Training Camp Postcard: Broncos
Posted: Tuesday August 21, 2007 6:04PM; Updated: Tuesday August 21, 2007 6:29PM
At the Broncos' camp, 15 minutes south of downtown Denver, at their permanent practice facility. It's always a good gauge of Bronco Fever in town when you get to the parking lot near the practice facility and it's full, and you see orange-clad Broncophiles walking from wherever they've left their cars. On this morning, arriving around 9 for the 8:45 practice, 10 or 15 fans were trekking from some parking lot of some business to the first of two practices on the day.
1. I think all eyes are on Jay Cutler. On every pass drop, all eyes go to him, and all conversations in the crowd cease when he goes to throw. Early observations off one practice: he's more accurate than he was in mini-camp, has decent mobility and a very good arm while on the run.
2. I think the best move the Broncos made in the offseason was installing D.J. Williams at middle linebacker. It's a spot he's wanted to play, because he thinks he belongs in the Ray Lewis mode of fellow Hurricane linebackers, guys who are three-down players and never come off the field. "I've been waiting for this opportunity since the day they drafted me,'' he told me. He practices like that too.
3. I think I got about the most tepid reaction I could imagine from Mike Shanahan, asking him about Gerard Warren after practice. "He's going to have to show me something here in camp,'' said Shanahan, who rarely hands no praise to players during such a vanilla time as the preseason. (Postscript: Sure enough, the Broncs dealt Warren to the Raiders for a conditional draft choice on Aug. 20.)
4. I think Dre' Bly is so happy to be here, because, being on the opposite side of Champ Bailey he'll have a lot of balls thrown at him and he should get to make a lot of plays. That, plus the fact he's going to be a winner after being in Detroit.
5. I think the best news for the coaching staff in the off-season was the disintegration of Nick Saban's staff in Miami. That allowed Saban's coordinator of football operations, Scott O'Brien, to flee the Miami stalag and return to the sidelines to coach, which is what he does best. There are special-teams coaches as good as O'Brien --Bobby April, for one -- but there aren't any better in the NFL.