interception that he bobbled momentarily before coming down with it in the end zone.

QUICK HITS: On one play during 11-on-11s, Marcus Thomas stepped in with the first-unit defense, standing up on the line across from Daniel Graham. When the ball was snapped, Thomas dropped back into coverage on the veteran tight end. As his teammates shouted, “Come on, Thomas!” he dove to try to break up a pass but didn’t quite get there as Graham hauled it in.
# There were two close-call touchdown plays on the day, and no call was made on either. Hillis was involved in one of them — he caught a pass over his shoulder out of the backfield for what looked like a touchdown in the end zone, but the ball came loose after Spencer Larsen jarred it out from behind. The other play that could go either way came when Chris Simms found Jabar Gaffney in the back of the end zone just past Joshua Bell, but it was tough to see if he got down two feet in time. Both were impressive catches — and questionable touchdowns.
# During a play during a red-zone drill, Orton rolled out to his right, bought some more time and fired a quick pass back toward the middle of the end zone to a waiting LaMont Jordan. Jordan dropped the ball, however, and laid on the ground in disappointment. He later jokingly blamed the missed opportunity on the music played during practice. To understand that a little more, read below.

DAILY JUKEBOX: The music during Monday’s morning practice only lasted through warm-ups, but even with just a few songs on the docket, it was easy to tell who selected the heavy-on-the-country playlist — Hillis. Here’s a little music courtesy of the Arkansas native.
# Chuck Berry - “Johnny B. Goode”
# Alabama - “High Cotton”
# David Allen Coe - “You Never Even Called Me By My Name”
# Hank Williams, Jr. - “A Country Boy Can Survive”
# Alabama - “Song of the South”
# Elvis Presley - “Jailhouse Rock”

QUOTABLE:
“Not only is it unacceptable, it’s unconstitutional.”
-LaMont Jordan, on Peyton Hillis’ music selection during practice



-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com

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Day 4: P.M. Blog
August 3rd, 2009 - 8:49pm by Chris Gentilviso

After a shorter night session on Sunday, with some players in shorts minus pads, the full gear was back in action for Monday’s nightcap. Here’s a breakdown of the action.

ROLL CALL: After missing the morning session due to a coach’s decision, Correll Buckhalter, Brian Dawkins and Brandon Stokley were all back out on the field. Sitting out the p.m. session were Ryan Torain, Casey Wiegmann, and Daniel Graham. After leaving the morning practice due to injury, Nick Greisen did not practice this evening.
# Although his signing was officially announced just prior to the start of the nightcap, rookie Robert Ayers did not practice, but Head Coach Josh McDaniels instead had the outside linebacker/defensive end complete a workout session.

“He’s a good coach — and he thought it would be best for me not to come out and, you know, make a bad first impression,” Ayers said. “So coach looked out for me and I’ll be out there tomorrow.”

POSITIONING: With Wiegmann not practicing, rookie Seth Olsen got a chance to work with the first-team linemen. Ben Hamilton slid over from left guard to center, with Olsen planting himself at left guard — a position he primarily played in college. Olsen made the most of the opportunity, drawing praise from offensive line coach Rick Dennison during a series of drills against the defensive line.
# Rookies David Bruton and Alphonso Smith also spent time working with special teams coordinator Mike Priefer in field goal block formation. Priefer was putting their skills to the test as rushers on the weak side of Britton Colquitt and Matt Prater.

DRILLS: Priefer got things started, working with his unit on on-side kicks and kickoff returns. Back deep on the kicks were Eddie Royal, Smith and Kenny McKinley.

# Secondary coach Ed Donatell had his unit working on man-to-man coverage, where one defensive back played receiver and another lined up at their normal post. The assignment for each player on defense was to bat the pass away. On one play, Joshua Bell just missed breaking up Kyle Orton’s throw, but Donatell told him “that could be the difference on that big third down.”
# The defensive backs teamed up with the wide receivers and quarterbacks in 1-on-1’s. Tony Carter made the only pick of the session, stepping in to snag an Orton pass intended for Brandon Lloyd along the sideline.

# Receivers coach Adam Gase also worked with his unit on goal line routes — specifically footwork along the back of the end zone to keep both feet in bounds. Royal and Jabar Gaffney both had a pair of touchdowns on that drill.
# Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy had his quarterbacks work on poise in the pocket. With Lonie Paxton as the center, Orton, Chris Simms and Tom Brandstater all had to scan the field for open men before making the smart decision and dumping the ball off to a stationary Gaffney.

PLAYMAKERS: Despite missing the morning session, Dawkins didn’t miss a beat in a 1-on-1 coverage drill with the tight ends. On the first series, he lined up directly across from rookie Richard Quinn. Quinn began to run his route before Dawkins jammed him hard at the line of scrimmage, sending the 6-foot-4 rookie to the ground.

“Whew — man, I got my bell rung today a little bit,” Quinn said. “I didn’t expect some of that to come, but it’s part of the game so I’ve just got to get back up, dust myself off and go at it again.”

To Quinn’s credit, the hit didn’t keep him away from the rest of practice, as he was back on the field catching passes a few minutes later.

For video of the play, check back later for our Broncos TV feature highlighting all the day’s action.
# But Dawkins wasn’t done. On his next run-through, he went up against Jeb Putzier, and swatted the Brandstater pass away without trouble. On his third chance, he picked off Brandstater. That ended a two-day stretch where Dawkins did sets of 10 push-ups to punish himself for not making interceptions.

# Toward the end of practice, the team worked on its red zone offense and defense. Royal and Stokley both shined in that part of the session, using their agility and hands to weave through the defense for a series of scores.
# McKinley also made a nice juke move on fellow rookie Darcel McBath, and was so excited that he chest bumped his teammate. Veteran Kenny Peterson responded, telling McKinley not to expect the middle to be open again.
# Dawkins again made his presence felt, this time inside the 20-yard line when he forced a fumble by LaMont Jordan. Jordan thought he had the catch made out of the backfield, but the cagey 14-year veteran came in at the last second to rip the ball out.

QUICK HITS: Head Coach Josh McDaniels continued to stress situational football, closing out the practice with a bevy of downs designed to test his team for real game situations. On the first play, his offense lined up out of its own end zone, with Orton completing to Stokley on an out route toward the sideline. The next play brought in the punting unit, where Smith ran back the return. Before his team turned around, it was in a first-and-10 situation from the 20, running a two-minute drill.

That two-minute drill brought in some new threads, including players calling timeout and the presence of first down markers on the sideline.

DAILY JUKEBOX: With Peyton Hillis as the morning’s proverbial disc jockey, Peterson took over for the nightcap. The playlist featured:
# TI’s “My Life, Your Entertainment,” featuring Usher
# Master P’s “Bout It, Bout It”
# Rick Ross’ “Mafia Music”

QUOTABLE: “I’m on DenverBroncos.com all day looking at what is going on. So, you know, it was stressful. But now I’m here and I’m happy to be here.”
-Robert Ayers on missing the start of training camp

The team will be back on the field for a single practice on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. MDT.

-Chris Gentilviso, DenverBroncos.com

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Day 5 Blog
August 4th, 2009 - 6:50pm by Zach Eisendrath

After completing back-to-back two-a-days on Sunday and Monday, the Broncos returned to the field on Tuesday afternoon for their lone practice of the day.

During the session, the team scrimmaged for an extended period of time, marching up and down the field working on 11-on-11s for what seemed like the longest it has all of camp.

Tuesday’s practice also marked a first of camp, as three league referees were present at Dove Valley. But more of them later. Here are some quick hits from the afternoon session:

ROLL CALL: Jarvis Moss returned to practice on Tuesday after missing the last few sessions. The club wasted little time getting the third-year player involved, as Moss was working with the special teams unit on punt rush situations just moments after he took the field.
# One day after officially signing with the team, first-round pick Robert Ayers made his training camp debut.

# Nic Clemons and Brandon Marshall missed the session. Casey Wiegmann, Daniel Graham and Ryan Torain were back on the field after missing Monday night’s practice.
# Speaking after practice, Head Coach Josh McDaniels said Nick Greisen, who was carted off the field during Monday’s morning practice, will miss the entire 2009 season. Greisen showed up at Dove Valley before practice on crutches, and the eighth-year linebacker was immediately greeted by linebackers coach Don Martindale. In his stead, Braxton Kelley also made a return to Dove Valley.

POSITIONING: During the team’s first special team’s session of the day, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer threw in a few fake punt situations. On one play, Nate Swift ran with the ball off a direct snap. On the next play, punter Britton Colquitt threw a pass to Swift, who streaked down field.
# As the team partook in its first set of red zone 11-on-11s, the defensive unit consisted of Tim Crowder, Ryan McBean, Ronald Fields, Kenny Peterson, Andra Davis, D.J. Williams and Elvis Dumervil, Champ Bailey and Andre’ Goodman at cornerback and Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill at safety.
# Dawkins left during 11-on-11s for the locker room, followed by a trainer. His injury was not visible, and Coach McDaniels said after practice he didn’t know about the veteran’s condition, but would update the situation tomorrow. David Bruton took Dawkins’ place with the first unit for the remainder of practice.

DRILLS: Talk about a hands-on approach. McDaniels and wide receivers coach Adam Gase spent time at the onset of practice working with receivers on route running. To do so, the two coaches shadowed receivers trying to make catches in the back of the end zone. A bit later, McDaniels jammed the receivers at the line of scrimmage, getting up close and personal with them as they broke into their routes.
# During one-on-one drills between the offensive and defensive lines, a number of players drew praise from their respective position coaches. Ryan McBean drew praise from defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely after his matchup with rookie Seth Olsen.
# Later, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan complimented Moss, saying “good hands” after he completed a series of rushes against Stanley Bryant, Jr.

# In a drill matching up linebackers and defensive lineman against tight ends and offensive tackles, Elvis Dumervil drew high praise from Martindale. At the same time, tight ends coach Clancy Barone stayed on rookie Richard Quinn, reminding him to be precise with his technique.

PLAYMAKERS: Jack Williams shined during practice, making a pair of interceptions. The first came off Tom Brandstater during red zone 11-on-11s. The second, however, was arguably the highlight of the day. One play after being whistled for pass interference by Ed Hochuli on fourth down at the five-yard line, the offense had the ball at the one. It was the final play of red zone 11-on-11s, and Williams jumped in front of a Kyle Orton pass, returning it 99 yards for the score to the jubilation of his defensive teammates.

“We wouldn’t have been in that predicament if I hadn’t gotten the penalty called on me,” Williams said. “So, I had to do something.”
# Brandstater showed some resolve during red zone 11-on-11s. After Williams intercepted him, the rookie signal caller came back, firing back-to-back touchdown passes to Quinn.
# During 11-on-11s, Orton showed his arm strength by connecting with Eddie Royal on a deep ball — drawing applause from the crowd.

# During 7-on-7s in the red zone, Jabar Gaffney showcased his propensity for finding openings in the back of the end zone, buying time and moving around until the quarterback can locate him. Gaffney has owned the back line of the end zone the last couple of days, and is seemingly always that reliable target when his quarterback is looking for an outlet.
# Orton finished out the same series strongly, connecting on touchdown passes to Tony Scheffler, Peyton Hillis and Royal. A few plays later, Chris Simms found Correll Buckhlater in the middle of the end zone for a score.
# The defensive unit gave Simms headaches all afternoon, batting down three of his passes at the line of scrimmage. Mario Haggan and Marcus Thomas knocked down consecutive passes, and a bit later, Ayers batted down another one.
# During the final series of 11-on-11s, Royal, despite being hounded by three defenders, was able to snag a pass in the back of the end zone while keeping both feet in bounds.

QUICK HITS: The referee crew didn’t just come to Dove Valley for a meet and greet — they were put to work. When Scheffler made a great sideline grab near midfield, a referee hurried over to the sideline, signaling that the tight end had both feet inbounds and position when he snagged the ball. A bit later during red zone 11-on-11s, Hochuli threw a flag, calling the offense for a false start.
# Brett Kern showed off his strong leg midway through practice, booming a punt deep in his own territory (players were blocking the view, but most observers thought he was inside the 20), that went out of the back of the opposite end zone on the fly, drawing a host of cheers.
# After practice, trays of ice-cold watermelon awaited the players off the field. And we’re talking Flintstones-sized slices — pretty much a quarter of a watermelon per person.

DAILY JUKEBOX: Stokley was in charge of Tuesday’s music selection. Here’s a list of a few of his picks:
# Pearl Jam’s “Black” and “Corduroy” (Both personal favorites of Kyle Sonneman)
# Drowning Pool’s “37 Stiches”
# Rage Against the Machine’s “Renegades of Funk”
# Billy Currington’s “People Are Crazy”

QUOTEABLE:
“You know, people don’t let me forget it. Hard Knocks comes on all the time, so people still see it to this day.”
-Jack Williams, on being caught from behind by a Dallas Cowboys quarterback after grabbing an interception last preseason

The team will be back on the field tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. MDT.

- Zach Eisendrath, DenverBroncos.com

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Day 6: A.M. Blog
August 5th, 2009 - 12:02pm by Chris Gentilviso

While this morning’s practice was closed to the public, the Broncos still kept the pedal down, turning in another two-hour session loaded with a multitude of drills, situational downs and packages. Here are some quick hits from the field.

ROLL CALL: Brian Dawkins, D.J. Williams, Brandon Stokley, Brandon Marshall, Daniel Graham, Correll Buckhalter and Casey Wiegmann were among the veterans who did not participate in the morning session. Head Coach Josh McDaniels said that all the players that were out were coaches decisions, and some will be back on the field for the afternoon session.

On Dawkins, McDaniels said, “Once he’s ready to roll here, I wouldn’t expect it to last too, too long. Certainly not anything devastating, but I’m not going to go into details about what it is and all the rest of that. He’ll be out for a few days.”

POSITIONING: With several first-team position players not on the field, the Broncos were able to utilize some different matchups.
# With Williams sitting out the session, Wesley Woodyard saw significant reps with the first unit, along with Darrell Reid, Andra Davis, and Elvis Dumervil. Robert Ayers also played a handful of snaps with the No. 1’s at the outside spot.
# Rookie Seth Olsen got another crack at playing with the first team offensive line of Ryan Clady, Chris Kuper, Ryan Harris, and Ben Hamilton, who shifted over to center.
# With Stokley out, Chad Jackson saw time as a slot receiver, alongside Eddie Royal and Jabar Gaffney in three-wide sets.

DRILLS: Quarterbacks and running backs worked on I-formation handoffs up the gut. Ryan Torain, LaMont Jordan and Darius Walker split the carries, while Spencer Larsen and Peyton Hillis rotated at the fullback spot, lining up their blocks.
# Running backs coach Bobby Turner also had his backs get some practice at wide receiver. Lining up at the outside spot, each back ran precise five-yard routes.
# The linebackers and secondary honed their footwork, backpedaling anywhere from five to 15 yards before adjusting their positions to snag the ball.
# Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer had his unit working on kickoffs in deep, squib and on-side situations. The gunners worked on stripping the ball. As they made their way upfield, Priefer yelled “Get the ball out! Get the ball out! Get the ball out!” C.J. Jones, D.J. Johnson, Nate Swift and Jackson all saw action as returners.

PLAYMAKERS: Chris Simms and Kenny McKinley hooked up for the first touchdown of the day in 11-on-11’s. Simms took a five-step drop, bought some time, and found the rookie streaking down the left sideline.
# Royal and Gaffney were both active in 11-on-11s, sporting their versatility out wide and in the slot. Orton threaded the needle to Royal on one touchdown, eking the ball by the coverage of Alphonso Smith. Gaffney also weaved his way past defenders for several catches over the middle of the field.
# The defense had its fair share of plays as well. A Ronald Fields rush on Orton forced the quarterback into an errant throw across the field to Torain. Andre’ Goodman also made his presence felt recording two pass breakups.
# Jackson made the play of the morning in red zone offense. After the ball ricocheted off Royal and two defenders, Jackson snagged it just before it hit the ground. He burst up off his feet, appealing to the side judge to call it a touchdown. When the referee ruled it as a score, Jackson jumped up and celebrated with the official, shouting “Yeah! You the one.”

QUICK HITS: The referees were back for a second day, and again brought a realistic feel to the team’s practice. When Orton found Tony Scheffler in the back corner of the end zone, the line judge waived off the catch, ruling the tight end out of bounds.
# A trend throughout the first week of camp has been “incomplete pass equals fumble.” While the officials were present to whistle those plays dead, the players were still alert enough to find the ball and pounce on it.

DAILY JUKEBOX: The music during Wednesday’s morning practice only lasted through warm-ups, but still gave the players a boost when working through their stretches. Here’s the playlist, which was compiled by Mark Thewes, Assistant to Head Coach Josh McDaniels.
# Kenny Chesney - “Summertime”
# Beastie Boys - “Intergalactic”
# U2 - “Beautiful Day”
# DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - “Summertime”
# Michael Jackson - “Rock with You” (This selection elicited the approval of McDaniels and several players)
# Bruce Springsteen - “The Rising”

QUOTABLE: “I set it down. Somebody is picking it up for me. I don’t know who it (is), but somebody is picking it up for me.”
- Wesley Woodyard on which rookie has the duty of carrying in his helmet and shoulder pads.



- Chris Gentilviso, DenverBroncos.com

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Day 6: P.M. Blog
August 5th, 2009 - 9:01pm by Kyle Sonneman

After a warm afternoon, dark clouds and a cool stiff breeze welcomed the players for the afternoon session. And while the weather may have thrown the guys for a loop, it was noting like the surprise the rookies had coming after stretch.

ROLL CALL: Brandon Stokley, Daniel Graham and Correll Buckhalter returned to practice this afternoon after sitting out the AM session. Those not on the field this evening included Brandon Marshall, Brian Dawkins, Nic Clemons, Ryan Torain and Rulon Davis.

POSITIONING: The team went through some extensive 11-on-11 work including time in the red zone, from the 30-yard line going to the opposite end zone and a spirited goal line session.
# In the goalline session, both the offense and defenses had in their “heavy” packages. The offense lined with three tight ends (Graham, Tony Scheffler and Richard Quinn) and Peyton Hillis and LaMont Jordan in the backfield. The defense countered with four down linemen, four linebackers and three safeties.
# With Dawkins out, David Bruton and Darcel McBath took some reps with the first defensive unit.
# Brandon Lloyd saw some extensive action with the first unit and made a leaping grab of a Chris Simms pass in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

DRILLS: As the players wrapped up their stretching period, Head Coach Josh McDaniels called the team over to the south end of the field. There, the turf crew had been watering a grassy patch, making it a swampy mess. He asked the rookies to form a line and one-by-one, each rookie had to run and jump in the homemade Slip ‘n Slide to recover a fumble.

If going through the muck wasn’t enough, Lonie Paxton was standing off to the side with a hose, dousing the players as they slid across the mud. Buckets of water were also passed around by veterans who took turns adding to the dampness. The once-white pants they were wearing quickly became a dirty brown.

But it wasn’t just the players who had to go after the ball, offensive assistant Ben McDaniels and defensive assistant Jay Rodgers also took their turns.

“That was definitely an eye opener,” Tom Brandstater said of seeing the coaches take part in the drill. “I wasn’t expecting that. I turn around and see Coach flying through the air. We had two young coaches doing that and it was cool to see them doing the same thing with us. It’s Ben’s first year at this level, too, so it was good to see him do that.”

Check out the video of the drill from Broncos TV and a photo gallery.
# The final drill of the day had the defensive linemen practing blocking field goals with special teams coordinator Mike Priefer.

PLAYMAKERS: The hit of the day belongs to Kenny Peterson. During an 11-on-11 drill, Peterson jumped the gap and met Buckhalter flush, drawing praise from teammates and coaches alike.
# Kyle Orton found a streaking Jabar Gaffney down the sideline and was able to loft the ball just over Joshua Bell’s shoulder for a long gain.
# Elvis Dumervil drew the praise of Coach McDaniels during some 11-on-11 work. Dumervil fought off a block and was able to take down Jordan behind the line of scrimmage.
# Alphonso Smith continued his menacing ways, picking off a Simms pass intended for Lloyd. But the offense got back at him on his next series as he was flagged for a pass interference penalty while trying to guard Eddie Royal.

QUICK HITS: As mentioned above, the goal line drill was the most spirited session of the practice with the offense scoring four times and the defense stopping them four times. As the horn blew to end the drill, both sides of the ball begged and pleaded to break the tie, but they will have to wait another day.
# Clemons spent time during practice working with the trainers in hopes of getting back on the field with his teammates.
# A penalty on the offense during an 11-on-11 drill forced the whole group to run a lap around the field as Wesley Woodyard heckled them.

DAILY JUKEBOX: It was a flashback to the late 70s and early 80s for the afternoon practice.
# The Gap Band - “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” and “Oops Upside Your Head”
# Earth, Wind & Fire - “Let’s Groove” (This may have been the extended version as the song seemed to last throughout warmups)
# Curtis Mayfield - “Pusherman”

QUOTABLE: “Lonie (Paxton) told me — I guess he said in pregame when we were punting a little bit. He was like, ‘You ever recover a fumble?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Alright, you’ll get to today.”
Britton Colquitt, on when he knew about the Slip ‘n Slide drill



-Kyle Sonneman, DenverBroncos.com

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Day 7: A.M. Blog
August 6th, 2009 - 1:38pm by Kyle Sonneman

In preparation for tonight’s practice at INVESCO Field at Mile High, the Broncos held a light workout Thursday morning. Most players wore just their jerseys and shorts while the rookies and some selected veteran wore padded pants and their jerseys.

ROLL CALL: The only players not on field this morning were Rulon Davis, Brian Dawkins and Brandon Marshall. Nic Clemons returned to the field sporting an orange jersey.

POSITIONING: With Dawkins out, David Bruton took the majority of first team reps. The rest of the offense and defense stayed pretty much the same as previous days.

DRILLS: Much of the session was dedicated to situation drills including — 4th-and-goal with no timeouts at the 10-yard line, 2-point conversations, Hail Mary defense and offense, a kick return period and a fake field goal protection session.
# For the final period of practice, rookies and 11 veterans slipped on their shoulder pads and went through an 11-on-11 session. The remaining veterans watched their teammates battle it out from the sidelines.

PLAYMAKERS: Spencer Larsen took full advantage of the final period as he was involved in nearly every tackle when the offense ran the football. His play drew praise from coaches and teammates.

# Rashod Moulton leaped to break up a Tom Brandstater pass intended for Nate Swift.

QUICK HITS: Chuck Priefer, the father of special teams coordinator Mike Priefer joined his son at practice today. The elder Priefer worked in the NFL for 17 seasons and coached at the collegiate level for 12 years. Chuck retired in 2007 after spending 10 seasons as the Detroit Lions special teams coach.
# A protein shake laid empty and defeated at the feet of Ed Hochuli during the walk-through portion of practice.

DAILY JUKEBOX: Only one song played during warmups today, but the title could define training camp for most players.
# Queen and David Bowie - “Under Pressure”

QUOTABLE:
“We’ll get a comfort level, obviously — that’s where we play when it really matters. So we’ll get out there one time before it really counts and have some fun in front of the fans.”
-Kyle Orton, on the benefits of tonight’s open practice at INVESCO Field at Mile High.

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Day 7: P.M. Blog
August 6th, 2009 - 9:33pm by Chris Gentilviso

It was a historical night for the Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High. With 76 players suiting up in full pads, a record practice crowd of 13,402 fans filled the stadium seats to watch the two-hour session. Here are some quick hits from the under-the-lights outing in Denver.

ROLL CALL: Not practicing were Brandon Marshall, Brian Dawkins, and Rulon Davis. After practicing in the morning with an orange jersey for players recovering from injury, Nic Clemons was back out on the field in the same threads.

POSITIONING: On offense, the first-team line that experienced much success a year ago was back on its home turf. Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris manned the tackle positions, with Ben Hamilton and Chris Kuper at guard and Casey Wiegmann at center. Correll Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan split the majority of the carries at running back. Peyton Hillis also saw time as the lone setback, shifting between that and his customary fullback spot. Tony Scheffler and Daniel Graham lined up in a multitude of spots on two tight-end sets, and the Broncos even employed some three tight-end looks, where rookie Richard Quinn got in on the action.
# The first-team defense was led by Ryan McBean, Ronald Fields and Kenny Peterson up front. Elvis Dumervil, Andra Davis, D.J. Williams, and Darrell Reid completed the rest of the front seven, while Champ Bailey, Andre’ Goodman, Renaldo Hill and rookie David Bruton rounded out the secondary. Nickel packages included faces like Jack Williams, Wesley Woodyard and Robert Ayers with the rest of the first-teamers.

DRILLS: Linebackers coach Don Martindale tested his players’ pads early. He ran a drill where each Bronco had to fight off one block from a teammate, before wrapping up another teammate heading downfield.
# The defensive backs worked with secondary coach Ed Donatell and defensive assistant Jay Rodgers on deep interceptions. Donatell acted as a receiver, while Rodgers threw the passes to the cornerbacks to help them with their timing.
# Quarterbacks Kyle Orton and Chris Simms worked on three-receiver sets against an empty defensive backfield. Jabar Gaffney, Eddie Royal and Brandon Stokley ran the drill with Orton. Graham filled the tight end spot and the tandem of Buckhalter and Jordan rotated out of the backfield. Each player worked on running their routes and signalin when they reached an open spot.
# Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer ran the team through punting drills, with Brett Kern and Britton Colquitt splitting the punting duties and Royal and Alphonso Smith taking turns on the returns. It seems to be focused mainly on blocking for the punt.

PLAYMAKERS: It was a banner evening for Goodman in his INVESCO Field debut in orange and blue. As the team began its 20-minute period of situational football, Goodman lined up alongside Gaffney. With Orton facing a 1st-and-10 at his own 16-yard line, he dropped back to pass, but his pocket quickly broke down. Escaping trouble, he thought Gaffney had found a seam deep down the middle of the field. Goodman turned on his speed, creeping up Gaffney’s outside shoulder and skying high to grab the interception.

Three plays later, Goodman struck again. With Orton facing a 3rd-and-10 at his own 35, Royal ran a curl route to the left sideline. Goodman made his read and snatched the ball away again, rumbling 54 yards for a touchdown.
# Stokley shined on offense, recording a 9-yard touchdown reception in a red zone offense set. He had 10-plus catches on the night, leaving his tracks over the middle of the field, while peppering the sidelines as well.
# The Broncos pass rush made its presence felt. Both Fields and Davis snagged a piece of Orton’s orange jersey before the quarterback could get the ball off, drawing a whistle from the referees for a “makeshift” sack. On a late blitz, Reid pressured Simms up the middle, causing a rushed throw and subsequent incompletion.
# In kickoff returns, Tony Carter won the rookie battle over Nate Swift, forcing a fumble on one of Swift’s attempts. Fellow rookies Smith and Kenny McKinley each were able to find seams, showing off their speed on a pair of long runbacks.

SITUATIONAL SUCCESS: Head Coach Josh McDaniels promised a practice that would include real game situations and delivered. Here’s a rundown of some of the real-feel scores that the players faced on the field, and fans could follow along with from their seats.
# Blue 17, White 17 - 7:00 left in the 4th quarter, 1st-and-10 White at the 50-yard line
# White 20, Blue 17 - 3:45 left in the 4th quarter, 1st-and-10 White at its own 30-yard line
# Blue 14, White 13 - 2:00 left in the 4th quarter, 1st-and-10 White at its own 30-yard line
# Blue 24, White 20 - 2:00 left in the 4th quarter, 1st-and-10 White at its own 25-yard line

QUICK HITS: Adding to the stadium setting was the presence of headsets — worn by McDaniels and his coaches from the beginning of the 20-minute situational football period to the end of the session.
# On their third and final day with the Broncos in Denver, referee Ed Hochuli and his crew helped the players grow more comfortable with game situations before next Friday’s preseason opener in San Francisco.

# The crew also kept a watchful eye on new NFL guidelines. A prime example was on kickoff returns, where the referees made sure the new wedge rule was being followed. Starting this season, no more than two receiving players may intentionally line up shoulder-to-shoulder, within two yards of each other, to set up the blocks.
# In addition to watching the action live, fans were able to rely on the ThunderVision if they missed any of those playmakers in action. The replays captured some of the biggest plays on display, highlighting Goodman’s pair of picks and Stokley’s catches in traffic.

DAILY JUKEBOX: While it only lasted through the 15-minute warm-up period, fans were serenaded to the sound of another Broncos playlist. Some of the tunes included:
# Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow”
# T.I’s “Live Your Life”
# Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run”
# Young Jeezy’s “Put On”
# Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “The Waiting”
# Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”

QUOTABLE: “The fans came out. I mean, that was beautiful. Definitely great atmosphere. I can’t wait to play a live game in this stadium. If this many fans come out for a training camp practice I can’t imagine how it is going to be during a game.”
-Darrell Reid on the atmosphere at practice

The team will hold one practice on Friday starting at 1:15 p.m. MDT and will then enjoy a Saturday off.



– Chris Gentilviso, DenverBroncos.com

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For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matt 11


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Day 8 Blog
August 7th, 2009 - 4:39pm by Gray Caldwell

After last night’s physical practice at INVESCO Field at Mile High, the team’s workload was a little lighter Friday afternoon. The players wore shorts — though some wore sweat pants — and most didn’t have pads on.

Here are some quick hits from the session, which lasted a little longer than two hours.

ROLL CALL: Nic Clemons was no longer wearing an orange jersey, back to his normal blue defensive jersey.
# Rulon Davis, Brian Dawkins, Vernon Fox, Brandon Marshall and J’Vonne Parker did not participate in the session.
# Wesley Woodyard walked off the practice field after a set of drills and did not return.

POSITIONING: The first offensive unit consisted of Brandon Stokley, Eddie Royal and Jabar Gaffney at receiver, Daniel Graham at tight end, Kyle Orton at quarterback, LaMont Jordan at running back, and the same five starters on the offensive line — Ryan Clady, Ben Hamilton, Casey Wiegmann, Chris Kuper and Ryan Harris.
# The first defensive unit saw Ryan McBean, Ronald Fields and Kenny Peterson on the line, Darrell Reid, D.J. Williams, Andra Davis and Elvis Dumervil at linebacker, Champ Bailey and Andre’ Goodman at cornerback and David Bruton and Renaldo Hill at safety.Several other players cracked that lineup depending on the formation, including Robert Ayers, Josh Barrett, Jack Williams and Alphonso Smith.
# Joshua Bell looked to be lined up at safety during a couple plays in one package, but also stepped up to play cornerback when an extra receiver came into the game.

DRILLS: Brett Kern worked one-on-one with special teams coordinator Mike Priefer on what looked like footwork and drops before punts. Priefer threw him the ball under-handed like a snap, and Kern caught it, took a few steps and dropped it as if he were punting.
# Almost every day, linebackers coach Don Martindale and assistant linebackers coach Roman Phifer have run their unit through a drill that has them run side to side before the coaches throw them the ball to practice catching interceptions. During the drill today, Woodyard sprinted left, then right, then straight back, catching a pass over his shoulder left with one hand.

# When the team worked on kickoff returns, the usual names came up — Royal, Smith and Kenny McKinley. But another player fielded a kick today who fans might not expect — Spencer Larsen. No, the inside linebacker/fullback isn’t making a run at the returner gig, he just practiced fielding kicks because he’s the “up” man, and short kicks might fall into his arms.

PLAYMAKERS: The slow tempo of practice meant there weren’t too many spectacular plays, but a few names stuck out.
# Jordan broke up a potential interception by Hill early in what seemed to be an 11-on-11 walkthrough session, getting his hand on the ball in Hill’s arms to make sure the pass fell incomplete.
# Nate Swift caught a long pass from Orton down the sideline, drawing some cheers from the crowd.
# It was just walkthrough speed, so no plays were called dead, but on one play, Jarvis Moss broke through the offensive line to get to Simms. Instead of going for the hypothetical sack, he let the play continue, simply standing in front of him, jumping and waiving his arms.QUICK HITS: Orton spent a lot of time under center this afternoon. Chris Simms and Tom Brandstater still got some snaps, but it seemed like today Orton got even more reps than usual, often staying at quarterback no matter who else was in on offense or defense.
# The team seemed to be using the scoreboard placed on the side of the building at Dove Valley to help set up different situational plays. It displayed time left in the game and the score.
# The players got to have a little fun at the end of practice. Harkening back to the first days of minicamps, two defensive linemen dropped back to field punts to earn a privilege for the team. This time it wasn’t to get out of meetings, however — it was the right to have no curfew tonight, the day before the team gets a day off from practice — a “mental health day,” as McDaniels put it. Peterson stepped back first, and as teammates reminded him to take the wind into account, tossing grass into the air and watching the wind take it, the veteran lineman calmly hauled in the punt before being mobbed by his teammates.
# But the fun wasn’t quite over, as Chris Baker stepped back to field a punt to earn the same privilege for the rookies. The first punt sailed over his head and he tried to run back and catch it over his shoulder, but it fell to the ground as he and his teammates laughed. McDaniels gave him another chance, however, and this time he called for a fair catch, stepped forward and let the ball fly over his head into the end zone, earning more laughs and high fives. On the third attempt, he found the ball in the air, backed up and fielded it perfectly in the end zone before throwing his arms in the air as his fellow rookies congratulated him.

DAILY JUKEBOX: Just a few tunes today, but they were some goodies.
# Practice opened up with a little Michael Jackson - “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”
# Stone Temple Pilots - “Plush”
# Arrested Development - “Tennessee”
# Metallica - “Enter Sandman”

During the last song, Ayers threw down some serious air guitar skills as the team finished up stretching, and Woodyard did a little head-banging as he started to run through linebacker drills.

QUOTABLE:

“I don’t have to see these guys. I can actually lay in my own bed and watch my own TV and cook my own food. Well, I won’t really be cooking. Eat my own food.”

-Kenny Peterson, joking on why tomorrow’s day off will be nice

The team has a day off from practice tomorrow, and will be back on the field at 2:30 p.m. MDT on Sunday, Aug. 9.


-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com

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Day 10 Blog
August 9th, 2009 - 6:01pm by Gray Caldwell

Dove Valley was packed with the most fans to attend a practice this offseason Sunday afternoon. It was also the first training camp practice for newly-signed No. 1 pick Knowshon Moreno, so there was plenty of excitement surrounding the day. There were some plays made on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, and a few new players cracked the first unit on both sides.

Here are some quick hits from the session.

ROLL CALL: Rulon Davis was back at practice this afternoon after missing Friday’s practice session. Brandon Marshall, Brian Dawkins and Wesley Woodyard did not participate.

POSITIONING: Depending on the package, plenty of defensive players saw some time with what seemed to be the “first unit.” The basic unit looked pretty similar, with Champ Bailey, Andre’ Goodman, David Bruton and Renaldo Hill in the secondary, Ryan McBean, Ronald Fields and Kenny Peterson on the line and Elvis Dumervil, D.J. Williams, Andra Davis and Mario Haggan at linebacker. Haggan joined the list of several new faces who saw some time with the first unit, including Marcus Thomas, Nic Clemons and Robert Ayers. Jack Williams and Josh Barrett ran with the first teamers for parts of practice as well.
# As far as the offense goes, the team occasionally worked in two tight end sets, with Daniel Graham and Tony Scheffler. Jabar Gaffney and Eddie Royal were the receivers, Kyle Orton was at quarterback and the running backs rotated, including Peyton Hillis, Correll Buckhalter and Moreno. Hillis also spent time at fullback in two-back sets.

DRILLS: Tight ends worked again linebackers on blocking, and the one-on-one battles were fairly physical. After Reid pushed Richard Quinn down on the way to the quarterback, linebackers coach Don Martindale shouted to tight ends coach Clancy Barone, “I brought the bullies today, Clarence!” On the next play, Quinn stepped up again and this time held off Tim Crowder, drawing loud clapping and congratulations from Barone on the effort.
# In the same drill, no one got past Daniel Graham. Graham also spent some time to the side showing Quinn how to use his hands to help with his technique. Dumervil was active in the drill as well, pushing back Jeb Putzier then using a swim move to get past him. He gave Robert Ayers a fist pound after the rookie made some good moves in the drill a couple plays later.

# Reid and Dumervil worked against Spencer Larsen and LaMont Jordan in a special teams drill with coordinator Mike Priefer. The two outside linebackers/defensive ends practiced their blocking technique.

PLAYMAKERS: Bailey had quite the practice. In one-on-one drills between defensive backs and wide receivers, he matched up against Royal on two occasions. Both times he made sure the ball fell to the ground for an incompletion. Then in 11-on-11s later in the session, the eight-time Pro Bowler grabbed two interceptions. One came as he ran down an overthrown ball and caught it over his shoulder in the end zone. The other game on a tipped pass, which he pulled out of the air as he reached behind him.

# Royal had a solid session as well, leaping up to catch a pass in the middle of the defense with Vernon Fox closing quickly. Later in the session, Gaffney leaped to pull in a pass before being brought down by Goodman near the goal line. The defense shouted “He wasn’t in the end zone!” but Head Coach Josh McDaniels blew his whistle and signaled touchdown, calling for a two-point conversion. In what was a familiar sight for Broncos fans, Royal was the man who hauled in the catch in the end zone on the next play for the successful conversion.
# Moreno made an impact in his first practice, seeing a couple reps behind the first unit offensive line. In one-on-one tackling drills between running backs and linebackers, the rookie lowered his shoulder and ran right into D.J. Williams. The veteran still made the tackle, but it drew some “ooohs” from the crowd.

# Tony Carter thought he had an interception in his grasp during 7-on-7s, but the ball tipped off his outstretched hands and into the arms of intended receiver Brandon Lloyd, who turned around and sprinted toward the end zone, much to the delight of the crowd.
# Stokley also scored a touchdown during 7-on-7s, streaking upfield and catching a long bomb from Orton with Jack Williams in tight coverage.
# Alphonso Smith jumped a route and picked off a pass from Tom Brandstater during 11-on-11s.
# The first unit offense and defense went at it during a two-minute drill to close out practice. The offense drove to the 11-yard line and clocked the ball with two seconds to go. On the final play of the drive, Orton dropped back, scanned the field and fired a pass to Scheffler in the front of the end zone, but Goodman continued his playmaking ways of late, jumping in to knock the ball away before shaking his head in celebration.

QUICK HITS: 2,309 fans showed up to watch practice today — the most at Dove Valley yet this offseason.
# Kenny McKinley went one-on-one with Smith in a drill early in practice, and Smith broke up the pass. Wide receivers coach Adam Gase pulled McKinley aside and talked to him after the play. The pep talk must have worked, because during 11-on-11s later in practice McKinley leaped and pulled in a Chris Simms pass at its highest point for a catch that drew cheers from the crowd.

DAILY JUKEBOX: Ben Hamilton’s playlist kicked off practice today, and he put together a list based on suggestions from fellow offensive linemen. Last week, Wiegmann said, “I just told Ben to make it respectable.” You be the judge.
# Bob Marley - “Jammin’”
# Metallica - “Don’t Tread on Me”
# Daft Punk - “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” (This brought some dancing from the former Minnesota teammates, Hamilton and Reid)
# Jay-Z - “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)”
# Jason Michael Carroll - “Waitin’ in the Country”
# Michael Jackson - “Rock With You”

Later in the session, Mark Thewes, assistant to the head coach, took control of the iPod and put on some music to simulate crowd noise. Some of his selections included “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters, “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and “You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi.

QUOTABLE:
“Yeah I needed some. I thought I needed some contact getting out here for the first day. I got that.”
-Knowshon Moreno, on his contact with D.J. Williams in one-on-one drills


-Gray Caldwell, DenverBroncos.com

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“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matt 11


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