Happy Friday, Broncos fans! The team wrapped up its mandatory minicamp yesterday (BTV, photos, more photos) with a demand from John Fox (video) that each player return to training camp on July 25 in the best shape of his life (ITBSOHL).
Former Colts OC Tom Moore was again in attendance, and had the following to say about his star pupil Peyton Manning:
Watching these three days, he looked excellent to me. There's lots of things that enter into it, obviously, accuracy, anticipation, touch, arm strength, you know, it's an all-involved thing. He looks good. He looks excellent.
Practice was highlighted by a couple of tipped interceptions of Manning, improving mechanics from Brock Osweiler, and more first-team reps for Rahim Moore and Sealver Siliga.
Looking through the library this week, I rediscovered a text by Super Bowl-winning ex-Ravens coach Brian Billick on the theory behind establishing an offense - a detailed discussion of the development of an offensive game plan. First published in 1996, some of the information in Developing an Offensive Game Plan might seem a bit dated, but I found that taking a walk through his wheelhouse is an exercise in learning how extensive the knowledge of the game has to be to coach on his level. As I read through the text, it occurred to me that most of the perspective would be new to the majority of fans. It was to me, as well. Billick laid out a remarkably thorough process for creating an offense, and it was one that I hadn’t seen in quite that way before.
One of the many things that stood out was his perspective on achieving success on third downs. Billick subdivided that down into multiple categories and talked about exactly how many plays he’d allocate to handling the various options of down and distance. Like Bill Walsh and many of his followers, Billick considers establishing your weekly offense to be a matter of pre-scripting plays and creating specific options on each potential possibility that are effective given the team’s personnel. It’s just one aspect of the overall process of charting your needs, but to Billick it’s an essential one.
Broncos Have One of a Kind Sellout Streak
When fans go to a game,they want to see their team win. And they don’t want to see their team lose.
Jim Saccomano: drinking tiger's blood since 1978.
Philip Rivers is Excited about San Diego’s New Faces, Will Work on “Taking Care of the Football”
On what he’s noticed thus far in offseason practices:
“First thing that stands out is we’re fast. I think we’ve gotten faster. Fast maybe not the word but speed. There’s gonna be a lot of quickness and speed, maybe more than we’ve had. We’ve always been a fast team but that’s the first thing that pops out to me.”
On Eddie Royal:
“He jumped out to me these first few OTAs. He’s kind of an added dimension that we hadn’t had here maybe since the Sproles type. … Just that dimension of a guy who’s got some of that jitter bug, but can also take a punt back.”
We think what Rivers meant to say here is that there's a difference between quickness and outright speed; further, that with the addition of Eddie Royal, the Chargers will be a bit quicker. Instead, Rivers threw a synonym party, which we should point out is much different than a party in your pocket ( and I know you're gonna rock it).
The loss of Eddie Royal has largely been overshadowed by the Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning dramas, and the comparison to Sproles is probably a bit of a stretch. However, it gives us some insight as to why Royal drew so much free-agent interest prior to the draft.
It's also worth asking the important question: just what the f$%! am I supposed to do with my Eddie Royal jersey now?
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's minicamp will conclude today, to be followed by a long spell of inactivity until training camp begins on July 25.
More deep passing from Peyton Manning highlighted yesterday's work, as did the progression of Knowshon Moreno to seven-on-seven snaps from the individual drills he'd been confined to by his rehab from ACL surgery. Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter continue to rotate with the first team, with yesterday bringing up Moore's turn; Rafael Bush practiced ahead of David Bruton.
Oh, and Peyton even spent some time working on his pass-rushing skills. Can anyone say Greatest Modern Player to Play Two Ways?
Ty Warren says he's feeling great but needs to improve his conditioning and absorb more of the new defensive playbook. He's weighing in at 310 pounds now - 30 fewer than he did a year ago - and expects to play at 300-305 come the regular season.
Ben Garland has been working with the third-team defense, considers himself a longshot, and says he'd embrace a trip to the practice squad.
Updated 9:45 am ET
Happy Wednesday, friends. There’s some big news in Tedistan, but I’m not able to announce it publicly just yet, so we’re going to return to Undervalued Positions. Today, we will look at the Matchup Safety, which I think will go nicely against our last edition of this miniseries, where we looked at the Move TE.
When an offense uses 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR), it forces a defense to choose whether to use Base (four DBs) or Nickel (five DBs) personnel. In most cases, that’s a situation of being damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. An offense in 12 personnel should have success in passing against Base defenses, and should have success running against Nickel defenses.
It gets especially interesting, offensively speaking, when one of the TEs has WR traits, and can be flexed out in a slot or flanked alignment. We’re talking about players like Aaron Hernandez, Jimmy Graham, and Jermichael Finley, who have the ability to release efficiently with a two-way go, and then separate in space (meaning outside the interior traffic that often helps TEs get open).
Peyton quickly working off the rust as Broncos kick off their minicamp
Manning recently put on the Broncos uniform for the first time for a DirecTV photo shoot with his brother, Eli Manning. He also put it on Tuesday for some television shots. Was it weird?
“I didn’t take a moment to reflect,” Manning said. “I just enjoy being back out on the field. I really haven’t been too nostalgic about it. I have so much on my plate. My rehab. New plays. New receivers. We could have 45 of these [minicamp practices] and I would take them. There is so much to do.”
Peyton tells Pete Prisco he's been watching more film of his own throwing than he used to, to ensure that he's avoiding any inadvertent compensations in his mechanics. He also says retirement was never a consideration, thanks to his doctors' assessments of his neck.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Denver's lone mandatory minicamp kicked off yesterday (BTV, photos), with kicker Matt Prater the only no-show, as expected. There was a brief injury scare as Demaryius Thomas jammed a finger, and Tracy Porter and Danny Trevathan (who worked with the first-team nickel package) each intercepted Peyton Manning off tipped passes. Knowshon Moreno and Chris Kuper continue to work back from injury, while Julius Thomas remains inactive.
John Fox and Peyton Manning (videos) spoke after practice; Fox and others reiterated that D.J. Williams's playbook page tweet was no thing. But we knew this already, since TJ made it quite clear, even while others were freaking out. Fox, Manning, and Willis McGahee say the team is striving for offensive balance and a commitment to running the ball. We'll see about that.
McGahee says the presence of Manning has him working harder than ever, and Eric Decker says Peyton's demanding expectations are testing players daily.
Wrapping up Denver's day
Manning’s former offensive coordinator Tom Moore made it clear Tuesday he was simply visiting camp and has no plans to join the team as a consultant. Moore was on the Pittsburgh staff with Fox in 1989. Moore, 73, said he is interested in coaching again in 2013.
Earlier today, the official site put up a 35-image gallery of today's minicamp with a shot of Tom Moore visiting and wearing a Broncos windbreaker. I was going to write something but decided it was too speculative/Bleacherish.
Now, Moore says he's sitting out the year but may return to coaching in 2013, when he will turn 75 midseason. Meanwhile, that photo is now gone, leaving only 34 images in the slideshow. Odd.
Silverman: Lovie’s A Top 10 Coach, But Not Elite
7. John Fox, Denver – Somehow Fox found a way for the Denver Broncos to win the AFC West last season with a quarterback in Tim Tebow who could not throw the ball straight. They even won a playoff game against the Steelers. Fox’s strength is his ability to work with a defense and put that unit in a position to succeed. He also understands motivation and the human condition. Remember, he took the Panthers to the Super Bowl and now he’s got Peyton Manning on his side. It could be a year to remember in the Rockies.
Silverman ranks these coaches going into 2012, so one assumes a lot of this has to do with 2011's results.
It's hard to tell, though. He also has Mike Shanahan ranked #10 on the list and writes: "This is largely based on what he did in his previous coaching tenure in Denver and that is now ancient history."