POTENTIAL LINE-UP CHANGES
Safety: David Bruton received a lot of work with the first team defense on Thursday. This started in mini-camp, six weeks ago, and has crossed over into training camp. Bruton was sharing time with Rahim Moore today. Expect Bruton to continue getting reps with the starters until pre season starts, where he will either prove to be a starter or fall back into the special teams plan.
Tight End: Julius Thomas opened up the practice as the number one tight end and received more work with the starters than any other tight end on the roster. Julius is coming off of a fantastic mini-camp, but has been plagued by injuries the last two seasons. He is unquestionably the most athletic tight end on the roster and could prove to be another receiving weapon for Peyton Manning this year.
Defensive Line: Rookie, Sylvester Williams, had not signed his contract before practice and therefor did not participate today. He has now signed and will be a full go on Friday. Because of this, the starting defensive tackles were Kevin Vickerson and the newly acquired Terrance Knighton.
Oddly, Von Miller was the last player on the field today and even exited practice for about 15 minutes or so during the session. Von took snaps with the first team today but it was Derek Wolfe and Robert Ayers who opened up camp as the starting defensive ends.
Ronnie Hillman: It's always tough to see how the running backs look before the pads come on, but with Ronnie, all I have to do is remember the Ronnie that I saw last year at this time to know that he has improved dramatically. In fact, Montee Ball looks a lot like Hillman did last year. There is a decisiveness, a vision, and a confidence that is displayed by veteran runners and Ronnie is displayed all of those things today. We will see how he really looks when the pads come on.
Brock Osweiler: Another stand out from last years draft. I have never seen this version of Brock before. Surprisingly, there are many media members who aren't very high on Brock because most of them bashed the Broncos for drafting him. In other words, if he ends up being great, then they look like fools, so they are ignoring him.
Whether or not they will report his awesomeness is anybody's guess, but I will break it down easily for you. The guy looks very very good. I noticed the difference immediately in mini-camp and he has carried it over into training camp.
He completed a number of passes on Thursday. On the run, in the shotgun, in the pocket, you name it. Almost all were perfectly thrown and had great velocity. One of Thursdays big highlights was his pass to Tavarris King, who beat double coverage and hauled in the perfectly thrown spiral for a 40+ yard touchdown.
NOT SO SHINY
Rookie QB Zac Dysert was about as bad as you can be on Thursday. It's his first NFL practice ever and he is a developmental guy, so it doesn't mean much, but that doesn't change the fact that it was bad. Between the tipped pass at the line, an intercepted pass, a ground ball during passing drills, and an over throw, the kid had a rough day.
John Fox: "Ronnie Hillman has developed a pro body. He has done nothing but strengthen my thoughts that he is capable and he looked very good today, as well as this entire off season."
Robert Ayers: "You guys always say that. You guys always say somebody else is going to play third downs. From what I see, I am playing all of them."
Demaryius Thomas: "I really don't care who I share receptions with as long as we get the 'W' and we got Peyton back there throwing the ball. He spread it around well before, with the Colts, so I think we'll be fine."
Quentin Jammer: "I am a little tired. I'm not used to this altitude yet, but I am going to continue to work at it. Otherwise, I felt good though.
It's the first day. A lot will change in the next few weeks. Manning was a little rusty but he seemed excited, rejuvenated and happy after practice. I also talked to Terrance Knighton, Ronnie Hillman, Montee Ball, Chris Harris, and others and they all seemed very happy and in overly good moods. The team seems focused and ready for whatever you bring to them. Overall, I think the first day was a step in the right direction.