ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The next layer of the offseason wrapping has been peeled off: Monday's short-yardage drill marked the first time the Broncos have gone "live" in training camp, meaning players played full speed and put the ball-carrier on the ground.
"That’s a pride thing,"
The defense did get it done more often than not in the nine plays, with Wolfe and the first team unit preventing conversions on two out of three chances.
"We wanted to go out there and show the offense we don’t give up anything, especially a yard or half a yard,"
Even on the conversion, it was tough sledding to face a defense that was jacked up with energy and swarming to the football.
"I was talking to the defensive coordinator (Jack Del Rio) in the weight room, and I told them the defense is doing a great job flying around and making tackles," Ball said. "That’s only going to make the offense better.”
After the donning of pads and the presence of the fans added extra motivation on Saturday and Sunday respectively, the full-tackle period proved to be the next logical step for bringing out players' best efforts.
"We haven’t had an opportunity to tackle full-go since we started training camp,"
"Even though it’s the fifth day and your legs are kind of dragging a little bit, you get some more energy and you fire off the ball and you try to make that play.”
Even those who didn't get a piece of the action felt the adrenaline levels rise. For
"That’s my time," he said. "Third down and long, I might be off the field, but 3rd-and-2, 4th-and-1, those short yardage plays – you ain’t getting none of that on me."
We don't know when Vickerson will return to those situations, but the team will revisit the "live" drills in front of a roaring crowd at Saturday's "Summer Scrimmage," which could perhaps drive the level of energy even higher. As John Fox said, it's all part of getting the players ready for playing in the preseason, which is now just 10 days away.