Archive for the ‘Hamza Abdullah’ Category

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My thoughts on Denver’s MNF Skirmish

August 14, 2007

Things you wait eight months for can seem somewhat disappointing when they actually come around. Admittedly, I have been more involved this off-season than ever before. I started this blog, became active in several forums (I actually Mod over at TSZ), found several awesome Bronco blogs and generally spent hours each day researching all available info on my favorite NFL team.

With all that hype, I guess I should have been prepared for a little let-down after the first preseason game on Monday night. However, when the game was done I felt VERY down and out.

At first I thought that my post-game depression was due to the inevitable let-down after looking forward to something for so long. However, as I got up this morning I was still feeling rather icky about that game last night. Which makes me think that it has less to do with my emotional state, and much more to do with the performance of the team.

Now, I don’t want to say that there weren’t some very good moments last night! When we started the game with a 67 yard drive for an easy TD, I was whooping like a mad-man. Seeing Henry tear through defenders to find yardage was a beautiful thing.

But when our Broncos kick-off coverage allowed the 49ers to gain 31 yards on the following play I was fuming. As I’ve said over and over this off-season, our kick-off coverage was 31st in the league last year and Scott O’Brien was brought in to turn this around. I know this was only one play, but if first impressions really do count, I wasn’t impressed.

Then our 1st Team defense took the field, and it only took a few plays for my stomach to turn and my palms to start sweating. Our D-line seemed to have NO run stopping ability and the 49ers picked us apart with short-yardage passes that fell right between the LB’s and DB’s. Gains of 8,9,6 and 18 yards happened before we were able to get our first sack (thank you Engelberger) and force them to settle for three.

And that’s the way it seemed to go all night. We got an early lead and then let the 49ers take over in the time of possession and third down conversion battles. Yes, our 3rd and 4th stringer were good enough to prevent them from taking the lead back, but it was the sheer lack of stopping-power our Defense displayed that really caused my heart to sink.

Our Defense can not give up 144 yards on the ground and expect to win games. The 49ers gained a total of 386 yards to our 270 yards. The 49ers owned us in Time of Possession (by almost 10 minutes – that’s nearly a full quarter). They also converted WAY too many 3rd downs (7 of 16 while Denver was 3 of 9). We need to find a way to get our defense OFF THE FIELD!

The thing that shocked me the most was how eerily familiar this game was to our games last year. We only scored 17 points — that’s what we averaged under Jake Plummer in 2006. We won by holding on to a tiny lead. And the most scare fact is that our Defense looked just like the ‘bend-but-don’t-break’ system we seem to have fallen into each of the last few years.

Every year we have a DC that talks about how aggressive the new Defense is going to be, but then we get killed when our opponents begin tearing us up with those short passes. You can’t give away 5.2 yards per play and expect us to win 10-12 games.

Rationally, I do understand that our guys are still learning Bate’s new scheme. I know that there will be an adjustment period and that we still haven’t ironed out our starters along the D-line. I just hope that last night’s problem was the players’ learning curves rather than any inherent flaw in Bates’ system.
POSITIVE NOTE:

I was impressed with some of what I saw. On offense I loved seeing Henry and Cutler get to work. Walker made a nice catch and Hixon played bigger than his numbers show. I was also surprised by how well our O-line played considering the missing starters.

EDIT: You all need to check out BroncoTalk’s breakdown of that first Offensive drive. It’s great work by Kmonty (as always!): CHECK IT OUT!


On Defense I was impressed with Webster and Green at LB. Engelberger has many haters among the fans for some reason, but he played good ball on Monday. Dumervil also had a good night. But I loved what I saw from our Safeties; and not just our starters – but Abdullah, Cargile, Cox and (of course) Foxworth. Of the rookies, Crowder seemed to be the most active.

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 10

August 8, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY TEN OF TRAINING CAMP:

ouchThe sidelines at today’s practices were full and overflowing. Including veterans who are on one-a-days, the Broncos had 27 players watching rather than playing this afternoon. That’s over a fourth of our roster!

I am certainly not being craven about the situation. This is normal for training camp, and our list isn’t much longer than most of the other teams currently at camp. I know you won’t hear much more than who isn’t at practice from most of the mainstream media, but that’s because of the old “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality.

Actually, all of the media’s focus on the team’s injuries may be a good thing. Jay Cutler has probably experienced reduced media attention as they instead have beaten to death the subject of our depth at wide receiver for example. And D.J. Williams has also likely been less harassed by the media hounds in recent days as they have prefered to talk endlessly about rookie injuries (like Jarvis Moss’s knee injury scare).

All this media coverage of our injuries, also keeps expectations low leading into the season (or at least the preseason). I’d much rather let the media discuss how great the Colt, Patriots and Chargers are going to be this season, while ignoring our strong points and chatting about our camp injury report.

In the end, all these injuries and one-a-day sessions are completely normal. Nothing we’ve heard so far should have fans concerns. We’ll have a great team when the season starts and the roster is down to 53 players. For now, we just have to humor the media’s coverage of the latest bruise on John Lynch’s shin, David Kircus’s stubbed toe and Travis Henry’s new hangnail.

 

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ATTENDANCE:

The following players were held out of practice today due to injury: Louis Green (left knee), Ben Hamilton (concussion), Quentin Harris (right knee), Warrick Holdman (spinal cord concussion), Matt Lepsis (groin), Brandon Marshall (quadriceps), Glenn Martinez (right thigh), Marquay McDaniel (left hamstring), Rod Smith (left hip), Brandon Stokley (left thigh), Lamont Reid and Doug Nienhuis (both injured in NFL Europa).

And the following players participated in the morning session, but were held out of the afternoon work: Travis Henry, Champ Bailey, Nick Ferguson, Dre’ Bly, John Lynch, Ian Gold, Gerard Warren, Tom Nalen, Jacob Rogers, Stephen Alexander, Daniel Graham, Ebenezer Ekuban, Sam Adams, Jarvis Moss.

Hamza Abdullah also sat out of the afternoon practice, but he was held out due to a slight injury in the morning session.

Tony Scheffler practiced again today, although he still split off after a while to continue his rehab.

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 8

August 6, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY EIGHT OF TRAINING CAMP:

Jarvis Moss

Another day, another injury…

Like Holdman’s terrifying neck injury, the team was rocked today when their #1 draft pick, Jarvis Moss, fell to the field screaming in pain and holding his left knee.

Like Holdman, Moss was loaded onto the team medical cart and driven away from the grounds to a hospital to be checked out.

And like Holdman, the news from the doctors was a welcomed relief. In fact, so good was the news that Jarvis returned to the afternoon practice to watch his teammates complete the day’s work and to let them know he was OK.

“Everything checked out. It kind of scared me for a minute. I felt like it was something real serious, but I’m fine. I’m going to go rehab tonight, and hopefully I’m ready to go in the morning.”

— Jarvis Moss 8/6/07

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So, with that little scare behind everyone, we can get back the really important news this Monday — OFFICIAL DEPTH CHARTS! That’s right, today Shanahan posts the first official depth chart for the team.

OK, that’s a bit over-dramatic… These camp depth charts don’t mean all that much. I mean they don’t stay the same for long, and by tomorrow it could be well outdated. But it’s still a great way to gauge who the coaches have their eyes on. So, on with the juicy news!

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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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Bootlegged Training Camp Video on YouTube

August 2, 2007

So, you’ve read the first-hand accounts from training camp.  You’ve seen the pictures over at Andrew Mason’s blog and the Denver Post website.  And you’ve seen some of the limited video coverage allowed at camp.  Still hungry for some more access???

Here is some bootleg video of some of those talked about hits, catches and runs we’ve all been hearing about!  Thanks to a sneaky fan, ahuebner, we have some training camp gems like these:

Abdullah makes a big hit.

D. D. Lewis takes down the RB in the backfield.

Much more on ahuebner’s page at YouTube.com — Enjoy!

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 5

August 2, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY FIVE OF TRAINING CAMP:

Warrick HoldmanDay Five is in the books, and it came with quite a scare. Warrick Holdman collided with teammate Mike Bell near the sideline early in the morning session. He suffered what is being called a ‘spinal cord concussion’ from the collision.

“He went numb for about 30 or 40 seconds out there and he got his feeling back — which is a good sign. I don’t know for sure, but normally when somebody gets that feeling back, it’s usually positive.”

— Mike Shanahan 8/2/07

While it’s a good sign, the team took no chances and Holdman was strapped to a back board, loaded into an ambulance and taken to Sky Ridge Medical Center. He will remain there over night for observation.

The eerie part of this report is how familiar it is to the one that followed the Seattle game when Al Wilson was injured. As both LB’s Al Wilson and John Mobley had their careers end due to this type of injury, it makes everyone involved concerned about Holdman tonight.

On a lighter side, Travis Henry may be the leading contender for the #1 RB spot, but that doesn’t mean he’s above the law. Today he was punished with running laps for jumping offsides during practice. And that’s not the first time our RB star has done laps after a camp session. The first time was because he wasn’t standing in the right place.

“They see it as you’ve got to pay attention to the little things. I respect that.” — Travis Henry 8/2/07

…well, you’ve been warned — No getting out of line boys and girls, or you’ll answer to Coach Shanahan! 🙂

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ATTENDANCE:

In addition to Holdman leaving the field on a stretcher, here are the other camp injuries…

WR Marquay McDaniel was held out again due to his hamstring injury. Chad Mustard was out with a right hamstring injury. Glenn Martinez was also out again with a right thigh injury. Marcus Thomas joined the group on the sideline today due to a left calf injury. Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler, Rod Smith, Lamont Reid and Doug Niehuis were all still out. Sam Adams did not practice today because of a right knee injury but Shanahan said it was a part of the plan for Adams to sit out.

“He’s all right. It’s a game plan that we have—we’re going to make sure he’s in shape. We know he can play the game. When he played the first couple practices, he’s been very impressive but we don’t want to overdo it as well.”

— Mike Shanahan 8/2/07

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OFFENSIVE LINE UPS: THURSDAY

den-logo.jpg Wide Outs:
Walker and Brandon Stokley ran with the 1st Team.
den-logo.jpg Tight Ends:
No real change from the last few days.
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: LT Matt Lepsis, LG Ben Hamilton, C Tom Nalen, RG Chris Kuper 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 with Jimmy Kennedy work in Sam Adams spot: DE’s Ebenezer Ekuban and John Engelberger, DT’s Gerard Warren and Jimmy Kennedy.

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

den-logo.jpg Linebackers:
* 1st Team LB’s were: D.D. Lewis took his turn at SAM today, D.J. Williams still impressing at MIKE and Ian Gold 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.

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SPECIAL TEAMS LINE UPS: THURSDAY

den-logo.jpg Kick-Off Return Team:
Returners consisted of WR’s Quincy Morgan, David Kircus and Domenik Hixon each fielded some kicks during the afternoon session. Both Brandon Pace and Todd Sauerbrun got reps kicked off.

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TRAINING CAMP: DAY 4

August 1, 2007

NOTES AND NEWS FROM DAY FOUR OF TRAINING CAMP:

Day four and away we go!

If the biggest news yesterday was Domenik Hixon’s shoulder injury, the top story today should have been his return to the practice field.

However, Javon Walker broke his silence today and spoke to a throng of eager reporters after the morning practice. Much to their chagrin, he didn’t discuss the Jan. 1st death of Darrent Williams. But that didn’t stop every sports media outlet from leading with the story “Walker still silent on slain teammate” — way to respect the man’s emotional recovery dill weeds!

In ACTUAL football news, Ian Gold made it back into the line up and Domenik Hixon muscled through his shoulder pain to complete the morning practice. Brandon Marshall, however, sat out again. Shanahan noted that and made some pointed comments about the importance of beating the injury bug and getting out on the field.

“When guys get hurt, it really hurts their chances of making the team. For a guy like Domenik to come in after a first-degree shoulder separation is pretty impressive. He worked through it, and that is what you are hoping a guy is going to do.”

“A guy that keeps getting hurt, we can’t waste repetition on a guy that’s not out there. We have to have guys who can stay healthy.”

— Mike Shanahan 8/1/07

And if Shanahan wasn’t blunt enough, Ted Sundquist also commented on Brandon Marshall today.

“We’re counting on Brandon. We put a lot of time and effort into coaching him, getting him ready, but ultimately on a Mike Shanahan team you’ve got to go out on the field and perform”

— Ted Sundquist 8/1/07

Brandon Marshall needs to get his butt in gear, deal with a little pain and get out on that darn practice field — SOON.

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ATTENDANCE:

WR Marquay McDaniel was held out with a hamstring injury. Kenard Lang and Chad Mustard did not participate and Glenn Martinez was sidelined during the morning practice with a strained leg muscle.

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OFFENSIVE LINE UPS: WEDNESDAY

den-logo.jpg Wide Outs:
Walker and Brandon Stokley ran with the 1st Team.

den-logo.jpg Tight Ends:
No real change from the last few days.
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: LT Matt Lepsis, LG Ben Hamilton, C Tom Nalen, RG Chris Kuper and RT Erik Pears.

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DEFENSIVE LINE UPS: WEDNESDAY

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, but Jimmy Kennedy replaced Adams for some reps this morning.

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

den-logo.jpg Linebackers:
* 1st Team LB’s were: Nate Webster took his turn at SAM today, D.J. Williams still impressing at MIKE and Ian Gold back 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.

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SPECIAL TEAMS LINE UPS: WEDNESDAY

den-logo.jpg Kick-Off Return Team:
Returners consisted of WR’s Quincy Morgan, David Kircus and Domenik Hixon each fielded some kicks during the afternoon session. Both Brandon Pace and Todd Sauerbrun got reps kicked off.

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