Sunday, August 4, 2013

Five Quick Hits From Denver Broncos 2013 Training Camp Scrimmage

Defensive end Robert Ayers enjoys the rain and pumps up the fans.  (Casey Barrett/
The Denver Broncos and their fans got their first taste of live-action football on Saturday during a team scrimmage at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.  Below are five quick hits from the scrimmage.

Fans are crazy about the Broncos, or just crazy.

Fans began entering the stadium at 4:30 for a scrimmage that was scheduled to begin at 7:00.  Inclement weather (thunder, lightening and a whole lot of rain) delayed the scrimmage twice.  From 7:00 to the conclusion of the scrimmage (which wound up starting around 8:00), thousands of fans sat, stood, danced and chanted "Here we go, Broncos, here we go!" in the pouring rain.
The players helped entertain the fans during the downpour by running out and sliding headfirst across the wet field and giving hive-fives around the stadium on several different occasions during the delay.

The first team is better than the second team.

This is a no-brainer—of course they are.  But it wouldn't have looked good if the second-team offense had marched right down the field against the first-team defense.  The second-team offense failed on three attempts to reach the end zone, while the first-team offense scored a touchdown against the second-team defense and the third-team offense managed to kick a field goal against what appeared to be the third-team defense.

Zac Dysert was mistake-free.

Running with the third-team offense, rookie quarterback Zac Dysert was on-target on Saturday night.  There were a few times when Dysert got happy feet when his first read wasn't there, but he ran for first downs on both occasions—something that may not be recommendable in today's NFL, but a better choice than forcing a pass into coverage.  Dysert didn't force any throws during the scrimmage and looked good as a passer overall.

Knowshon Moreno didn't turn any heads.

Second-year running back Ronnie Hillman ran with the first-team offense and rookie Montee Ball was rotated in-and-out.  Both Hillman and Ball had their share of "that was a nice run" moments, but Knowshon Moreno struggled with the second-team offense.  Take this with a grain of salt, however, as Hillman and Ball were running against the second-teamers and preseason performance may end up being the ultimate deciding factor in who is named the team's Week 1 starter.

Ihenacho, Osweiler and Thomas are coming along nicely.

Second-year safety Duke Inehancho ran with the first-team defense at safety on Saturday and looked like he belonged, a year removed from spending his rookie season on the team's practice squad.  Second-year quarterback Brock Osweiler was sharp and has developed a nice connection with Julius Thomas, who wowed fans with an over-the-shoulder sideline catch for a first down on a third-and-long.

Miscellaneous notes:  Linebacker Nate Irving ran with the first-team defense at middle linebacker ... kicker Matt Prater easily nailed a 62-yard field goal with ten yards to spare in pre-scrimmage warm ups... incumbent starting punter Britton Colquitt doesn't have to worry about looking over his shoulder—undrafted rookie punter Ryan Doerr has a ways to go before he will be able to boot balls as far as Colquitt.