Notes from an OTA: May 30

Peyton Manning

MANNING: ... not every day's going to be perfect for the QB, but remember ... it's May 30.

Noting the day …

  • It wasn’t the finest day for the offense, which was dogged by incompletions, mistimed routes and general balkiness, some of which coach John Fox attributed to the rust of taking a four-day weekend for the Memorial Day holiday. “I think it was evident, particularly offensively, that we were on a four-and-a-half-day hiatus,” Fox said. “But that’s what happens when you give them a little break and I think they enjoyed their Memorial weekend and now we’ve just got to get back to business.”
  • Mike Adams had a dynamic interception near the sideline off Manning, although instant replay might have judged his leaping, bobbling theft to be out of bounds — at least as seen from my vantage looking up the sideline that Adams tap-danced after completing the grab.
  • The offense’s apex came when wide receiver Andre Caldwell streaked past cornerback Chris Harris and behind Rahim Moore to catch a deep touchdown pass from Caleb Hanie. ““That’s what I live for: to go out here and work hard in the offseason for it to pay off on the field and make big plays,” Caldwell said. “The quarterbacks did a great job just putting it right there to make it an easy catch for me.”
  • Running back Mario Fannin shows no lingering hitch in his gallop from the torn ACL that ended his 2011 season a week into training camp. Fannin doesn’t feel that he’s at 100 percent yet, but described himself as at “almost full speed.”   Fannin said he didn’t begin running until five months after suffering the injury.  The Broncos were intrigued enough by the Auburn to keep him around for a year after tearing his ACL even though he was undrafted, and he has arguably the best size/speed blend among the runners, carrying 224 pounds on a 5-foot-11 frame but with a 40 time once clocked at 4.37 seconds.  Expect the competition for No. 3 running back among Fannin, Ball, Johnson, Omon and Knowshon Moreno to be the fiercest of training camp.
  • Defensive end Ben Garland, who returned to action this month after serving in the U.S. Air Force the last two years, is practicing at his heaviest weight: 305 pounds. He hovered around 280 pounds during his 2010 training-camp hitch with the Broncos. “It’s not that big. It’s 15 pounds in over two years. That’s not a lot to gain just working out and staying lean,” Garland said.”He had a pretty unique frame — a frame we rarely see at the Air Force Academy,” said Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, who attended Garland’s induction ceremony into the Colorado Air National Guard two hours after practice concluded. “I thought he had a frame where he could carry as many as 290 pounds. The most he ever played with at Air Force is 268 pounds.”

LINEUP NOTES:

  • Sealver Siliga saw some first-team work at defensive tackle alongside Justin Bannan. Kevin Vickerson, who worked with the first unit last week, was on the second line Wednesday.
  • Manny Ramirez continued working as the first-team right guard while Chris Kuper completes his recovery from a fractured leg. Ramirez, who gained seasoning last year during practice while being inactive 15 times, appears to have the inside track on the utility interior backup lineman slot held in recent years by Russ Hochstein, who was not re-signed.
  • With Willis McGahee absent because of family commitments to which he alluded on Twitter, Knowshon Moreno still recovering from a torn ACL and Jeremiah Johnson not at Wednesday’s session, the first- and second-team repetitions were scattered about. Lance Ball was the first running back up, but Mario Fannin, Ronnie Hillman and Xavier Omon each saw substantial work.
  • D.J. Williams returned to weakside linebacker after being absent for the open practice last week (May 21) because of a court date. Befitting the experimentation of OTAs, Nate Irving, last year’s backup middle linebacker, had a spell on the outside with the second unit.
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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on NFL.com when the site was managed by ESPN.com. He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began MaxDenver.com in 2010 and now contributes to CBSSports.com, The Sporting News and The New York Times.
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2 Responses

  1. Andrew,

    Thank you for the great coverage! I heard Mike Klis on the radio today say that he feels Peyton is between 65% and 80% arm strength what are your observations? Do you think he’ll ever improve to near 100%.

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