Denver Broncos cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Champ Bailey talk during the team's training camp practice on Monday, July 30, 2012. (BroncoTalk.net photo)
The Denver Broncos continued their 2012 training camp on Monday in front of 4,271 fans and under sunny skies. Champ Bailey stole the show with some impressive pass breakups from Peyton Manning, while the offense and defense each brought new elements to the table.
Missing were safety Quinton Carter (hamstring), tackle Orlando Franklin (concussion), and defensive tackle Justin Bannan (calf). Cornerback Joshua Moore left practice with a right hamstring, while rookie Omar Bolden got “dinged”, according to Fox. Bolden finished practice.
DEFENSE BRINGS THE BLITZ
The Denver Broncos defense had yet to get their hands on that #18 jersey in training camp, but that changed today, as Manning was pressured and “sacked” on at least two occasions. Robert Ayers and Von Miller each got past their blocks to disrupt Manning in the first 11-on-11 work (Ayers was a half-step ahead). Later, Joe Mays burst through the middle of the offensive line to wrap up Manning seconds after the snap. On another play, Tracy Porter zoomed between right tackle Chris Clark and right guard Manny Ramirez to get in Manning’s face; the quarterback threw it just as Porter would have consumed the 36-year-old, an incomplete deep bomb that may have been a big gain had Manning not been rushed to throw.
Coach John Fox admitted the defense gave the offense some new looks, including blitz pacakages. “As far as starting off with dog and blitz early, especially third down, we threw some different looks at the offense,” he said.
For their part, the offense had some new looks for the defense, too.
EVERY NFL DEFENDER’S WORST NIGHTMARE: THE PEYTON MANNING TWO-MINUTE DRILL
Peyton Manning pre-snap (BroncoTalk.net photo)
Peyton Manning’s cadence is the stuff of legend, and that legend came to be following years of Manning executing a no-huddle offense. Today, Manning not only implemented the no-huddle, he ran the two-minute drill, a first for camp. His offensive teammates appreciated
“It is big. It definitely helps the offense, all those different adjustments,” right tackle Chris Clark said, who has been filling in for Orlando Franklin at right tackle with the first team. “As an O-line we’re going to take it upon ourselves to use that as an advantage. Just using that as an advantage helps us and keeps the defense guessing. I’m loving that.”
“We got a lot of cadences,” an out-of-breath Brock Osweiler said, laughing. “As an offense, that’s to our advantage if we do it right. I’m just trying to watch Peyton, see how he runs the offense at the line of scrimmage, try to learn from him, and try to utilize that with my reps.”
Manning pre-snap is indeed a marvel. He’ll point and shout and move the offense with his words and gestures, and if someone doesn’t get the message, he’ll shove them out of the way (as he did to Jeremiah Johnson at one point, ordering the running back to line up wide).
Denver Broncos safeties Rafael Bush and Mike Adams (BroncoTalk.net photo)
The adjustments work. One one play, Eric Decker ran a shallow post to the end zone, getting more than a step on Tracy Porter, suggesting the corner, ever solid in camp thus far, had been looking at either the quarterback or the offensive backfield in general. The result was a 40-yard completion to Decker, the best offensive play of the day.
CHAMP WON’T BE BEAT
After relenting a few big plays earlier in camp, Champ Bailey stood his ground against Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas in one-on-one work. A deep bomb to Thomas looked to be intercepted by Bailey, but Thomas switched to a defensive mode and tipped the ball out of Bailey’s hand. Thomas nearly got it on the bobble, but Bailey went right back to a defender’s mentality. Bailey isn’t always the most exciting practice player; the back-and-forth between Thomas and Bailey was easily the highlight of practice Monday.
“Champ is moving better than I’ve ever seen him,” Rahim Moore said.
DANNY TREVATHAN RISES
Rookie sixth round draft pick Danny Trevathan was a notable ascender up the defensive depth chart Monday, replacing Wesley Woodyard at weakside linebacker for a handful of snaps. He had been a lock in the Broncos’ base nickel package, but this move to the first defense’s base was unexpected. Not that was Trevathan wasn’t ready.
Peyton Manning (BroncoTalk.net photo)
“He (Coach Fox) kinda told me, ‘You gotta be prepared for anything. All three positions, you gotta be prepared,’” Trevathan said. “So I really was studying and stuff, and he told me, ‘You gotta be ready to be thrown into the fire.’ I really took heed at that.”
“That playbook is not easy, but I put in the work,” Trevathan said.
PLEASE SIR, CAN I HAVE SOME MOORE?
Safety Rahim Moore had a nice practice today. He boasted a solid pass breakup against Joel Dreessen (from Manning) in one-on-one work. Later, he had one of the louder tackles of the day, smacking Lance Ball nearly into the crowd down the right sideline.
(Don’t worry, it was a clean hit.)
More than that, Moore is being patient and paying more attention to the details. He said he’s less worried about making a big-hit impact and more concerned with maintaining his discipline.
Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore catches a pass during a drill at the team's training camp practice on Monday, July 30, 2012 (BroncoTalk.net photo)
“I never get myself discouraged,” Moore said. “When you’re a rookie, you’re trying to make some plays. You’re trying to get respect. Sometimes you’re just too fast for your own good, and that’s when some disciplinary issues come in. Missed tackles come in. Missed opportunities, missed picks. Now that I’ve had an offseason with mini-camps and OTA’s where I slow the game down, I got back down to the basics, to the details. I’m ready.”
- The receiver/defender one-on-ones continue to be special to watch. Watching cornerbacks bite and try to jump routes is particularly interesting, especially when Manning is throwing. CB Tony Carter and S Duke Ihenacho were among players to try and jump Manning passes and fail, watching in agony as the quarterback’s intended target sped away with the football.
- Cyril Obiozor, mentioned at length yesterday, keeps finding ways to get in my notebook, and that’s a good thing. Today he added another sack to his total (that’s three in two days) and blew up RB Xavier Omon in short-yardage work with one of the better, louder tackles of the day.
- Another player continuing to impress is WR Tyler Grisham. He had a highlight touchdown catch from Adam Weber in red zone work, cleanly beating CB Ramzee Robinson. Weber’s throw was perfect.
Check out Facebook.com/BroncoTalk for 28 photos from today’s practice.
The Broncos have a walkthrough tonight that is closed to the public. There is no practice Tuesday. Their next public practice is Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 2:20 p.m. MT.
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