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Old 08-06-2009, 12:34 PM   #1
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This was a very low key and low tempo practice. As Khan put it, it was essentially a "mental walkthrough". What I mean by that is they generally practiced the first two or three seconds of the play at a half or quarter pace, rather than full pace. It appeared that the purpose was to drill down details and assigments. There was no "live" action until the last period of practice.

I. SPECIAL TEAMS

The practice began with kickoff return drills. The initial special teams kick return unit looked like this (I'm going to list numbers rather than names because its easier):

(First Line-Hands Team) 30 36 59 57 39
96 61 90
46 22
19 (alternating with 33 and 11)

The next return unit looked like this: 26 35 51 87 31
81 70 98
28 88
11

During the return drills, Coach Priefer gave some props to Quinn and Scheffler. They also worked on defending onside kicks. Coach Priefer repeatedly stressed that the players on the front line "never leave until the ball is kicked". An onside kick was recovered by Jeb.

II. 11 ON 11

As noted above, this was done in slow-motion, at half and quarter speeds, so there wasn't much to really glean from it. In addition to focusing on assignments, they also worked on adjustments to shifts and motion. One thing to note was that Bruton once again filled in for Dawkins on the first team. We also worked on prevent defense in this session using a three man line.

III. TRICK PLAYS

They also spent alot of time in the "mental walkthrough" working on trick plays. We observed some Wildcat, a flea flicker and direct snaps. It really seems that McDaniels is going to emphasize screens and non-traditional offense this year.

IV. ACTUAL LIVE 11 ON 11

Finally, in the last portion of practice, they devoted 12 plays to real 11 on 11. However, none of the starters participated in that portion, just backups. Brandstater was the only QB. Here was my notes for each of the 12 plays catalogued. I paid some more attention than usual to Ayers in particular on these plays as he was out there for all of them:

1. Larsen tackled Torain for a loss.
2. Jarvis Moss beat Polumbus cleanly on the otuside, Brandstater had to step up and had the ball swatted away.
3. Larsen with another stop for a short gain. Focused on Ayers on the backside of the play, Quinn tied him up pretty well.
4. Nice outside run by Darius Walker. Decent job beating defense to corner.
5. Pedescleaux got pressure, Brandstater got off a short pass over the middle to Torain which was dropped.
6. Walker with a decent run, good push by backup interior OL. Ayers hesitant backside.
7. Oldenburg walled off Ayers on pass play. Brandstater completed short hitch route frontside.
8. Barrett blitzed up the middle, completely unblocked, would have had a sack if it was in the game. Not sure if there was miscommunication on the OL. Brandstater threw it away.
9. PA pass. Ayers bullrushed Quinn effectively, got some pressure.
10. Short 3-4 yard run (did not see back). Ayers and Larsen combined on tackle.
11. Stretch run to strongside, Larsen and Smith came up in run support quickly.
12. Dropback pass, did not see result of play, Polumbus pushed Ayers wide on rush.

That's pretty much it for the morning, folks.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:39 PM   #2
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According to McD, tonight's Invesco practice is the first simulated game action of TC

11 on 11 and Red Zone for the full 2 hours
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
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What's your take on the slow-paced play practice? Is this something Shanahan woudl do too? Is it a sign that offense is not only complicated but maybe convuluted?
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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couple questions.

On the screen plays- were they screens to the WR? or RB? FB? TE? I am just curious as to who they are really targeting with these screens.


also - did you notice the heel thing with ayers? Was he still doing this?
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:44 PM   #5
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What's your take on the slow-paced play practice? Is this something Shanahan woudl do too? Is it a sign that offense is not only complicated but maybe convuluted?
I don't know if it means anything re: the offense. It does appear to be a complex offense like most NFL offenses are. Shanahan appeared to do more live action stuff in the past. I do remember them doing this sort of walk-thru type of stuff a few years ago, but perhaps not as much. This is just speculation, but perhaps the large "walk-thru" element this morning was just final preparation for the evening scrimmage.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:47 PM   #6
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couple questions.

On the screen plays- were they screens to the WR? or RB? FB? TE? I am just curious as to who they are really targeting with these screens.


also - did you notice the heel thing with ayers? Was he still doing this?
1. Screens- During the practices I have attended, they have run a number of different types of screens: Middle screens, bubble screens, quick screens and jailbreak screens. They've thrown it to the backs (most notably Buckhalter and Hillis) and also recievers (most notably Royal). There have been just a few TE screens and the ones I've seen have all been for Graham (even though he isn't a speed demon, it seems the thought process is to get him rumbling down field with some momentum, thereby making much smaller defenders in the secondary a little more hesitant trying to bring him down).

2. Ayers- I didn't pay attention to Ayers heel this morning. Probably something I should have focused on.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:49 PM   #7
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What's your take on the slow-paced play practice? Is this something Shanahan woudl do too? Is it a sign that offense is not only complicated but maybe convuluted?
I know this wasn't directed at me, but tonight's practice is supposed to be hard hitting, simulating real game situations (according to McDaniels). I imagine the coaches were saving the players "legs" this morning so that they can have a real competitive practice tonight in front of the fans at Invesco.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:56 PM   #8
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I know this wasn't directed at me, but tonight's practice is supposed to be hard hitting, simulating real game situations (according to McDaniels). I imagine the coaches were saving the players "legs" this morning so that they can have a real competitive practice tonight in front of the fans at Invesco.
Freaking sucks. I am thrilled they are doing this but the one night i absolutely can not go they simulate game. Arrrrrrgh.

I know you guys will but take some notes. But take some good notes.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalBronco View Post
1. Screens- During the practices I have attended, they have run a number of different types of screens: Middle screens, bubble screens, quick screens and jailbreak screens. They've thrown it to the backs (most notably Buckhalter and Hillis) and also recievers (most notably Royal). There have been just a few TE screens and the ones I've seen have all been for Graham (even though he isn't a speed demon, it seems the thought process is to get him rumbling down field with some momentum, thereby making much smaller defenders in the secondary a little more hesitant trying to bring him down).

2. Ayers- I didn't pay attention to Ayers heel this morning. Probably something I should have focused on.
How has Spencer Larsen looked so far in TC? Every so often his name pops up in reports, but it would be nice to have a little more in depth. I think he is the kind of guy Mcdaniels values, very flexible, smart and a hard worker.
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalBronco View Post
1. Screens- During the practices I have attended, they have run a number of different types of screens: Middle screens, bubble screens, quick screens and jailbreak screens. They've thrown it to the backs (most notably Buckhalter and Hillis) and also recievers (most notably Royal). There have been just a few TE screens and the ones I've seen have all been for Graham (even though he isn't a speed demon, it seems the thought process is to get him rumbling down field with some momentum, thereby making much smaller defenders in the secondary a little more hesitant trying to bring him down).

2. Ayers- I didn't pay attention to Ayers heel this morning. Probably something I should have focused on.
I like the mental prep, focusing and visualizing is a good thing.

I sounds like the Broncos HC is easing off a bit with the hitting and not driving the players into the ground. Another + for the Broncos HC.

The scrimage sounds like fun, I wish I could see it.

Thanks again for the reports!
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:43 PM   #11
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Thanks for report... I like to see Larsen and Ayers get noticed on defense...
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underrated29 View Post
couple questions.

On the screen plays- were they screens to the WR? or RB? FB? TE? I am just curious as to who they are really targeting with these screens.


also - did you notice the heel thing with ayers? Was he still doing this?
I was there and did notice that he held his heel up on rush plays. However, sometimes he held it just slightly above the ground, and others it was pretty noticeable. He kept it flat when he went into coverage for the most part.

He also had a pretty nice move where he split the tackles and had it been a game, would have brought the runningback down for a loss. He got tied up a couple times, but was also able to generate some pressure on (i think) 4 plays.

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Old 08-06-2009, 02:05 PM   #13
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SoCal pretty much covered it. He, Bronco Doug and myself were left to just try and pick things out of the walk-through that we noticed. I'll just add some of my observations as there were very few. Most of the practice was a walk through and they barely even threw the ball. Things I saw:
  1. Buckhalter and Hillis are the clear starters right now. They run some direct snap to Buckhalter with Orton in motion. There were some plays where they lined up in jumbo I formations with Buckhalter and Hillis at Halfback and fullback respectively, then they motion them both out to wide receiver. I believe that with Moreno starting, this formation will be designed to take advantage of our backs' receiving skills.
  2. Larsen had a good day. They used him quite a bit and with the little bit of play he got in full pads in the "rookie" scrimmage, he was outstanding.
  3. Polumbus is losing his job as a backup tackle to Stanley Bryant. Bryant is quietly doing very well in his backup and seems to be the most sound of the third tier players. He could make the team.
  4. Jarvis Moss had a few times where he got good pressure. I think his issues aren't in his pass rushing ability but rather in his ability to see and then attack.
  5. Josh Barrett had a sack on a blitz but it was largely the defensive line occupying their blocks and allow a clean shot for Barrett.
  6. Brandstater is getting better but still has a LOOOOONNG way to go. He looks the part but the accuracy and timing just aren't there yet.
  7. David Bruton was filling in for Dawkins due to his "body part" injury. He looked ok in the very little action we saw from him as he ran the walk-through.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:05 PM   #14
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Great Reads fellas......thanx for the write-ups !!
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:14 PM   #15
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http://blog.denverbroncos.com/denver...day-7-am-blog/

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In preparation for tonight’s practice at INVESCO Field at Mile High, the Broncos held a light workout Thursday morning. Most players wore just their jerseys and shorts while the rookies and some selected veteran wore padded pants and their jerseys.

ROLL CALL: The only players not on field this morning were Rulon Davis, Brian Dawkins and Brandon Marshall. Nic Clemons returned to the field sporting an orange jersey.

POSITIONING: With Dawkins out, David Bruton took the majority of first team reps. The rest of the offense and defense stayed pretty much the same as previous days.


DRILLS: Much of the session was dedicated to situation drills including — 4th-and-goal with no timeouts at the 10-yard line, 2-point conversations, Hail Mary defense and offense, a kick return period and a fake field goal protection session.

For the final period of practice, rookies and 11 veterans slipped on their shoulder pads and went through an 11-on-11 session. The remaining veterans watched their teammates battle it out from the sidelines.

PLAYMAKERS:

Spencer Larsen took full advantage of the final period as he was involved in nearly every tackle when the offense ran the football. His play drew praise from coaches and teammates.

Rashod Moulton leaped to break up a Tom Brandstater pass intended for Nate Swift.

QUICK HITS: Chuck Priefer, the father of special teams coordinator Mike Priefer joined his son at practice today. The elder Priefer worked in the NFL for 17 seasons and coached at the collegiate level for 12 years. Chuck retired in 2007 after spending 10 seasons as the Detroit Lions special teams coach.

DAILY JUKEBOX: Only one song played during warmups today, but the title could define training camp for most players.

Queen and David Bowie - “Under Pressure”

QUOTABLE:

“We’ll get a comfort level, obviously — that’s where we play when it really matters. So we’ll get out there one time before it really counts and have some fun in front of the fans.”

-Kyle Orton, on the benefits of tonight’s open practice at INVESCO Field at Mile High.

Pictures @ link

The team will head to INVESCO later this evening for practice. Gates will open around 5:30 p.m. MDT with practice starting around 6 p.m. MDT. The practice and parking are free and open to the public. Tomorrow the team will hold one practice starting at 1:15 p.m. MDT and will then enjoy a Saturday off. Click here for an updated training camp schedule.

–Kyle Sonneman

Bolded part is for gyldenlove who was asking about Larsen. They also have a cool picture of Larsen getting everyone in position pre-snap (presumably at least--he might just be randomly barking with his arms outstretched)
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:23 PM   #16
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What's your take on the slow-paced play practice? Is this something Shanahan woudl do too? Is it a sign that offense is not only complicated but maybe convuluted?
They're going to be hitting each other hard tonight, so it makes sense . . .

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Old 08-06-2009, 03:41 PM   #17
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What's your take on the slow-paced play practice? Is this something Shanahan woudl do too? Is it a sign that offense is not only complicated but maybe convuluted?
if you cant do it slow you cant do it fast.

That holds true in music and in dancing. I would think running football plays sort of the same thing. So maybe not more complicated, but maybe McDaniels just wants it uber perfect.
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