Posted Sat Aug 1st by Josh Temple
Here are few things observed from the other half of the Broncotalk onsite staff for todays practice.
Open Field Defensive Back Tackling Drills
- Josh Barrett destroyed Travis Shelton in the middle of the field. Easily the hardest hit of the day.
- Marshall seemed to go down awfully easy in this drill after making contact. Not the B. Marsh we know with the YAC skills he usually displays. Many mentions of Brandon coasting through drills but out performing everyone else come full on scrimmages.
Handoff /Run Defense Drills
- Tom Brandstater ran all of the handoff drills as the #3 QB.
- Darius Walker had a nice break into daylight against the front 7 taking it for a would be touchdown.
- Spencer Larsen manned the RILB spot in the 3.4.
- Elvis Dumervil played both right DE in the 4-3 and ROLB in the 3-4. Still showing better technique in a 3 point stance, being able to disrupt plays at the line. Doom seemed to have trouble getting enough penetration to get optimal placement when staying home in run coverage with the play away from him. This is especially apparent when the offense runs a stretch play to the opposite sideline. My gut feeling is that he is still best suited to playing defensive end in a 4-3 system. As Kyle noted, he has not lost his aggressiveness, getting after Hillis during a complete team drill. Hopefully he can make the transition to a stand-up LB.
- Eddie Royal, Alphonso Smith, Nate Swift, and Kenny McKinley all participated in fielding punts from Kern and Colquitt.
- Royal is by far the best of the punt returner during this drill. I don’t know if you could call it showboating or applying “advanced techniques” but Eddie was easily running down and receiving punts with one hand while another ball was firmly stuffed into the other arm.
- Alphonso Smith was the most consistent behind Royal. If there is a concern of special teams injury to Royal, I would not be surprised to see Smith taking over returning duties with McDaniels’ philosophy of sticking him anywhere to become a play maker.
- The punting battle (if you can call it that) is anything but after seeing this drill. Brett Kern was easily the more powerful and accurate of the two. He was quite consistent placing the ball on the one yard line which was pretty much the objective here. Colquitt had a few balls go erratic, hanging them towards the sideline near the 15 and 20.
Full Team Scrimmages
- Peyton Hillis took a handoff over right guard and shredded the front 7 for an easy TD up the middle. This was either the best running play of the day or the biggest missed assignment by the defense. I’ll side with Hillis on this one, he broke 2 tackles to make it happen.
- Orton seemed to prefer dumping off to the running backs and tight ends come pass plays. Checking down a lot. Is this going to be our next coming of Brian Griese? I wouldn’t say that at this point. The secondary did seem to do a good job of covering things up today, many deeper balls would’ve been forced into coverage.
- A la Jay Cutler, Kyle was able to thread some bullets nicely over the middle to various tights ends. I was impressed with the pop and accuracy of these passes, most of which were of the 15-20 yard variety.
- For what it was worth, the dump game was working against the defense for most of the day. It’s obvious to all the onlookers that nobody wants to challenge Peyton Hillis out of the flat, gaining 5 to 20 yards easily, and then being forced out of bounds rather than being brought down.
- UFA Linebacker Darrell Reid struggled with pass coverage, often getting left behind easily when running backs would make crossing patterns.
- The long ball off of play action hasn’t gone away with the regime change. We were able to see it ran a few times, specifically on a play with Marshall getting loose single coverage. Orton under threw the ball about a yard or two short coming up as incomplete. It was definitely a catchable ball though.
- Nic Clemons was carted off the field holding his knee during the last 15 minutes of practice. Looked to be in some serious pain.
- Orton was able to find Stokley in the slot quite nicely. Where else would you find him? Orton shortly thereafter threw a bad interception to Andre Goodman. Not one offensive player in a 5 yard halo of him. One of the worst throws of the day.
- All of the drills were kept at a very fast pace throughout the day. The horn to switch up seemed to come fast and often.
- What sounded like Josh McDaniels and Rich Tuten, were barking orders our loudly the better part of the day.
- A lot of talk about the way McDaniels is running his first camp as a head coach. The fact that he has the players out banging pads everytime is raising some eyebrows. Will this camp become a war of attrition? From my perspective it didn’t seem like it was run too hard, most of the players still looked fairly fresh coming off the field at the end of the day.
- After seeing the defense, I concur with everything Kyle stated yesterday about the front seven.