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Notebook: A Mental Battle

Posted Jul 29, 2012

Camp challenges the players mentally, the team works in the red zone for the first time, and Head Coach John Fox gives some updates about the offense.


With 26 practices and a preseason game crammed into three weeks of training camp, the physical tribulations that players battle through in the heat of the summer are well documented. But the mental aspect of the daily training camp grind can also present a challenge.

Every day, new plays and formations are installed and players must learn more individual assignments.

“It just doesn’t stop,” tight end Joel Dreessen said. “The information keeps coming and you have to keep up with it, but Coach gives us a lot of time to study so I’m feeling better and better about it.”

Once a player’s grasp of the playbook is firm and he has complete control of the mental side of the game, execution on the field improves dramatically.

Once you know the mental stuff down cold, then you can just let your physical ability take over and you can focus on the little details of every single play,” Dreessen said. “That’s what a lot of us are working on right now.”

Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said when he’s not working on getting sharper on the field, he’s getting sharper in his mind.

“Most of the time, it’s (learning) the playbook, looking at old film with the coaches and watching the (opposing) defenses,” Thomas said. “I’ll do some route-running and catching sometimes, but most of the time, I’m in my playbook.”

Being a rookie quarterback, Brock Osweiler might have more to study than anybody.

“There’s a lot of stuff in our playbook,” Osweiler said. “There’s great detail that goes into it. Each day, I’m just coming in trying to study as much as I possibly can, watch as much film, so when I come out to the practice field I’m as comfortable as I can be.”


The team practiced its red zone offense for the first time this afternoon and the intensity picked up once they stepped foot inside the 20-yard line.

“Yeah, you definitely turn it up,” wide receiver Andre Caldwell said.” We want to get in the end zone and they want to prevent us from getting in there. So it’s very competitive when you get in there. You just give everything you’ve got when you get in there to get a touchdown.”

Players do not undervalue the importance of punching it into the end zone when they get within striking range.

“The plan is to get six points every time,” Caldwell said. “A field goal’s not bad, but that’s not the goal. We want to score every time. Coach calls the plays and we’re going to do whatever we can to make the plays for him.”

The key, wide receiver Eric Decker said, is to run the football effectively.

“We talked about it. Inside the 20, even inside the 10, it’s a difference of four points,” Decker said. “Our biggest thing is running the ball when we can. We take the easy passes and get completions and score those touchdowns because we want seven points—it looks a lot better on the board than three.”


Coach Fox updated a couple different situations on the offensive side of the ball. Fox said he’s pleased with the progress of running back Knowshon

Moreno, who has added strength and is recovering well from a knee injury suffered last season.

“I think Knowshon has been very good,” Fox said. “He’s obviously working back off an (injury) but the game against Kansas City that he did get hurt, he was having probably the best game I know (from him) in my tenure. He was on his way to a real good game and I think he’s done a great job getting back into rehab and putting a lot of work into it. I like his attitude. He’s gained some weight. He’s gained some strength so we’ll see where that takes him.”

Fox covered the competition for the second quarterback spot. After Manning, Fox said they have “a 2a, (2)b and (2)c,” and added that the situation will be sorted out in coming weeks.

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