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Day 1 AM-from Kaylore & SoCal (Orange Mane)

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  • Day 1 AM-from Kaylore & SoCal (Orange Mane)

    Camp Report AM Practice 7/29/07
    By: Kaylore

    Well it was great getting back out and seeing football again. Cecil Lammey, Andrew Mason and others were there as always and we had some fun discussions. But you guys don’t care about that!

    The camp opened with the rookies doing their little dance thing to open camp. Many of you will be thrilled to know that Marcus Thomas did a standing back flip to the cheers of the crowd. As camp progressed they separated into individual units and practiced some drills.

    At this point SoCal and myself had a chance to watch Bill Johnson work with the defensive line. He’s really a great teacher and was able to tell each player what they were doing wrong in every circumstance. He’s focused and engaged. The Florida rookies were really enjoying themselves and I imagine it must be nice to go to camp with two guys who you played with in college. They alternated between one-on-one drills and working the Big sled.

    They moved right into the rushing attack drills and the first team offense line was obliterating in the rushing game. I’ll go into that more during player breakdowns.

    After that they broke into two groups with offensive line going against defensive line while the “skill positions” did seven-on-seven. I watched the lines go at each other and SoCal watched the passing game. I got a very good view of the two units and will post on that later. I should mention that during these and other drills, every player gets reps against every player regardless of their position on the depth chart. Only during the scrimmages and “move the ball” are they locked into their depth chart positions.

    After that they did son full unit work and then they finished with “move the ball” drills. For those that don’t know, the coaches and players clear off the field and the first team offense plays against the second team defense in simulated real game situation. Then they switch and the second team offense faces the first team defense.

    General observations:

    The first few days of camp always have the defense at an advantage. So much on offense is based on timing and rhythm and it takes several practices for that unit to “find their grove” especially with all the new pieces.

    There was virtually no press coverage. I think they are going to stick with the corners playing five yards off cheating in to watch the receiver and the quarterbacks eyes. We might see more press, but we didn’t today.

    In obvious rushing situations the Defense ends would sometimes play inside the Tackle, but I’d say 80% of the time they were in the nine technique, wide on the outside shoulder of the tight end.

    The first team D-line consists of Ekuban, Engelberger, Adams and Warren.

    Marshall, Scheffler, Stokely and Smith didn’t practice, but someone wearing Eddie Moore’s number was out there I assume to replace him. He didn’t look too bad, either. Hixon was the number two in place of Stokely, Smith and Marshall.

    All the Rookies had their ups and downs, which is to be expected. I felt Moss was very very thin and needed to bulk up quite a bit. Crowder and Thomas filled in very well and both had their moments. Ryan Harris also looked to be in good shape and while inconsistent, he had some good moments. Remember that rookies grow a little bit and then when the difficulty increases, they are almost like back to ground zero. This is why it takes them awhile to get going in camp and preseason. It is also why rookies can look great in preseason games and then when the regular season hits they have another drop off. It’s part of the growing process.

    Now to break down some of the players and their units. I’m just going to talk about the guys I noticed.

    Defensive Line:

    Tim Crowder: I was impressed with him. He was big and powerful and made some of the right decisions particularly in the running game. He needs to use his hands better. In fact the biggest difference between rookie and veteran linemen is their ability to use their hands and feet well. He’s playing on the third team, but made some nice plays against the run.

    Jarvis Moss: Very fast and quick and about as big as I am, which is not good for a defensive end. He is very skinny. In the rushing attack drills he was next to useless and was regular blown off the ball and out of the play. He also struggled to get pressure in the drills. In “move the ball” he was much better and beat quite a few guys to apply pressure. On one play he bit on play action but quickly adjusted and pursued the QB out of the pocket and forced a throw away. I’d say he’s really raw and underdeveloped physically, but I loved how much he tried to use his hands and every time he went up there he was trying something new and talking to the coaches.

    Marcus Thomas: He palyed pretty well. There were plays he got sealed off and others where he really took advantage of guys. On way play he went right through Greg Eslinger by just overpowering him. I think he’s going to take the longest to catch on because he’s been out of football for so long and because defensive tackle takes a VERY long time to learn in the NFL.

    Sam Adams: Adams was very impressive. He regularly got penetration and even showed some pursuit and speed I didn’t think he had for a big guy. There were two plays that he pretty much blew up himself. On one he ripped through the line and has Chris Kuper pushed off his feet. Another he swam through and forced a fumble. This got the defense excited and Jim Bates started going off about how they’ll win a lot of games with that kind of play.

    Gerard Warren: I thought he looked kind of bored at the start of camp but then he perked up later. It occurs to me that he liked the drills where he got to match up against someone else more than things like “the big sled”. I didn’t really notice him.

    Demtrin Veal: I thought he played well today. In drills he performed very well, usually beating his guy or at least commanding a double team and in scrimmages he also seemed to do well. Good motor and power.

    Elvis Dumervil: When Elvis is rushing the passer he’s really hard to block. He is very very good at using his hands and arms to swim, rip and pull linemen into positions where they are compromised. He seems to understand how to attack their balance and use force to keep their feet planted in ways where it’s more difficult to get leverage. Keep an eye on him.

    Ebenezer Ekuban: He seems to have adjusted to the nine technique pretty well and he’s faster than I remembered. He’s just a solid player and his motor is pretty good.

    John Engelberger: I have worries about our bookends. I think the new way we’re splitting them out wide is good and will benefit John, but I didn’t see the pop and explosiveness that I wanted to see. He seemed to get shut down on a few occasions in the drills.

    Offensive Line:

    Chris Kuper: I thought he did pretty well. He still has a lot of power and is very difficult to move. He also, I felt, out-played Montrae Holland. He’s very strong and his lower body is very compacted. He’s on the first team.

    Erik Pears: He was up and down. On some plays he got trashed and on others he did pretty well. I think this will be a period of adjustment for him.

    Matt Lepsis: No limping or any other problems. He seemed to be getting back into the flow of things. He usually won his contests.

    Ben Hamilton: He’s bulked up some and generally does a good job keeping his guy in front of him. I still see guys use the bull rush on him where I feel he yields a bit too much ground, but his hands and feet are always anchored at where they need to be.

    Tom Nalen: Solid and quick. He sizes guys up and knows where to grab. Hard to get around and. I’d say he’s still “feeling out” Kuper, though. It will take awhile for that whole right side to come together.

    Greg Eslinger: He’s actually much bigger than I remember, which is good. Last year he looked like a tight end. His calves and arms have really bulked up. Still, he got blown up on some plays, so I hope that was just today. Many of you know I felt he was too small, but I was impressed with how much meat he packed on, though he is still smallish.

    Running backs:

    Travis Henry: He looked “ok” much more impressive in the passing game. I think it will take him some time to learn the system, but in protection and as a receiver he was the best of the bunch. As a runner his vision was “ok” but not amazing. That will take time. He tries to cover up well and keeps his balance in his strides.

    Mike Bell: Bell was the best at finding the holes, slashing, and generally making things happen as a pure runner. He was less impressive in the passing game. I think of all the backs he “gets it” or he understands how it’s supposed to work. Still not the best speed but more burst than last year, which could either be first day excitement, or the offseason program.

    Andre Hall: Hall was very impressive indeed. He had a lot of burst, speed and his runners instincts are impressive. He’s very compact and fast and reminds me a bit of Jones-Drew. He did a lot of little things like as he broke free and saw defenders coming on the right side, he effortlessly switched the ball to his left arm and used his right as a stiff arm. He would shift the ball depending on where the defenders were to protect it and would cover up in traffic. Great speed and vision. I was surprised.

    Cecil Sapp: He pretty much ran right at guys and tried to bowl them over and I think that’s just his style. He didn’t break anything huge, though.

    Selvin Young: Probably the least impressive. His balance was poor and he would lean forward too much. As he over leans into his runs, his arm would come away from the ball exposing it to attack and whatnot. Turf monster got him a few times.
    Adopted by: Peanut

    "You find ways to win and certainly you can find ways to's not just dumb luck."
    -Sean Payton

  • #2

    Jay Cutler: Sharp and calm. Very sharp and calm. He’s really settled down. He checks down his targets and even scrambled on a few occasions. He’s also improved on some throws from last year. The square-out to the left is a hard throw for most right handed QB’s because your arm is going across the front of your body. Cutler really couldn’t make that throw last year and he can now, though it still needs some work. On one play he was being rushed and casually stepped up bast the defensive end and completed a deep post to Hixon down field during “move-the-ball”. Most impressive is his accuracy. I could not believe how accurate he was. In fact I’d forgotten from last year. He also would walk the sidelines and stop and talk to his receivers and linemen talking about what they were doing. It was really impressive.

    Patrick Ramsey: Yeah he was not that great. His throws weren’t that accurate and he just struggled overall. He held the ball too long, too. Granted, as the second team guy he’s facing Bly and Champ (our receivers were barely open) but he needs to do better. I’d say Parsons and Hackney were more accurate.


    Shanahan: As usual.

    Jim Bates: Very active, excited and engaging. He did a good job of getting the players excited about who they are and what they do. He is genuine, too and understands the game. I was impressed with his demeanor. We haven’t had a real cheerleader type since Greg Robinson left the team and it will be nice to have that to balance out Shanahan.

    Bill Johnson: See my paragraph on line drills the first day.

    Well there you go, guys. SoCal got a better view of the receivers, DB’s and linebackers than I did. I’ll try and watch those tomorrow but look for his report to cover that aspect! I need to run to get to church, but I’ll try and get this posted and answer questions as we go and there is more where this came from! See you tomorrow!
    Adopted by: Peanut

    "You find ways to win and certainly you can find ways to's not just dumb luck."
    -Sean Payton


    • #3
      My report:
      (Sorry for the delay i had to type it out twice, due to a freeze)

      Day 1 AM Report: The D starts out a step ahead
      By SoCalBronco
      Jul 29, 2007, 15:45

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      After a long summer break, the Broncos finally donned the pads for their first practice at training camp. The highlight of the day arguably occured during the warmup/stretch period, as DJ Williams brought ex-Florida DTs Marcus Thomas and Steven Harris to the forefront to get their groove on. Thomas pulled off an impressive backflip to the delight of the fans. Even the usually stoic Shanahan was impressed in his post practice press briefing. As to the actual practice itself, it is broken down positionally below:


      Jay Cutler shook off some rust early in the "routes on air"/passing tree drill as he was a little high on some square outs but quickly got into the groove. He did a very good job on inbreaking routes in particular in 7 on 7s ands 11 on 11, hooking up with Kircus a few times, most notably on a deep post route. He did have a couple of his throws deflected, however, on outbreaking routes run by inside recievers. I noticed that he is telegraphing his intentions much less this year, as he keeps his eyes and head down the middle better and does not immediately turn himself towards a reciever or side of the field in his drop as quickly as last year. He also does a good job getting the ball off on his last step now. His timing is better.

      Patrick Ramsey was poor. He is indecisive, lacks pocket presence (leading to would be sacks) and was also very inaccurate. Preston Parsons was actually not that bad today, he was generally solid during the few times he got reps, but did have some issues with accuracy early on in the routes on air drill.


      Travis Henry's first training camp practice as a Bronco was a pretty good one. He did a solid job in the 9 on 9 run drills (although I wish there was tackling so we could see just how strong he is). He was also
      surprisingly effective as a pass catcher, catching several balls on all of the backers. It has been reported this offseason that Mike Bell had fallen below Cecil Sapp on the depth chart, well let me tell you, he looked pretty good today. His vision is really good and looked to have more of a speed burst than last year. He was really slashing and cutting back very well today. By contrast, Sapp was very quiet, as was rookie Selvin Young, who repeatedly kept tripping over himself and others. Andre Hall showed some good speed though and looked like the third best back.


      To be fair, the defense is generally ahead of the offense early in camp, but this group really needs Marshall, Scheffler and Smith back, ASAP. The back seven got the better of them today, thats for sure. Javon Walker did have a very strong final third of the practice, however, catching several balls including a highlight reel tipped ball that he spun around to get in the red zone. He also easily outflanked the defense to the corner on a reverse. Walker did have a scary moment however near the end of practice when he collided with Nate Webster and was down for about a minute. He did get back up and got back in after missing one play. David Kircus had a decent day as well. He connected with Cutler on a deep post and also caught a few square in routes, as did Brandon Stokley. Outside of showing a very nice burst of speed in space up the sideline, Domenik Hixon did not do much today and also dropped a very catchable ball. The other WRs also struggled a good deal. TE Dan Graham was effective in blocking down on the ends in 9 on 9s and also caught some balls underneath. He is really built well. He did have some problems in getting seperation, however and did not make for much of a threat vertically.


      From early indications, Bronco fans can breathe a little bit easier as to the status of LT Matt Lepsis. Lepsis did wear a brace on his knee, but looked good out there. I paid attention to him on a few plays and he did not get beat and was holding his own. Khan will have a more detailed analysis as he paid alot of attention to the line drills. Chris Kuper, as expected, did well in the run game in the 9 on 9 run drills, he did look a bit out of his element in the passing game though. Khan observed that Ben Hamilton and Greg Eslinger both look a bit bulkier, but Eslinger is still getting overpowered. Rookie LT Ryan Harris was cleanly beaten by Jarvis Moss on one occasion and I did not notice him much otherwise.He apparently was doing relatively well, however, in the line drills, in stopping defenders, although according to Khan (and he'll get into this more in his report as he focused quite a bit on the line drills) his technique was called out by Coach Dennison. I did not notice free agent acquisition Montrae Holland very much. New RT Eric Pears had an uneven performance. He was beaten by Moss once, stoned Moss another time when Moss let him get his hands into his chest and had mixed success against the other ends.
      Adopted by: Peanut

      "You find ways to win and certainly you can find ways to's not just dumb luck."
      -Sean Payton


      • #4

        The rookies, the rookies, everyone definitely wants to know about the rookies. I thought that the rookies were a mixed bag today. Moss beat Eric Pears, Ryan Harris and Adam Meadows clean once each. He also had more than a few plays, however, when a tackle got into his body
        and totally shut him down. Khan observed that Moss was using his hands more effectively than most rookies, however. Moss looked weak in the 9 on 9 run drills, he was blown up by the OTs on a couple of occasions when he had contain. Tim Crowder seemed to do well today, especially in the early run game drills. I did not notice him being a factor at all vs. the pass, however. Rookie DT Marcus Thomas did not distinguish himself in the practice session (although he had that great backflip) and I noticed that he was running on the third team defense. Dumervil was also running on the third team defense, but the first team nickel defense where he had a would be sack. The starting
        defensive ends at this practice were Ebenezer Ekuban (who did really well, with two would be sacks in the 2 minute drill) and John Engleberger. The star of the group was Sam Adams, though. He blew up several plays in the run game drills and the full 11 on 11. He also showed surprising quickness for a big man in chasing backs down the line and getting good push as a pass rusher. He was praised by Jim Bates on at least one occasion. Adams was definitely not limiting himself to being a space eater today, he was extremely active. Jimmy Kennedy was not bad either, although he had only one play where he blew up an inside run. Outside of teaming with Ekuban for a would be sack in the 2 minute drill, Gerard Warren did not make an impression. Khan was actually watching the line drills when I was watching 7 on 7 and he felt that Warren was giving a poor effort in the initial drills. 2nd year pro Antwon Burton, who the Broncos signed as an UDFA last year acquitted himself well. He might find his way into the rotation if he continues to play well. I was surprised to notice Kenard Lang running with the third team. He did not distinguish himself either and Khan observed that he looked much skinnier than he used to be.


        I generally liked what I saw from DJ today, although he did make some mistakes. He showed good speed getting out to the flat from his zone and showed good range. There was a playaction boot pass that he initially bit on but immediately got back up to full speed to wall off a deep tight end crossing route that the QB had been eyeing. He did well in coverage, however Travis Henry beat him a few times on pass routes. DJ also gets caught in the wash, sometimes. I did not notice Ian too much other than I saw him getting good depth in his zone drops. He did not do anything in the 9 on 9 run drills, though. The rest of the linebacking group was pretty quiet, although T.J. Hollowell moved up the depth chart with his work today. He started out on the third team but might be on the second team tomorrow. Nate Webster had a frightening collision with Javon Walker near the end of practice but both were ok.


        Champ Bailey was his usual shutdown self. From what I observed, only one or two passes were caught on him. One was just a 3 yard Javon Walker hitch route. Coach Slowik jokingly got him on after the play by saying "Come on Champ, you gave up 3 yards". I did not see Bly get beat either. Foxworth had a quiet practice. I was really impressed with Curome Cox and Karl Paymah, though. Cox had two or three pass deflections in the first half of practice alone and Paymah did a very good job breaking up passes as well and playing in man coverage. Hamza Abdullah also made a few nice plays, as he would have blown up a Hixon reverse if this would have been a real game. He also combined with Paymah to stop a deep pass from Ramsey to one of the recievers. The DBs definitely got the better of the WRs. Even LB/S hybrid Steve Cargile had a few nice moments.


        - Good first day overall.

        - Webster and Walker ok.

        - Impressed with Thomas's backflip.

        - Mentioned possibly bringing Kenny Peterson back.


        - Loves Coach Bates, he demands perfection.

        - He (Champ) can be more of a leader and can also make even more plays, you never stop learning and improving.

        -Frustrated that he did not get thrown on alot last year, he wants to be thrown on. He thinks Bly is very good and that will actually force people to throw on him more. He says sometimes young QBs think they can throw on him, he likes that, he wont say anything during the week before to dissuade them from doing that.

        -DW is in their hearts and will always be a part of the team.

        Thread can be found here:

        Please be sure to thank Kaylore for his hard work! Thanks for the report, Kaylore, and for feeding our Broncos obsession!
        Adopted by: Peanut

        "You find ways to win and certainly you can find ways to's not just dumb luck."
        -Sean Payton


        • #5
          Thanks so much for posting these awesome and in-depth reports, guys. Really appreciate, and I'm giving you two HUGE props.

          It really looks like Cutler, even though this is only day one of camp, is really starting to find his groove. It's a great opportunity for him to get locked in to those receivers. Now all we need is for Brandon Marshall and Stokley to get healthy, but they can take their time.

          Oh yeah, I love the Veggie Tales avatar. Can't wait until I can make it to camp myself this coming Saturday! Woot!


          • #6
            Man, Mike Bell, coming in as an underdog again and tearing it up. He is so clutch it's unbelievable.

            As for the defensive linemen, eh, you can't judge them off their first practice ever. It's going to take time, same with the new comers in free agency all around the team. Give them time.

            This team is going to be GOOD.


            • #7
              The boys at the Orange Mane put together a hell of a show and ya'll should stop over there and THANK THEM for their efforts personally.

              I can't wait to be with them next year.


              • #8
                It gets me excited when I hear things like this. It especially gets the juices flowing to hear that Jay is already looking better than he did last year.
                John 11: 25-27

                My Adopt-A-Bronco is D.J. Williams

                Thanks Snk16


                • #9
                  Thanks alot for the info Kaylore and SoCal.

                  Much appreciated.

                  Great work.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the kind words, you guys.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kaylore View Post
                      Thanks for the kind words, you guys.
                      Hey no problem.

                      Just don't be a stranger when I get out there next year dude!


                      • #12
                        Great information its good to hear some insight on whats goin on in camp.Cant wait to hear more from the next couple of days


                        • #13
                          Thank you for the reports Kaylore and SoCal. They are really good stuff. You guys can teach the local paper writer yahoos how they are supposed to cover the Broncos.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ReleaseTheBeast7 View Post
                            Man, Mike Bell, coming in as an underdog again and tearing it up. He is so clutch it's unbelievable.

                            yea, tearing it up in training camp really counts as clutch in my book. . . .

                            i naturally want mike to do well, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. . .

                            socal and kaylore, many thanks! the reports are excellent, as expected-- much more complete and informative than anything you can get from the post or the rocky. . . .
                            Officially Objectified by the GPA

                            rest in peace, darrent williams and damien nash-- you will be missed!!