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Published on 08/03/2009 at Mon Aug 03 22:30.
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Denver Broncos offensive linemen run drills at training camp.  (BroncoTalk/Kyle Montgomery)

Denver Broncos offensive linemen run drills at training camp. (BroncoTalk/Kyle Montgomery)

Denver Broncos training camp… news and notes from the Monday afternoon session.

The weather was threatening but ultimately cooperated, and the Broncos continued their physical workouts Monday afternoon. They started with mental reps and formation work, followed by warm-ups and individual drills, and finished with team scrimmages (situational football).

Attendance Report

Brandon Marshall was again missing. Robert Ayers, although signed, did not participate per the Head Coach’s suggestion. Knowshon Moreno was of course absent, along with Daniel Graham, Casey Weigmann, Ryan Torain, and Nick Greisen. Brian Dawkins, Correll Buckhalter, Wesley Woodyard, and Brandon Stokley all returned to the field after missing the morning practice.


Offensive MVP: Kyle Orton

BroncoTalk/Kyle Montgomery

BroncoTalk/Kyle Montgomery

This afternoon was Orton’s best practice to date. He still made a few mistakes, but I saw better footwork and better reaction to pressure overall. He made plays happen with his feet when he needed to and he stepped into his throws even under pressure (something he really, really hadn’t been doing to this point). He also threw very accurate passes today. Some highlights: With Buckhalter running a route against Wesley Woodyard, Orton was under some good pressure both on the inside and to his right. He stood firm in the pocket and delivered a perfectly placed bullet to Buckhalter’s outside shoulder; Bucky turned on the jets to get past Woody. Later, Orton executed a play-action bootleg to his left flawlessly, hitting Stokley for 6. He followed that up a few plays later with a risky ball to Stokley in the end zone again, but gave it enough zip to fly through Josh Barrett‘s hands. Touchdown.

With Weigmann out, Kory Lichtensteiger saw work as the starting center with the first team o-line. He consistently struggled though; Ronald Fields got the better of him more than once. The coaches must have noticed this too, and by the end of practice, Lichtensteiger was benched. Ben Hamilton was moved to center (remember that Hamilton played center in Tom Nalen‘s absence on more than one occasion), and rookie Seth Olsen filled in at left guard. Interesting. Also, check the defensive notes for the OL vs. DL drill.

Chris Simms was up-and-down again; he’ll make a big play out of nothing and then throw wildly inaccurate passes.

I also got a glimpse of McDaniels’ offense, and how it might attack a defense like Denver’s. I saw Champ Bailey get taken out of a play by clever route combinations, resulting in a touchdown on the other side of the field. Bailey got left having to cover tight end Richard Quinn who came from the inside, while all the playmakers went to the other side of the field.


One-handed, left-handed catches by a rookie corner?  Check.  (BroncoTalk/Kyle Montgomery)

One-handed, left-handed catches by a rookie corner? Check. (BroncoTalk/Kyle Montgomery)

Defensive MVP: Brian Dawkins.

Our big free agent signing wreaked havoc out there, forcing a fumble and intercepting at least one ball. He also laid the smack down, knocking the wind out of Lamont Jordan and laying out Richard Quinn on separate occasions.

2nd MVP goes to Ronald Fields. The nose tackle had a strong practice – perhaps partially due to the absence of Weigmann shutting him down.

The OL vs. DL drills were exactly what I’ve been thirsting for, and I wasn’t disappointed. Two d-linemen lined up against a full o-line, with the goal to get to the “quarterback.” It appeared to me that the o-line was not to double team any of the DL, though – they just all had to be ready in case they were engaged. Fun drill. Here are some notes (the speed of this drill didn’t help me in taking notes, so I apologize and ask you to fill in the blanks where needed):

  • Matthias Askew and Darrell Reid dominated the opposing OL. Looked like backups. They got eaten.
  • Askew got past the right tackle later as well.
  • Carlton Powell pushed Tyler Polumbus around quite a bit.
  • Powell was back at it, this time utilizing a nice spin move and beating G Matt McChesney cleanly. The coaches reamed McChesney for that one.
  • Seth Olsen handled Chris Baker well. McChesney bounced back by controlling Rulon Davis with seeming ease.
  • Davis had a rough outing in this drill, getting handled several times and also getting ripped by the coaches. One coach tested him on his technique “HOW MANY STEPS?!” and Davis couldn’t answer. Coach got disgusted and kicked him off the line.
  • Reid and Everette Pedescleux lined up alongside each other when the former spun into the latter, tripping them both up and knocking them both down. Made me laugh a bit (sorry guys).
  • Kenny Peterson and Elvis Dumervil went against the one’s and got there. It wasn’t a clean win but they certainly both pushed back their boys enough, and just in time.

Eleven-on-eleven drill was interesting, as we got to see some more Big Nickel packages with a few mix-ins (like Barrett lined up closer to the line of scrimmage). Alphonso Smith is proving to be a playmaker, batting balls away and oh-so-nearly coming up with an impressive interception (bouncing out of his hands as he hit the ground in the end zone). Tony Carter also made plays, executing a big blocked pass with a tall leap in the end zone and following that up with a sack on Simms on a blitz. Carter screamed in celebration, which gave the crowd a few laughs and cheers. I also liked what I saw from Vernon Fox. Playing with the two’s, I heard Fox read the play PERFECTLY, directing his CB teammate to the action. His fast thinking and directing turned what would have been a big play into a 3 or 4 yard gain.

Special Teams

Special Teams MVP: Kenny McKinley

The rookie looked far and away the best in kick return drills between him, Royal and fellow rookie Alphonso Smith. He had the two best returns of the group, one for a touchdown.

Matt Prater reminded me of Jason Elam circa 2006, when the entire special teams was rushed onto the field and the kicker was asked to make a field goal in under 10 seconds. It wasn’t quite as fast as the famed “Toro!” play, but he nailed the hurried kick just the same. Later he was a bit less solid, making 4 of 6 field goals at the end of practice.

Brett Kern is beginning to distance himself from Britton Colquitt, especially in placing punts in the corner of the field.

Just one practice tomorrow, from 2:30 to 4:30. Will Knowshon be a no-show again?

  • Garrett Barnes

    Interesting about Kory Lichtenstieger… I have suspected for a little while that the new regime isn’t that crazy about him. I guess them pulling him that quickly might confirm that.

  • broncoNM

    I hope McKinley emerges as our KR. I would rather save royal and smith for their respected positions. Dont like the idea of losing either one of them to injury. Who are our LB’s in the nickel package? DJ + Woodyard? Another great practice report. thx.

  • Mr.East

    I’m glad that Fields put some pressure out there. It must be hard going against Casey everyday, the dude shut down Kris Jenkins in the Jets game. Kris Jenkins is 360 pounds… Wiegmann is 285. That dude is a beast.

  • T-Money

    You rock Kyle! Good Work man! Keep an eye on #56 tomorrow… I bet he gets he ass whipped into shape. (that’s what you get for missing a week of camp!)

  • mikebirty

    @east. Just what i was thinking. And i don’t remember wilfork having any stats against casey either and they’re two of the top nose tackles in the game. It must be disspiriting for fields and all the d line going against the best there is. Imagine how elvis must feel running into either of the ryans twenty times a day.

    Marshall said it last year about adam jones – why would he worry about jones when he faces champ in practice every day.

  • Jim Brooks

    This is for Marshall & Knowshon – Fatherly advice….Guys ! I’m 68 years old & have been around the block, both with the Broncos and more so in life.. Though you & your agents may think you are helping your causes by behaving the way you both are, I promise you that someone is giving both of you lousy advice. Swallow your huge pride and play out your contract Marshall, & Knowshon, you too. MARSHALL -Think about your teammates. If you like and respect some of them, do it for them. I’m sorry to say, Marshall, that you are hurting yourself more than the team in the long run. If you’re agent doesn’t see that or you refuse to accept that, PLEASE, get advice from a good shrink. I ‘m quite serious. about that. KNOWSHON, don’ t let your agent play this game for you ! I know you’re a team guy and you can make up the shortfall in short NFL time. Be the guy we know you are, and get to camp, for your teammates if not for the team ! Sincerely – Jim in Connecticut

  • Greg

    Good to hear, who the MVP’s were, Let Kyle settle into the system he’ll become more and more comfortable in the pocket, I he can make every throw, he just needs some time.

  • precisiontint

    It has to be hard going against one of the better lines in the NFL. The d line should look like poo most of the time.