View Full Version : Defense stands tall
07-30-2005, 12:15 AM
Defense stands tall
Williams paces gritty showing on first day of camp
By Lee Rasizer, Rocky Mountain News
July 30, 2005
Rookie cornerback Darrent Williams didn't know what was more satisfying after the first full practice day at Denver Broncos training camp: the interception that was part of a strong afternoon effort by the defense or the compliment he caught as he walked off the field.
"John Lynch came to me after practice and told me I set the tone for the day," Williams said of his famous teammate, whom he has admired through the years for Lynch's bone-jarring hits at safety. "After that, we just started getting turnovers, started wrecking up and stripping balls and getting interceptions."
Williams also pried loose the ball from fellow first-year player Maurice Clarett after the running back turned the corner during team drills. The cornerback punctuated that play with some fist-pumps, drawing cheers and congratulations from other Broncos players under withering heat.
07-30-2005, 12:16 AM
"I'm a rah-rah guy, so if I make a play, I want to get my teammates up and excited and give them that extra burst of energy." Williams said.
Safety Sam Brandon and rookie cornerback Domonique Foxworth also had interceptions for the defense, which was a step ahead of the offense on the first day of camp and took a positive first step in its goal to become a more aggressive unit when it comes to netting takeaways.
There also were several tipped passes at the line of scrimmage. Lynch and fellow safety Nick Ferguson each rattled offensive players with hard hits, despite the team dressing in shells and shorts in the first official practices of camp.
"We got beat up a little bit by the defense," Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer said. "But how we respond is what counts. If we come out here and let them do it us again, then we've got a problem. But I know the guys on this team on offense, and we're not to going to let that happen again. It's part of the ups and downs of camp."
GETTING BETTER: The third time finally might be the charm for Jerry Rice, who huffed and puffed through previous official workouts in altitude the past two months.
"My body is starting to adjust," Rice said. "And I'm all excited about that because I was terrified to death the last two mini-camps I was here because I work pretty hard and I feel that I'm in top shape, but it's just something about this thin air. I felt real good out there, and I think it's only going to be better."
07-30-2005, 12:16 AM
Rice nonetheless managed to have another unsettling experience, even though his grasp of the system is better and it should allow him to be more explosive and sharper.
"I was looking at the roster and it said 'wide receivers' and there was a big '21' there,' " he said of the column next to his name, listing pro experience. "That scared me to death compared to all those other guys."
ETC.: A four-man committee will convene next week to discuss possible additions to Broncos Ring of Fame. Safety Steve Atwater will be eligible for the first time and figures to have the best shot to join the list of franchise greats posted on the stands at Invesco Field at Mile High. Players are eligible when they play four seasons in a Broncos uniform and are out of the NFL for five years . . . The league is allowing teams to wear throwback uniforms three times in 2005, but the Broncos will sport their normal attire throughout, after considering alternative dress for the Nov. 24 game at Dallas . . . Clarett declined to discuss his reasoning behind accepting a four-year rookie contract without a signing bonus that instead is incentive-laden. "It was just the best situation for me and the Broncos and the coaches. It's just what my agent sat down and did." . . . Gerard Warren displaced Mario Fatafehi in the base defense at tackle, playing alongside Michael Myers, after running with the second unit during mini-camps . . . Patrick Chukwurah has ceded the No. 55 that he and D.J. Williams both wore for most of the off-season. He'll wear No. 54.
07-30-2005, 12:32 AM
ETC.: A four-man committee will convene next week to discuss possible additions to Broncos Ring of Fame. Safety Steve Atwater will be eligible for the first time and figures to have the best shot to join the list of franchise greats posted on the stands at Invesco Field at Mile High. Players are eligible when they play four seasons in a Broncos uniform and are out of the NFL for five years
If Atwater DOESN'T make the Ring, it will be a damn shame. He was always one of my favorites.
07-30-2005, 12:44 AM
Sounds like the team is already into drills that get them ready for running complicated O's and D's.
How many wind-sprints is the team doing? That's one of the big things to do in training camp. Every practice in training camp should end with wind sprints. That's one of the methods how you get rid of the practice players and find the game players.