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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 1

July 29, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY ONE OF TRAINING CAMP:

Bates at Camp

Last week Bates announced that he will be face-to-face with this players this year as he plans to troll the sidelines instead of hiding in the booth. During the first practice of training camp, players and fans got to hear how vocal Jim Bates will be come game day. After Sam Adams forced a fumble, Bates verbally blasted his players for not celebrating the accomplishment enough. Bates wants his troops pumped up. He wants them to display energy — and that includes feeding off the excitement of a great play. Have a coach yell at you in order to increase your on-field celebrations may be new for most of the Denver defense, but then your dealing with a group that has to be prepared for anything.

“This is a different individual that we’re dealing with. People always say to play this game you have to be a little insane, but sometimes it starts at the top. We’re all insane — it starts with Coach Bates, though.”

— Nick Ferguson 7/27/07

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We also have a fairly poor video from someone that somehow got a video phone into camp today.

VIDEO OF A WALKER’S CATCH

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Veterans that are on on-a-days include: Brandon Stokley, Matt Lepsis, Tom Nalen and Sam Adams. However, 15 year veteran John Lynch took part in both of the day’s practices. What can we say — he’s the Man!

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OFFENSIVE LINE UPS: SUNDAY

den-logo.jpg Wide Outs:
Other than Walker everyone rotated between teams.

den-logo.jpg Tight Ends:
Daniel Graham remained the primary TE with Stephen Alexander and Nate Jackson both getting some reps on the 1st Team. Teyo Johnson worked exclusively with the 2nd and 3rd Teams.

den-logo.jpg Running Backs:
The surprise here was that RB Andre Hall (one of my favorite unknown Broncos) actually got some 1st Team reps today! However, Travis Henry had the majority of reps as expected.

den-logo.jpg O-line:
* 1st Team O-line was unchanged from minicamp: LT Matt Lepsis, LG Ben Hamilton, C Tom Nalen, RG Chris Kuper and RT Erik Pears. (Note: In the afternoon session Eslinger filled in for Nalen, and Meadows filled in for Lepsis — both starting veterans are on one-a-days).

* 2nd Team O-line consisted of: LT Ryan Harris, LG Chris Myers, C Greg Eslinger, RG Montrae Holland and RT Adam Meadows.

* 3rd Team O-line featured: LT Cliff Washburn, LG Emmanuel Akah, C Mark Fenton, RG Kevin McAlmont and RT Jacob Rogers.

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DEFENSIVE LINE UPS: SUNDAY

den-logo.jpg D-line:
* 1st Team D-line included: DE’s Ebenezer Ekuban and John Engelberger, DT’s Gerard Warren and Sam Adams. (Note: Elvis Dumervil and Jimmy Kennedy got 1st Team time in the afternoon session).

* 2nd Team D-line consisted of: DE’s Jarvis Moss and Tim Crowder, DT’s Jimmy Kennedy and Alvin McKinley.

* 3rd Team D-line featured: DE’s Kenard Lang and Elvis Dumervil, DT’s Marcus Thomas and Amon Gordon.

DIME PACKAGE NOTE: Jarvis Moss and Elvis Dumervil played DE and Ekuban slide inside to one of the tackle slots.

den-logo.jpg Linebackers:
* 1st Team LB’s: SAM Warrick Holdman, WILL Ian Gold, MIKE D.J. Williams
(Note:Webster got 1st Team reps at SAM in the afternoon session).

* 2nd Team LB’s: Outside LB’s Louis Green and D.D. Lewis, MIKE Nate Webster

* 3rd Team LB’s: Outside LB’s Wesly Mallard and T.J. Hollowell, MIKE Cameron Vaughn

den-logo.jpg Secondary:
No surprises here as CB’s Champ Bailey and Dre’ Bly and Safeties Nick Ferguson and John Lynch played on the 1st Team. Foxworth and Cox joined the 1st Team during work on the Dime Package.

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Kaylore and SoCal over at Orange Mane have put together GREAT first hand accounts of Day 1. They include a break down of several key players. I have pulled one or two of their more interesting player comments for your review…

RUNNING BACKS:

Kaylore said Henry had an ‘OK’ day, Mike Bell found his O-line holes well, Cecil Sapp “pretty much ran right at guys and tried to bowl them over,” and Selvin Young wasn’t very impressive. However, he had this to say about 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.”

— Kaylore 7/29/07

DEFENSIVE LINE:

Both of them agreed that our rookie linemen had a solid day of learning, but that all three new linemen will need time to develop fully. They also agree that the player most impressive for the day was Sam Adams.

“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”

— SoCal 7/29/07

OFFENSIVE LINE:

Both Kaylore and SoCal agreed that veteran’s Lepsis, Hamilton and Nalen all looked good. Newcomers tended to get mixed reviews. Since I’m big on Greg Eslinger, here is a review of his day from Kaylore:

“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.”

— Kaylore 7/27/07

WIDEOUTS:

The news, outside of Brandon Marshall beginning camp on PUP, is nothing spectacular for our wideouts… In fact the reports I’ve seen mostly agree that the Defense had a much better day than the Offense. Since I’ve been high on both Kircus and Stokley I’ll give you this quote on his performance:

“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.”

— SoCal 7/29/07

LINEBACKERS:

SoCal also satisfied my need for news on our new MIKE linebacker. He provided this insight on DJ’s first day at Training Camp in his new position.

“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.”

— SoCal 7/27/07

QUARTERBACKS:

From all accounts Cutler looked good. SoCal mentioned that he started a bit rough, but both of them agree he had a great day. As for Patrick Ramsey… well, the two were not impressed with his first day. Granted, he’s new to the system — and playing against the 1st Team Defense. I would expect him to improve daily through camp and make a good showing during preseason. I’ll let Kaylore have the last word on Jay Cutler.

“(Jay Cutler was) Sharp and calm. Very sharp and calm. He’s really settled down. He checks down his targets and even scrambled on a few occasions… 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.”

— Kaylore 7/29/07

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We have another great first hand account of Day One. This time it’s a breakdown of the offensive players by Cecil Lammey over at footballguys.com (& the Audible). Here are his thoughts on Sunday’s sessions.

QUARTERBACK:
At Quarterback, Cecil agreed with other first day witnesses that Patrick Ramsey looked off the mark and pressured. As I’ve mentioned before, I think this has to do with the fact that he is dealing with our 1st Team Defense and still needs more practice in our system. I have faith in him as our backup QB. Darrell Hackney seemed to impress with his arm strength – if not his accuracy.

As for Jay Cutler, Cecil was duly impressed; he even mentions that the bootleg is back and that Cutler was able to sell well enough to throw the defense off balance at least twice.

“Jay Cutler looked calm, cool, and collected out there. I liked the zip that he had on his passes, and he has the ultimate confidence in his arm. He was placing the ball in just the right spot for his receivers to snag the football.”

— Cecil Lammey 7/29/07

RUNNING BACK:
As we’ve heard from several sources, Travis Henry seemed to show that he will fit our system well. But the thing that impressed Cecil the most was his ball catching skills. He also said that Cecil Sapp showed some “power and pop.”

“The word I would use to describe Sapp is feisty. He was scrappy and hard nosed out there today. He’s not a flashy runner, but he was effective between the tackles.”

— Cecil Lammey 7/29/07

Cecil says that Mike Bell looked better on Sunday than he did all of last year, which is a bit more upbeat than other reports we’ve seen. I liked that Cecil mentioned Bell’s development of improved vision, which I thought Mike lacked last year.

“Bell had his signature power, but he wasn’t running with his head down like he did last year. His vision seemed improved, although it still seemed to me like he was thinking too much and not just playing. Either way, he is certainly going to put up a good fight for that #2 spot.”

— Cecil Lammey 7/29/07

Selvin Young seemed to disappoint everyone yesterday, but it was the first day of camp and we have a lot more days to see what Young can do. And like other camp visitors, Cecil praised Andre Hall’s work.

“He looked fantastic out there. He is a completely different type of runner from the other Broncos RBs. He has explosion, quickness, vision, and instincts. The one thing that he has (and what makes him so different) is the fact that he is really, really shifty. It’s hard to get a bead to tackle this kid. He is elusive in the open field and looked very determined out there. He’ll make the team, (coaches have been raving about him on the PS), and he’ll contribute in some way if he continues to play this way.”

— Cecil Lammey 7/29/07

WIDE RECIEVER:
Cecil has only positive things to say about our #1 WR, Javon Walker – who is sporting his D-Will memorial “fro-hawk.” He also has positive words for David Kircus (especially later in the practice) and Brandon Stokley – who he mentions could put on a great fight for the #2 spot. Domenik Hixon also earned some positive notes.

“Domenik Hixon had a good first day. He is a different receiver from the other guys out there. He seems to have great speed, and is a bigger receiver. He’s not a polished route runner, but his hands are easily above average. I like his run after the catch ability.”

— Cecil Lammey 7/29/07

TIGHT ENDS:
On Daniel Graham, Cecil noted NO dropped passes for the day. He blocked well, as expected, but his receiving skills won him the biggest praise.

“This kid can catch anything. He was even catching God-awful passes from Preston Parsons. Cutler was already looking to Graham early and often. When plays would break down, Jay would flick the ball to Graham (the guy knows how to get open). A fantastic day from this guy.”

— Cecil Lammey 7/29/07

 

 

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The Denver Post also had a story about Day One… so I guess I should post it for you: FULL ARTICLE

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