Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Denver Broncos Training Camp: Day 6 (Morning)

Defense rules, offensive drools...

And the Denver Broncos roll on:

  • Out today: tight end Chad Mustard (still on PUP list), center Tom Nalen, running back Michael Pittman, safety John Lynch, defensive tackle DeWayne Robertson, fullback Peyton Hillis and guard Montrae Holland is still being stalked by strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten. Though fans should not stress at the list, Lynch had a personal day, while Nalen and Robertson were resting. Pittman sitting out is most likely due to the fact that the Broncos are wearing out their fullbacks left and right. Only one man, Cecil Sapp is still free of injury and tight end Brett Pierce has been pulled to help carry the load at fullback. Was the release of Mike Bell a little early?

  • The Denver defense was dominant and that was most evident in the play of Jay Cutler, who spent the day running for his life (despite the fact that he can't be sacked). Cutler got to experience Ebenezer Ekuban in beast mode as Ekuban smashed a ball out of the air intended for rookie receiver Eddie Royal. There's more on Ekuban's play later in the blog. Cutler didn't do entirely horrible, he seems to have his timing down with Royal and Darrell Jackson.

Kyle Sonneman over at the official site was able to grab this great picture of Eddie Royal laying out:

Royal split the seam during seven-on-seven drills, blowing by rookie corner Jack Williams and Cutler hit him before Roderick Rogers could make it over to help out.

  • Staying on the quarterbacks for a moment, did Darrell Hackney surpass Patrick Ramsey on the depth chart? Ramsey did not see nearly as much time as Hackney and the third string quarterback used every moment of the spotlight to shine. Hackney showed great poise and definitely planted his flag in the ground by the time morning practice was over. Connecting on deep passes to wide outs Keary Colbert and Brandon Marshall, both in traffic.

  • In the backfield, Andre Hall continues to be the star of the group, but it seems to me that the only place you're going to read about that is here in this blog. Until someone at one of the Denver papers takes notice. Selvin Young does have a firm grip on his spot atop the Denver depth chart, if there's going to be any movement on the depth chart it's apparently going to have to happen in the preseason. Defensive end Jarvis Moss took advantage of the youth movement in his onslaught of rookies Ryan Torain and Anthony Aldridge, blowing them both up on two consistent plays. Torain seems to be more of the grinder and Aldridge is the stampeder. The jury is still out on Cecil Sapp, as injuries to Peyton Hillis and Michael Pittman have forced Sapp to take far more snaps than usual and the fatigue is starting to show.

  • Moving on to the wide outs, as I mentioned Darrell Jackson is still good and will be Denver's number two (if not number one) at the season's start. Keary Colbert looked better than he has, but he will more than likely sit behind rookie Eddie Royal this season. Possibly even behind Glenn Martinez as well. Receivers such as Samie Parker, Lorne Sam, Taylor Jacobs, Marquay McDaniel and Clifford Russell all face steep uphill climbs to make the roster. Though if Marshall is suspended Parker looks to lead thus far in making it in as the sixth man for Denver's roster.

  • Tight ends Tony Scheffler and Nate Jackson continue to one up each other throughout drills and eleven-on-eleven's. The lack of tight end was a concern during team camps, but Jackson seems to be earning that raise.

  • Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas was the source of headaches to both backup center Casey Wiegmann and Jay Cutler as we was consistently busting through Wiegmann on his way to Cutler. Jarvis Moss is staying true to camp form, although Ryan Harris continues to grow and is looking more and more like the starting right tackle the Bronco staff so desperately wants him to be. If it were up to me, Denver's starting four at defensive line would be Elvis Dumervil, Josh Mallard, Ebenezer Ekuban and Jarvis Moss- all of whom Denver seems to be using when they line up first-team nickel formation. I'm not going to comment on the strength of Denver's defensive line for fear of jinxing them, but I don't think Denver will have the troubles that they did last season.

  • Domonique Foxworth and Hamza Abdullah are still ball hawking, combined they both had around six interceptions today. Rookie safety Josh Barret snatched a ball away from Tony Scheffler, not an interception though, he literally grabbed a ball away that Scheffler had caught. Foxworth may push Dre Bly for the number two corner back spot and as I've mentioned previously Foxworth does play second during the nickel and 4-3-3-1 formations. Marlon McCree took all of John Lynch's snaps, in his absence.

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