Monday, August 12, 2013
Denver Broncos camp notes
By Jeff Legwold
Here are some from Monday's training camp;
• When it comes to the Denver Broncos' passing game staying after school, or at least after practice, is a good thing. A very good thing.
And Monday afternoon Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker stayed on the field to do some red zone work with quarterback Peyton Manning. Thomas, in particular, ran routes until Manning was satisfied any wrinkles had been ironed out.
Manning has consistently talked about "doing the work'' to build the kind of chemistry with Thomas, Decker and Wes Welker that he had with his receivers in Indianapolis.
"We had worked together so long that ... there were times Marvin (Harrison) would go in motion and I could change a play when he went past me,'' is how Manning has put it. "We're looking to build that. And the think I'm proud of here is these guys aren't afraid to work.''
Monday Manning spent much of the post-practice time with Thomas working on throws to the back corner of the endzone.
"Guys just trying to get better,'' said Broncos coach John Fox. "Those little things that maybe proved deficient in practice or those types of things ... a lot of guys to clean up stuff they want to improve on.''
• Tight end Jacob Tamme was back in uniform for a padded practice Monday, but took part only on a limited basis. Tamme suffered a thigh injury in an Aug. 1 practice, returned for one practice days later, and had been held out since.
"I'm making progress,'' Tamme said.
With Joel Dreessen expected to miss the preseason after arthroscopic surgery on his knee Julius Thomas has continued to work at tight end with the starting offense. Thomas has also repeatedly flashed his athleticism in team drills, including a touchdown against the No. 1 defense in Monday's practice.
• Center Ryan Lilja, who was signed out of retirement by the Broncos after Dan Koppen went to injured reserve with a season-ending knee injury, did some individual work snapping to Manning as Monday's practice began.
But Manny Ramirez continued to work with the starting offense for the remainder of the day.
In the preseason opener Ramirez, like the rest of the Broncos starters in the offensive line, played 12 snaps -- seven with Manning, five with backup Brock Osweiler. Lilja, in a bit of a surprise, played 41 snaps on the evening.
• Stewart Bradley continued to work at middle linebacker with the defensive starters. Nate Irving, who spent the offseason workouts as well as the early portion of training camp as the starter in the middle, has worked plenty at strong-side linebacker since Bradley was moved into the starting role.
And should Von Miller's appeal fail and he is suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy -- the appeal will be heard by the league Thursday -- it also means the Broncos have worked on their Plan B without really saying so.
Irving would play the strong side on early downs if Miller's suspension is upheld and Shaun Phillips would move into the strong side in pass-rush situations.
• Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who had returned to practice Saturday after missing time with an ankle injury, took part in Monday's full-gear practice on a limited basis.
He played in some of the specialty situations with Chris Harris working as the starter at right cornerback.