August 3, 2009
ENGLEWOOD • Every day of camp, running back Peyton Hillis has shown off his many skills. With the Denver Broncos planning on having few two-back sets this season and rookie tailback Knowshon Moreno holding out, perhaps Hillis will get the opportunity to be a big part of the running game this season.
Hillis is Denver’s top fullback, but has seen his practice time at tailback grow as camp has gone on. Hillis averaged 5 yards per carry last season, when he was pressed into tailback duty because of injuries. He has lined up at tailback in one-back sets during camp, and coach Josh McDaniels said that will be the primary look in the offense.
“You’re going to see a heck of a lot more one-back sets than two-back sets,” McDaniels said. “So if you want to say he’d be in the game more as a one-back, I don’t know if that’s fair or not, we’ll have to see how it all unfolds, but he does both and he does them pretty well.”
HIGHLIGHTS AND LOWLIGHTS
Cornerback Champ Bailey made an exceptional interception during a red zone drill. On a pass from Chris Simms to receiver C.J. Jones in the corner of the end zone, Bailey leaped to get both hands on the ball, then juggled it and secured it as he went to the ground. … Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas, who had been playing nose tackle most of his first two practice days, worked some at defensive end. … Safety Josh Barrett has been working with the starting defense in its “big nickel” package. Barrett plays a linebacker position, and Denver uses five other defensive backs in the secondary. … Safety Brian Dawkins had a crushing hit in the afternoon practice, knocking rookie tight end Richard Quinn on his back during a pass coverage drill. A dazed Quinn sat out for a few minutes before returning.
“Not only is it unacceptable, it’s unconstitutional to have that play list.” – Running back LaMont Jordan on the country music that played at the start of the morning practice. Fellow running back and country fan Peyton Hillis was allowed to pick the play list.
The Broncos have only one practice today. The session is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. and last two hours.
Kenny McKinley, receiver: McKinley, a fifth-round pick, has done well for himself in practice. He has been at his best in 1-on-1 tackling drills, where his quickness is easy to spot. Twice Monday he ran by the defender in the drill. The first time he wasn’t touched at all. The second time the defensive back barely got a hand on him as he blew past.
“In the four days that the Broncos have put on the full pads in training camp, running back Peyton Hillis might be the standout player of the camp.” For reports visit gazettebroncos.freedomblogging.com.
“Some issues still to hammer out, but Ayers’ deal is getting close.” Get all The Gazette’s camp coverage as soon as something happens on Twitter. Join and follow us @fs3142.