It was so good to see my team back in action again! I went to Dove Valley this morning to check out our new Broncos. New head coach + new players + new strategy = very excited fans. The first practice on the first day of training camp was a huge success. The practice ran a little over two hours, and when all was said and done many players and coaches stuck around for autographs. Josh McDaniels ran straight over to the sideline where I was sitting, so I grabbed a picture with him. What a friendly guy! I was thoroughly impressed by him, and despite only coming up to the chin of many of his players, you could tell that he was the one running the show. At one point, he blew his whistle as loud as he could and screamed “huddle up” to his starting offensive group. When he did that, all players stopped to listen to him, and fans were quite surprised by his vocal intensity on the field. It was a McD that we’ve never seen before in interviews.
Some other notable observations from Day 1 at camp:
- Peyton Hillis has some of the best hands on the team. This workhorse is truly loved by the fans, and will be putting a pounding on opposing defenses this year.
- Matt Prater made all of the field goals (except for the blocked one by Josh Bell) that he took on the main practice field in front of all of his teammates. I’d like to promote a taunting campaign when Prater kicks in training camp just so he feels some extra pressure and we can get him game-ready.
- Ryan Torain might have the fastest change of direction on the team. If his knee holds up, he’s going to surprise a lot of people.
- There’s no question in my mind why Kyle Orton is #1 on the depth chart. He’s got a very strong and accurate arm. Watching him practice makes me think that everything will be okay this season.
- Speaking of QBs, keep an eye on Tom Brandstater in the future. I thought this rookie was more accurate than Chris Simms today. He doesn’t have as much zip on the ball as Orton or Simms, and he needs to work on his footwork, but he could be turn into something really nice.
- Living up to his reputation, Brian Dawkins’ mouth never stopped moving. That’s a very good thing for our young players.
- On the practice field returning punts was none other than Eddie Royal and Alphonso Smith.
- I think our deadly duo just turned into the terrific trio as far as receivers go. Jabar Gaffney is an impressive addition to Brandon Marshall and Royal. Orton is going to have plenty of outstanding options available to him.
- I think we may have taken long snapper Mike Leach for granted. Lonie Paxton was a little off his game today as the team’s new long snapper. He should polish up though.
- I’ll be the first to say that our punters need work. It’ll come with time.
- There was a little trickery today with a Wildcat lineup on one play and a fleaflicker on another.
Stay tuned for more training camp coverage.
Let’s go Broncos!