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Old 07-26-2013, 11:22 AM   #173
Gutless Drunk
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2. Befitting the issues of the team at large on the first day, quarterback Brock Osweiler appeared jittery during early periods of practice. He twice misfired on short check-downs that were targeted between the hashmarks within 2 yards of the line of scrimmage.
But those issues didn't last long, and although Osweiler once held onto the ball too long under inside pressure to settle for a sack, he grew more accurate as the session progressed. He also provided one of the day's highlights, hitting Tavarres King on a post route for a long touchdown just past Kayvon Webster.

3. Gobs of airtime, column inches and bandwidth have already been devoted to the Wes Welker-Chris Harris duels in practice. Welker earned the upper hand in Thursday's work, punctuating his day by beating Harris for a long touchdown pass from Manning in one-on-one drills.
But Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has arguably the most to prove of any cornerback this summer. Physical gifts have never been the issue for the 2008 first-round pick; it's a matter of being more consistent and learning to read the play better. He did that against Eric Decker during one-on-one and team periods, easily anticipating the passes coming his way.
Rodgers-Cromartie was beaten deep up the left sideline during a one-on-one period -- but it took multiple moves for Decker to finally work past him on the play. Decker eventually got going in the practice as he adjusted, but if this duel is played to a standstill throughout training camp, the Broncos will get more than their money's worth out of their one-year investment in Rodgers-Cromartie.
Speaking of cornerbacks

4. Tony Carter doesn't have the recent draft pedigree of Omar Bolden (fourth round, 2012) and Kayvon Webster (third round, 2013). Carter was the Broncos' third cornerback last year, but with Bolden, Webster and free-agent pickup Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Carter finds himself scrapping for playing time at one of the team's deepest positions.
But he made a bold statement against Demaryius Thomas, breaking up two passes up the right sideline during one-on-one work. Carter later intercepted an Osweiler-to-King pass in seven-on-seven work and nearly picked off a pass to Andre Caldwell in the one-on-one period.
Among the other Broncos to intercept passes were Rahim Moore, who snared a Manning pass intended for Thomas, and rookie linebacker Uona Kaveinga, who intercepted two passes.

5. If Von Miller's appeal of his suspension is denied, part of the solution for replicating as much of his pass-rush production as possible could rest with fifth-round pick Quanterus Smith -- assuming his surgically repaired left knee allows him to show the same explosion he displayed at Western Kentucky.
"I feel like it's going to take a little more time for me to just get used to just playing like this but I think that's going to come soon," Smith said. "I don't think it's any issue rehab-wise or something's wrong with the knee. I think all that's good. It's just getting out there and playing and getting back used to playing football."
Smith has a quick first step and can get to the edge, but acknowledge that he needs to supplement that with an inside move, so opposing blockers can't easily beat him by simply pushing him outside the pocket.
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