Monday, July 30, 2012

Visit to Bronco Training Camp

On a hot Monday morning in late July I made my annual visit to the Broncos training camp at the team's practice facilities in Dove Valley.  Here are some pictures I took along with my impressions of the practice.

My son Andy and I arrived one hour early only to be greeted by a long line of fans waiting for the gates to open:

Soon we were inside the practice fields.  The Broncos allow fans to sit on a hill adjacent to one of the fields.  On this morning the sun was right in our eyes.  I did not bring sunscreen and had a nice sunburn to show for it afterwards!


We settled around the 20 yard line, which gave us a great view of the action later on.

The star of the show, of course, was Peyton Manning.  Peyton looked like his old self to me.  He started out a little slow but as the practice wore on he displayed his quick release and accuracy from the pocket.

Or working on the running game.  Here Peyton is handing off to Willis McGahee.

Peyton was engaged during the whole practice.  When not on the field he'd be discussing formations and strategy with the coaches:

Wide receiver Eric Decker made connections on and off the field.  I predict a big year for Decker!

Here Peyton is talking with ex-Colt teammate tight end Jacob Tamme:

The Broncos even had Peyton lineup at cornerback in one non-contact drill.  And of course after the play Peyton had some suggestions for Matthew Willis.  Peyton Manning is the most vocal practice player I've ever seen in my years of going to Bronco Training camp.

We did get hot sitting in the sun for 3 hours.  Thankfully the Broncos provided an onsite refreshment stand with bottled water and soft drinks for $1/bottle.

A team store was also open adjacent to one of the fields.

Back to the practice, let's take a look at some of the other players.  I heard an interview with safety Rahim Moore (#26) on radio station 104.3 while waiting for the practice to begin.  Rahim says he's much more comfortable this year, and the defense that coordinator Jack Del Rio is implementing is similar to the system Moore played in at UCLA.

Rookie quarterback Brock Osweiler, at 6' 7", was the tallest bronco.  Here Osweiler (#6) is shown next to 6' 5" Julius Thomas (#80).  I was impressed with Osweiler's accuracy and strong arm during the practice.  I thought he looked better than the other backup qb's (Caleb Haney and Adam Weber)

Rookie running back Ronnie Hillman is short with thick legs and quick moves.  He looked like he could be more than just a 3rd down back to me - he showed surprising power.

Don't write off Knowshon Moreno just yet!  Moreno participated in drills for the 1st time after offseason surgery and hooked up with Manning on short passes out of the backfield.  Moreno has good hands and can be a receiving threat in this offense.

Wide receiver Brandon Stokely adds a veteran presence.  Here he's talking with Demaryius Thomas and Matthew Willis.

For a closeup look at Bronco football attend a training camp session at Dove Valley.  I recommend it!

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