Archive for the ‘Ben Hamilton’ Category

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Some things to watch for vs Dallas

August 18, 2007

Unfortunately, I don’t live in Denver or Colorado or any state nearby in fact. That means I don’t have local TV coverage of the Bronco’s. And that means I won’t be able to see our second preseason game tonight against the Dallas Cowboys until tomorrow afternoon when the NFL Network replays the game.

And since I want to watch the game before reading anyone else’s opinions or analysis, I will be imposing an internet-ban on myself from tonight until tomorrow evening. That means no surfing the net, checking email or blogging for 24 hours… ouch!

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Things I’m looking forward to tonight

August 13, 2007

“We don’t pay much attention to the first preseason game… I hate to say that, but it’s the truth.” 

— Mike Shanahan 8/10/07

Mike Shanahan doesn’t care about the rematch against the team who knocked the Broncos out of the playoff less than a year ago.  He hasn’t broken down the 49ers offense or defense.  He hasn’t spent hours preparing a special game plan or scripting the plays for Cutler’s first drive.  He just doesn’t care.

OK… more correctly, he cares — just not about the term ‘game.’

Mike Shanahan and his coaches view the coming Monday night skirmish as an extended practice, not a full football game.

Yes, it will be under the glaring lights of ESPN’s Monday Night Football cameras.  Yes, a football hungry nation will be watching, as tonight symbolizes the beginning of the season to many fans.  But just because millions of viewers will be tuning in won’t mean that the Bronco’s Head Coach will take his eyes off the prize.

And the ‘prize’ is a championship season in 2007.

From that perspective, the only thing that matters tonight is evaluating his personnel under game-play situations.

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That’s why I love the preseason, really.  I look forward to seeing all the fresh faces and lesser known players give 110% effort as they fight for a roster spot.  These preseason games can bring more energy and emotion than playoff games sometimes (just ask TD about Tokyo).

So, here is a list of things I’m looking forward to seeing tonight (mostly in order of importance to my personal entertainment):

1.  Jim Bates sideline manner – Oh, PLEASE get him a mic ESPN!!!!!

Bates and his coaches have been very vocal during camp and I can’t wait to see his sideline coaching style in his first game as a Bronco!

2.  Pass Rush – Blow ‘em up boys!
With all the attention the Broncos have placed on the D-line, I want to see even our 3rd and 4th teams terrorizing the 49ers tonight.  We will also get to see our rookies playing for the first time in orange and blue, which should be fun… And, heck, a little bit of payback is a good thing!

3.  Patrick Ramsey and Darrell Hackney – Let’s see your fastball guys!

Patrick Ramsey has shown great strides in learning Shanahan’s offensive system, so I’m looking forward to seeing him tonight.  I know there will be some struggling (especially early on) as this is his first game with the new unit, but the coaches have been impressed with his intelligence and the speed at which he’s picked up the scheme.  Darrell Hackney has also had a very good camp.  Tonight will give him a chance to show off his talents (not the least of which is his arm strength).

4.  Our young WR’s – who’s left?
We have some talented guys with not a lot of starting experience (and some with none).  However, players like Kircus, Hixon, Morgan and Clark have all done very well at camp.  It will be interesting to see how they do during tonight’s skirmish.

5.  Ground Assualt – Let’s see ‘em roll!
While I look forward to seeing our RB’s take the field, I have my doubts about their production this evening due to the missing starters along the O-line.  Lepsis and Hamilton will sit this one out.   That will cause the rest of the line to shuffle (all but Tom Nalen that is).  However, I think we should still be able to see flashes from our backs well into the 3rd and 4th teams tonight.  Of course, my favorite lesser known Bronco RB is Andre Hall and I can’t wait to see what he makes of his chances when the lights are on.

6.  What about SAM – who’s going to make the big play on the Strong Side?
Well, the reps have been split between Nate Webster and D.D. Lewis throughout camp.  Holdman and Moore are out and Green (listed as the starter) is battling a knee injury.  So, will it be Webster or Lewis that stands out this evening?


OTHER AREAS TO WATCH:

Broncos Logo   Strong Secondary – With the starters not getting many reps we’ll have to wait to see much of the Champ & Bly show for at least another week.  Still… We have some good backups, and it will be fun to see how well they do.

Broncos Logo   Full Backs – Watch the FB’s tonights carefully.  Kyle has been leading the work, but Paul Smith, Tony Fleming and even Cecil Sapp may get some reps.

Broncos Logo   Depth at O-line – Backup and rookie O-linemen should be fun to watch tonight.  This will be a great chance to see how they’re coming along.

Broncos Logo   D.J. in the Middle – Again, the starters won’t be in very long, but while they are D.J. Williams will likely make some big plays.

Broncos Logo   TE’s catching & blocking – We should see some of both from our TE’s this evening – it should be fun to watch!

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 11

August 9, 2007

 

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY ELEVEN OF TRAINING CAMP:

“I’m bringing it back. Today’s an old-school day.” — Javon Walker 8/9/07

And with that, Javon Walker broke into another dance in front of Brian Clark who was admirably trying to keep a straight face while covering #84 during 1-on-1 drills.

Today marked a cheerful day for our #1 wide out, as Javon joke and smile all morning. He danced, he high-stepped, he laughed and he even spent the end of practice impersonating a sideline judge — holding the down marker and even whistling the play dead as Cutler worked on spiking the ball to stop the clock.

Shanahan didn’t have to talk about how important Javon Walker’s much improved emotional state was, instead he commented on Walker’s sideline referee work.

“Just like coaches, you never know for sure how long you’re going to be here. The more you can do – the better off you are.” — Mike Shanahan (kiddingly commenting on Javon Walker’s morning reps working the down markers) 8/9/07

All kidding aside, this is very good news for all of Bronco Nation. All Bronco fans have been watching Javon closely to see how he is handling the tragic events of 1/1/07. Javon has been silent on the issue of Darrent’s death all off-season (and who can blame him). He has also been withdrawn and reserved during Denver’s other OTA days. And he has rarely flashed his trademark grin as training camp started.

But today it was Javon “old school” Walker… and we can only hope this marks another step in his emotional healing process.

 

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ATTENDANCE:

Nate Jackson and John Lynch were both out of town today for the funeral of Bill Walsh. Jackson credits Walsh with guiding him from Menlo college to the NFL, and Lynch played under Walsh at Stanford.

Wide Recievers Brandon Stokley (left thigh), Brandon Marshall (quadriceps), Glenn Martinez (right thigh), Marquay McDaniel (left hamstring), Rod Smith (left hip) were all held out today.

OT rookie Ryan Harris was sidelined today due to ‘tweaking his back.’ It’s theoretically not serious. Unfortunately that makes our O-linemen group thin, as Lepsis (groin) and Ben Hamilton (concussion) are stil both out. We are told that both of our veteran injuries are mild and their being held out is a precautionary action.

Backup safety Hamza Abdullah (right Hamstring) and Quentin Harris (right knee) both sat out. LB’s Louis Green (knee) and Warrick Holdman (spinal cord concussion) also did not practice. OT Jacob Rogers (left knee) also was sidelined, but DE Jarvis Moss (knee) actually participated in some position drills today.

Tony Scheffler was back on the field again today — and looking good!

On the Other hand, WR David Kircus and FB Kyle Johnson had on-field treatments during the practice. They both were limited to less reps for the rest of practice.

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OFFENSIVE LINE UPS: THURSDAY

den-logo.jpg Quarterbacks:
Behind Jay Cutler and Patrick Ramsey, Darrell Hackney and Preston Parsons have been in a heated battle for a final PS spot.

den-logo.jpg Wide Outs:
No real changes here… The WR’s we have get reps. )

den-logo.jpg Tight Ends:
No real change from the last few days.

den-logo.jpg Running Backs:
No change: Travis Henry, Cecil Sapp running second. Mike Bell, Andre Hall and Young following behind.

RUMOR MILL: The Denver Post is reporting that Mike Bell has passed Cecil Sapp on the depth chart and is now running #2.
den-logo.jpg O-line:
1st Team O-line was unchanged from yesterday with LT Adam Meadows (filling in for Lepsis), LG Chris Myers (filling in for Ben Hamilton), C Tom Nalen, RG Montrae Holland and RT Erik Pears.

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DEFENSIVE LINE UPS: THURSDAY

den-logo.jpg D-line:
* 1st Team D-line stayed the same as the last couple of days: DE’s Ebenezer Ekuban and John Engelberger, DT’s Gerard Warren and Sam Adams (Jimmy Kennedy filled in for Adams this morning).
den-logo.jpg Linebackers:
* 1st Team LB’s were: continuing the SAM rotation, Nate Webster took his turn with the starters today, D.J. Williams at MIKE and Ian Gold at WILL.

den-logo.jpg Secondary:
No changes here, but Domonique Foxworth filled in for Lynch (out at Bill Walsh’s funeral).


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SPECIAL TEAMS LINE UPS: THURSDAY

den-logo.jpg Kick-Off Return Team:
Scott O’Brien had another very productive Special Teams practice in the afternoon. Check out Andrew Mason’s blog entry covering this: HERE

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 7

August 4, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY SEVEN OF TRAINING CAMP:

Saturday was all about goal-line work. It was a day for FULL pads (the only way to truly work on goal-line situations). And it was a hard hitting session — as would be expected. There were good plays on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, but I think I’m most excited by the day that Andre Hall had. He scored twice today on the ground, once on a spin-move after some great open field moves and the the other was an acrobatic jump across the goal-line plane for another six.

Not that either of those plays was as unexpected as the touchdown pass thrown by RB Cecil Sapp to TE Nate Jackson during a rare trick play… Yeah, I think I would have been tricked by that too!

 

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 6

August 3, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY SIX OF TRAINING CAMP:


Well the news today was all about the VERY thin depth we have at WR. In fact, with Brandon Stokley held out with a minor right thigh injury and Javon Walker pulled up short with some muscle cramping, we were left with only five functioning receivers (Quincy Morgan, Domenik Hixon, David Terrell, Brian Clark and David Kircus).

That was so few that at times Shanahan had to use TE’s to fill in the receiver slots so all the plays could be run. Nate Jackson worked well in this capacity as the tightend was a receiver only two seasons ago.

“(Nate’s) been very consistent and he’s gotten better in the blocking game and obviously he’s made some big-time catches — He’s looked very good.” — Mike Shanahan 8/3/07

Jackson wasn’t the only receiver to do well today. There were great catches by all of our remaining wideouts. Here’s a look at a few of them…

Cutler’s 50 yard pass to Walker (before he left with cramping)!

Cutler moves in the pocket to allow enough time for a pass to Nate Jackson.

Quincy Morgan grabs this ball pass Bly.

And now some other notes…

 

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 3

July 31, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY THREE OF TRAINING CAMP:

Domenik Hixon InjuredWe’re at Day Three at Dove Valley, boys and girls!

And the biggest news from the morning practice is Domenik Hixon’s shoulder injury. The speedy receiver landed on it during the later part of the morning session.

“I just came out and tried to make a play and landed on my shoulder. That’s football.” — Domenik Hixon 7/31/07

The injury is thought to be ‘slight,’ although he will not be returning to the field for the rest of the day. Mike Shanahan discribed the injury as a 1st degree shoulder separation. They will have a MRI done tomorrow to determine the exact injury and recovery time.

Hixon’s absence left room for David Kircus to show off his skills. He had some very acrobatic catches, but he also dropped or bobbled several passes leading Shanahan to mention his consistancy in his post-practice presser.

“He’s a little inconsistent. He drops the ball a few too many times, but he does come up with the big play. That consistency dictates whether or not you get a chance to play come game time. But David does show flashes and hopefully that consistency will improve and if it does improve he will have a chance to be on the football team.”

— Mike Shanahan 7/31/07

However, the ray of hope for Day 3 was seeing Rod Smith running (well, jogging) on the field after the second practice! Go Rod — we NEED ya buddy! 🙂

* Image provide by Erik Lars Bakke and Andrew Mason *

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ONE-A-DAY GROUP

Veteran Players on one-a-day status included: Champ Bailey, John Lynch, Nick Ferguson, Tom Nalen, Matt Lepsis, Ebenezer Ekuban, Sam Adams and Stephen Alexander. Brandon Stokley and Adam Meadows both practiced after sitting out the morning session. Travis Henry also got the afternoon practice off.

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OFFENSIVE LINE UPS: TUESDAY

den-logo.jpg Wide Outs:
With Hixon out and Brandon Stokley only practicing in the evening, David Kircus ran with the 1st Team and Brian Clark was the #3 WR.

den-logo.jpg Tight Ends:
No real change, Nate Jackson and Chad Mustard were also on the 1st Team for kick off returns.

den-logo.jpg Running Backs:
Again, no change. Travis Henry with Cecil Sapp running second. Mike Bell, Andre Hall and Young following behind.

den-logo.jpg O-line:
* 1st Team O-line was unchanged from yesterday: LT Matt Lepsis, LG Ben Hamilton, C Tom Nalen, RG Chris Kuper and RT Erik Pears. AFTERNOON: With Lepsis and Nalen sitting out the practice, Chris Myers took over at center, RT Erik Pears shifted over to the left side and Adam Meadows took Pears’ spot at RT.

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DEFENSIVE LINE UPS: TUESDAY

den-logo.jpg D-line:
* 1st Team D-line stayed the same as the last couple of days: DE’s Ebenezer Ekuban and John Engelberger, DT’s Gerard Warren and Sam Adams. AFTERNOON: Elvis Dumervil lined up at right DE with Ekuban on one-a-days.

DIME PACKAGE NOTE: Ekuban and Warren were the tackles with ends Jarvis Moss and Elvis Dumervil.

den-logo.jpg Linebackers:
* With Ian Gold out with back spasms, the 1st Team LB’s were: D.D. Lewis at SAM, D.J. Williams at MIKE and Louis Green at WILL.

den-logo.jpg Secondary:
No changes here as CB’s Champ Bailey and Dre’ Bly and Safeties Nick Ferguson and John Lynch played on the 1st Team. Foxworth was their Nickel back and Cox joined the 1st Team during work on the Dime Package. Rookie Roderick Rogers did seem 2nd Team action late in the morning practice. AFTERNOON: Domonique Foxworth and Curome Cox filled in for Lynch and Ferguson in the afternoon and Karl Paymah filled in for Champ.

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SPECIAL TEAMS LINE UPS: TUESDAY

den-logo.jpg Kick-Off Return Team:
On Special Teams the 1st kick-off return team looked like this: Safeties Steve Cargile & Hamza Abdullah, RB Cecil Sapp, LB’s Warrick Holdman & D.D. Lewis, TE’s Nate Jackson & Chad Mustard, DE Tim Crowder and O-lineman Chris Myers.

Returners consisted of WR Quincy Morgan and RB Mike Bell, with Kircus and WR Glenn Martinez each fielded some kicks as well. Morgan’s lead blocking was handled by Kyle Johnson, while Troy Fleming worked with Bell.

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 2

July 30, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY TWO OF TRAINING CAMP:

“That long arm’s going to be home for you baby, home! That’s the leverage we’ve got to have, gentlemen!”

— Jim Bates, in reference to a great play by Elvis Dumervil

So, Day #2 is in the books.

The Broncos had another great day of practice. The morning practice was with shoulder pads and shorts, and the afternoon practice was a shortened Special Teams session. Highlights included Brandon Stokley’s impressive work as he competes for the #2 WR spot. Jarvis Moss showing some great improvement today and Elvis Dumervil proving to his new coach that a short man with long arms can still bust up a play (see above quote)!

On to the notes…

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OFFENSIVE LINE UPS: MONDAY

den-logo.jpg Wide Outs:
Brandon Stokley and Hixon both had time with the first team, but Stokley seemed to impress the most.

den-logo.jpg Tight Ends:
No real change, although Nate Jackson had a good practice. 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:
Travis Henry began to pull away seriously from the pack as the rest of the roster followed. Cecil Sapp was running second with Mike Bell, Andre Hall and Young following behind.

den-logo.jpg O-line:
* 1st Team O-line was unchanged from yesterday: LT Matt Lepsis, LG Ben Hamilton, C Tom Nalen, RG Chris Kuper and RT Erik Pears.

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DEFENSIVE LINE UPS: MONDAY

den-logo.jpg D-line:
* 1st Team D-line stayed the same as Sunday: DE’s Ebenezer Ekuban and John Engelberger, DT’s Gerard Warren and Sam Adams.

NICKLE PACKAGE NOTE: Amon Gordon replaced Adams in this package.

den-logo.jpg Linebackers:
* 1st Team LB’s saw D.D. Lewis rotate in for his turn with the unit: SAM D.D. Lewis, WILL Ian Gold, MIKE D.J. Williams

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 was their Nickel back and Cox joined the 1st Team during work on the Dime Package.

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