On Tuesday the Broncos were back on the field for their third day of training camp practice, here is a quick review of the morning session:
Tim Tebow is all that
Call him an overachiever, or a great leader, Tebow beat all the skill players at the end of practice in conditioning sprints. Along with the other two quarterbacks, Tebow's arm looked just fine, throwing with accuracy and zip. There were one or two dirt balls (balls thrown at the receivers feet) coming from Tebow as well from Quinn and Orton, but overall the quarterbacks had a good practice.
Starting quarterback Kyle Orton got the most repetitions, while Orton and Tebow currently got their fair amount of plays under center.
Towards the second half of practice the coaches set up down and distance markers, simulating a 3rd down play. All three quarterbacks ran plays, attempting to get the offense a first down. Kyle Orton started 0-for-2, Brady Quinn then came in and completed a pass. The next play Quinn threw to Demaryius Thomas, who was passed the first down marker. Thomas jumped over Champ Bailey to make the catch, only to see Bailey rip the ball out on the way down. After the other QB's failed to reach the first down marker, Tebow came in. His first attempt fell incomplete, but on 4th down he found Richard Quinn for a big gain, and first down. After Quinn made the catch, a defender knocked the ball out, Alphonso Smith recovered and ran it back about 10 yards before being lit up by receiver Matt Willis. The Broncos weren't able to get a first down, credit goes to the defense, and sloppy offense.
The secondary looks good
The Broncos coverage from the first team defense looked very well all practice, a few times even forcing a "sack", although at practice the players aren't allowed to tackle the QB's, so every pass was thrown, even if it wouldn't have been in a game. The secondary was aided by the defensive line, even without Jamal Williams, a pass rush was pretty consistent. At one time a defender got to Tebow and even knocked the ball out.
Lance Ball rises above other running backs, Kolby Smith goes to the dog house
Without Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter, the Broncos rushing attack wasn't as successful as they'd like it to be. Of the backs, Lance Ball showed the most flashes, breaking one run for a touchdown against the second team defense. Kolby Smith didn't have as much success, getting yelled at by McDaniels to not stop running. Later Smith fumbled, he didn't even need to be told, and took off running a lap around the field.
The receivers have good practice, Richard Quinn does not
All the receivers made some nice plays on Tuesday, with Brandon Lloyd making a lot of catches during the two minute drill. In the teams second 3rd down situation session, Eddie Royal caught a screen pass, made a few moves and was off to the races. Veteran Brandon Stokley also scored what would have been a touchdown in a game, catching a pass from Brady Quinn in a offense vs defense scrimmage. Jabar Gaffney caught a touchdown on a fade route on the last play of the teams two minute drill. Gaffney looked good throughout practice. Rookie Demaryius Thomas made some grabs, and had some struggles as well, dropping a few passes. Eric Decker looks fully recovered from his ankle injury, and got applauses from the fans after making a few diving catches. I didn't see any passes to Daniel Graham, but fellow Tight Ends Marquez Branson and Richard Quinn had a fair share of dropped passes. Quinn seemed to struggle when placed in a catching Tight End position.
The Defense has a swagger
When the offense huddled for a play, upbeat music came on the loud speakers, and instantly the whole defense started dancing and breaking down with the beat. Saftey Brian Dawkins looked even more beastly than normal when he swayed to the beat of the music. Throughout practice the defense was loud, it fit their style of play. Outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers have improved vastly from last year in run support. During a rushing drill both Ayers and Dumervil set up each other to make plays, taking advantage of it, they stopped the backs in the backfield a majority of the time. After Lance Ball made a nice run, one of the defensive coaches starting yelling, "Nobody runs on the Broncos!" After that, the first team didn't allow anymore long rushes.
Marcus Thomas struggles against double team
During a 3-on-3 drill with three offensive lineman and a running back against a defensive tackle and two linebackers, Marcus Thomas struggled playing nose tackle. The line beat him up, double teaming and pancaking him on just about every play. It made Thomas look even worse when defensive lineman Ronald Fields came in and broke right through the double team to stop the running back in the backfield.
Perrish Cox handling a lot of kick return duties
Rookie cornerback Perrish Cox returned most of the kickoffs during practice, taking a few all the way back. Receiver Eddie Royal returned a few as well, among Lance Ball and others.
More to come tonight, including videos and pictures!