ENGLEWOOD — After some stretching before practice Wednesday evening, the Denver Broncos rookies got hazed. They were called to one end of the practice field, which had been watered down. Then, while long-snapper Lonie Paxton kept the hose running, they dove through the puddles and mud to jump on loose balls, one at a time. Even rookie coaching assistant Ben McDaniels, Josh’s brother, took a turn.
Receiver Kenny McKinley was doused with full buckets of water from Brandon Stokley and Brandon Lloyd as he dove for a loose ball.
“We’ve just got to have fun with it,” rookie cornerback Alphonso Smith said. “It’s a part of being a rookie.”
HIGHLIGHTS AND LOWLIGHTS
Ben Hamilton continues to shift from left guard to center during the practices while normal starting center Casey Wiegmann sits out. … Rookie outside linebacker Robert Ayers made a few nice plays, including stuffing LaMont Jordan during a goal-line drill. … Matt Prater missed consecutive field-goal attempts wide left in the morning.
“My shoes still feel like they weigh 50 pounds. But it’s all in fun.” – rookie outside linebacker Robert Ayers
The morning practice was moved back from its scheduled start time of 8:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m Then the team practices at Invesco Field at Mile High at 6 p.m.
David Bruton, safety. With Brian Dawkins out because of injury, Bruton has been spending a lot of time with the starting defense at strong safety. Bruton is a bit bigger than fellow rookie safety Darcel McBath, who was drafted two rounds higher. Bruton was drafted in the fourth round for his special-teams ability but has risen up the defensive depth chart.
“Referee Ed Hochuli held the annual presentation on rules changes. … The rule that will cause the biggest shift could be the one outlawing the wedge.” For reports visit gazettebroncos.freedomblogging.com.
“Correll Buckhalter 3-for-3 during goal-line drill. Jordan stopped all three times.” Follow us @fs3142.
Getting a leg up at punter
Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said the competition at punter will be decided during preseason games, when both prospects will get a chance to play. He said incumbent Brett Kern and rookie Britton Colquitt are not separated by much.
“A competitive situation,” McDaniels said. “That is going to be one of those things where we are going to let them kick in the preseason.”
Kern, who averaged 46.7 yards per punt as a rookie last year, appears to have the lead based on practice repetitions. But Colquitt has had some impressive kicks during camp.
McDaniels said he didn’t know how he would rotate the two in the preseason, but indicated he would probably alternate during games to make it fair for both.
Dawkins, Marshall out
Safety Brian Dawkins, who suffered an undisclosed injury Tuesday, will miss at least a few days, McDaniels said. He said the injury was “certainly not anything devastating.” Receiver Brandon Marshall has been out since suffering an apparent left leg injury Sunday, and McDaniels offered no update on his status.
Tonight’s practice at Invesco Field at Mile High will have many game-type situations, including for the coaches. McDaniels said they will wear headsets and simulate game conditions.
“We are going to do what we would do during the course of a game just to go through that as a dry run,” McDaniels said.