Ronnie Hillman (hamstring) did not practice yesterday, Justin Bannan reaggravated his calf injury, and Orlando Franklin was limited to wind sprints but may participate in the scrimmage as he works back from a concussion. Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Jacob Tamme, Joel Dreessen, and Champ Bailey provided the highlights, while Jason Hunter again worked ahead of Robert Ayers and got a bit chippy with the offensive linemen on multiple occasions.
Eric Decker returned to action and made a one-handed TD catch, while Jeremiah Johnson continues to impress like he did last summer. Knowshon Moreno and Rahim Moore had a big open-field collision, and isn't it nice to read about Knowshon and contact, and with no mention of his health?
Jeff Darlington paid Dove Valley a visit, and he confirms what we've thought all along: the Broncos will be running Peyton Manning's offense, and all of this talk about blending the Colts' playbook with that of Mike McCoy's has been more smokescreen than anything else.
After adding safety Mike Adams via free agency, the Broncos entered training camp expecting one of Quinton Carter or Rahim Moore to start next to the ninth-year veteran. A week and change into camp, Moore has been impressing, but an injury to Carter on Day 2 has taken him out of the competition for now.
Carter had originally been diagnosed with a hamstring injury, but he also hurt his knee and underwent a minor arthroscopic procedure earlier this week. The second-year ex-Sooner is expected to miss at least the first two of Denver's preseason games.
In Thursday morning’s practice, Peyton Manning was tossing long touchdown passes to Demaryius Thomas without any visible strain. After months of people guessing at what percentage of fully healed and recovered his neck, brachial plexus, and arm strength might be, the question is unofficially over. He’s not as strong as he will be, but it no longer matters. He can make any throw, and he can put the ball into the hands of his deep receivers without difficulty. His short and intermediate throws are on target, quick, and accurate. Beyond that, the improvements will make what’s already remarkable even more effective.
As camp continues on into the start of the season, Manning will continue to gain in strength and accuracy as he follows the rehabilitation program that his doctors have set up for him. His receivers will be tasked with running routes precisely and hitting the right spot exactly on time. To do that, several skills will be necessary - the ability to beat press coverage off the line, the ability to gain separation from the coverage, and the hands to make sure that the drops that are part of developing the connection between QB and wide receiver are a thing of the past.
Chargers won’t sign autographs at FanFest
Fanfest note: No team auto session this year. Has become too big; too many kids going away bummed w/o autos. Still great day with your team.
MDS suggests this is a proper solution to memorabilia sellers loading up on merch, but why not just set an age and/or item limit for autographs (ie 15 and under, one item each)?
You stay classy, San Diego.
Old friend Brandon Marshall made an appearance on a Chicago radio show this week, and of course he was asked about his rejuvenated bromance with Jay Cutler. Here's what he said when asked if Jay is an elite QB:
But the things that separate those quarterbacks from the Super Bowls and all the other stuff is the guys around them. … Jay has the it thing going on.
What would you suppose BMarsh means by "it"?
Injuries kept Quinton Carter (knee, hamstring) and Greg Orton (ankle) out, and the team waived/injured wideout D'Andre Goodwin (ankle). Ronnie Hillman (hamstring) and Orlando Franklin (concussion) were present but did not practice, although Franklin did participate in the evening walkthrough.
Eric Decker (groin) was also back on the field but did not practice (he should be back today), and Demaryius connected with Peyton Manning several times to take full advantage of the spotlight (video).
Justin Bannan practiced with the starting defense, where Jason Hunter worked for the second straight day ahead of Robert Ayers, who just doesn't seem to be impressing Jack Del Rio all that much. It's early, but a permanent demotion of Ayers could be another massive hit to the Broncos' ill-fated 2009 draft class.
Brock Osweiler was again impressive, this time near the goal line; Ryan Harris remains behind Chris Clark at tackle in Franklin's stead; Del Rio says he plans to call plays from the sideline as he's always preferred.
It's only August 2, and we still have a week until preseason and five-and-change until the opener, but I happened upon this and had to share. Are you ready?
Unfortunately for fans who'd planned to attend, they apparently missed out on Peyton Manning & Co. running a successful two-minute drill (60 yards in 70 seconds with one timeout). Caleb Hanie and Adam Weber didn't fare as well, with their attempts ending with interceptions.
As mentioned last night, three receivers, including Eric Decker, suffered minor injuries; Ronnie Hillman also tweaked a hamstring. Orlando Franklin (concussion), Quinton Carter (hamstring, and now knee, too), and Joshua Moore (hamstring) remained sidelined.
Justin Bannan (calf) returned to practice on a limited basis, while Ryan Harris continues to work as a backup tackle. According to Andrew Mason's report, Harris isn't considered to be competing for a starting job.
Starter Eric Decker suffered a groin strain Wednesday, while reserves Greg Orton and D'Andre Goodwin each hurt an ankle.
Denver is now back to the 90-man roster limit for the first time since camp began. WR Eric Page and CB Coryell Judie had failed their team physicals a week ago and were subsequently released, and a hamstring injury to second-year safety Quinton Carter had prompted the signing of ex-Buff Kendrick Perkins on Saturday.
Brian Dawkins visited Dove Valley on Sunday to talk with Rahim Moore, among others. He told him:
Rahim, you’re not a scary guy. You like to hit, but sometimes, you've got to know when to make the big hit.
It’s sage advice. If there’s anyone who knows about creating intimidation, it was ‘Wolverine’. With Quinton Carter’s hamstring injury holding him out, Moore has an excellent opportunity to up his game and nail down one of the safety slots. It’s nice to see Rahim coming back into his own. He was tossed into the fire too quickly last year, and it shook his confidence. The team did a nice job of helping him rebuild it in the offseason.
Mitch Unrein was characterized by Neil Hornsby of Pro Football Focus as getting more and more snaps and moving up in the rotation by the quality of his play. Unrein has apparently been putting an ‘Eaton beatin’ on the players they put in front of him. I love seeing a guy come from a humble start in the league and develop the way Mitch seems to be doing. Unrein’s another lunchpail, bluecollar guy who can improve your DT rotation.