|07-30-2007, 12:04 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2006
Training camp gets underway
Training camp gets underway
News and notes from training camp: July 29
By Bill Williamson
There were plenty of big plays on the first day of training camp, which was attended by 1,904 fans, a first day record for Dove Valley. Among the highlights were big pass plays from quarterback Jay Cutler to wide receivers Javon Walker and David Kircus. For Walker, it was another display of concentration by the team's No. 1 receiver. For Kircus, it was the beginning of a camp in which he is trying to stay on the roster.
Walker wowed the crowd when he zoomed underneath a deflected ball and made a catch over backup cornerback Karl Paymah. Earlier, Kircus made a diving, twisting catch on Cutler's long pass.
The cornerbacks did have their moments as Champ Bailey intercepted a Preston Parsons pass. Later, new right cornerback Dré Bly knocked a pass out of Kircus' hands.
There was a scary moment in the first practice when Walker and backup linebacker Nate Webster collided. Both players were hunched over on the field for a few minutes. Walker returned a play later and coach Mike Shanahan said Webster was fine as well.
First-round pick Jarvis Moss said that he made mid-day adjustments and corrected poor pass-rushing techniques in the afternoon. One of the highlights of the afternoon practice was an 80-yard punt by Todd Sauerbrun. He then preened for the appreciative crowd.
The team and fans got a taste of the Jim Bates era. It will be loud and boisterous. Known for his energy while in Miami and Green Bay. Denver's new assistant head coach in charge of defense was in rare form Sunday. He was making noise, letting his players know where they stood all practice.
"I love it. He's loud and rowdy and he just wants perfection on every play and I love that," Bailey said of Bates.
Training camp got off to a raucous start this morning. Even though Al Wilson is no longer with the team, the pre-practice breakdown tradition continues. Wilson's replacement at middle linebacker, D.J. Williams, has taken over the breakdown responsibilities as well. Williams called up rookies Marcus Thomas and Steven Harris. Both players are from Florida and both are defensive tackles. Williams called them the "Double Mint Twins."
Harris did a quick dance while Thomas, all 300 pounds of him, took off his jersey. Harris then pointed at Thomas and he startled his teammates and the nearby fans by performing a hack flip. It brought down the house. Several teammates jumped on Thomas like he recovered a fumble in the end zone.
"He's a Florida boy. I knew he was an athlete," said running back Travis Henry, who hails from Frostproof, Florida, of Thomas.
Quote of the day
"He is always on our mind since everything has happened. Everything we do, we break it down and honor him in every way. We continue to think of him as being a part of this team, always. He is a big part of us and always will be," Bailey on remembering slain cornerback Darrent Williams, who was shot and killed hours after the 2006 season ended in downtown Denver.
Monday Camp Facts
Practice begins at 8:30 a.m. and will run approximately two hours. The afternoon practice begins at 3:40 p.m. and will run about an hour. It is a special teams practice. Gates open an hour before each practice. Admission is free. Parking at the Broncos headquarters is located on the west side of the practice fields, and is open on a first-come, first-served basis. Non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase at training camp.
Broncos camp starts today from Dove Valley in Englewood, Colorado. Jay Cutler will be the obvious focus of camp. How will he fair after a rocky rookie campaign that showed a lot of promise, but just as many mistakes. Mike Shanahan is a very good coach of QB's and Cutler has the tools to become a franchise starter. Will his play elevate this offense into the league's upper echelon? He'll have the tools around him to do it with Travis Henry coming in from Tennessee and super talented TE Daniel Graham coming from New England. Rod Smith's career is in question right now because of a bad hip, and Brandon Marshall will have to step up as the 2nd reciever opposite Javon Walker. The defense could be downright frightening this year especially with Champ Bailey and Dre Bly shutting down recievers this year, and John Lynch still reaking havoc in the box. The D-Line could cause a nice battle with all the former Browns competing with free agent signee Sam Adams and trade acquistion Jimmy Kennedy, not to mention draftees Jarvis Moss and Tim Crowder. Denver wants to compete for the West crown, and camp should definitely be exciting.
WELCOME BACK: Tight end Daniel Graham is glad to be back in Colorado and not just because he went to college in Boulder.
"It's been a long time since I played here and I couldn't wait to get back," said the sixth-year pro.
Graham caught 17 passes in five seasons in New England, where he won two Super Bowl rings, but he wasn't used as much for his pass-catching skills as for his blocking in recent years.
In Denver, he'll see plenty of blocking and lots of route-running because the Broncos like to use their tight ends essentially as third receivers.
"When I get open, I know what to do," he said.
"I know I can be a big part of the offense. I didn't get too many balls thrown my way at New England. They kept me in to do a lot of blocking. I'm looking forward to getting open and seeing balls."
Safety John Lynch is glad Graham's finally on his side.
"As a guy who's competed against him, I've had a lot of respect for his game.
I think he's a player who prides himself on being good at everything, good receiver, good blocker," Lynch said.
"And just a pro's pro. And I think when you're around the real good players you're even more impressed, when you're around them day-in and day-out and you see what makes them tick, the way they work. Dan's come in here and really stepped up and been a leader for this team already. He's got multiple rings, so he's got the juice to come in here and do that."
Last edited by dragondawg; 07-30-2007 at 12:43 AM..