ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos' fifth organized team activity -- and second that was open for media viewing -- was a spirited affair. It wasn't completely smooth, but then practices at this point of the year rarely are.
A few observations from the day:
1. Of the full practices that I've watched through OTAs, minicamps and training camps, this was the best that I have seen from
"I'm not surprised by what he's doing. He's been doing that for the last two years," Bailey said. "It is just getting that opportunity to do it with the first team and getting some reps there."
The Broncos are keen to find out what they have in Thomas, whose last two seasons have been hindered by ankle problems. He's 100 percent now, and so far, they're learning that they may have unearthed a gem in the 2011 fourth-round pick.
"He is a great athlete. A big target," Manning said of the 6-foot-5, 255-pound former college basketball standout. "If you can't complete a ball to Julius, as a quarterback, something is wrong with you."
3. Osweiler was a bit let down by his receivers early in practice, as
With all quarterbacks, the passing game suffered from some balky timing, exacerbated by winds that gusted to 30 miles per hour during the practice. But the Broncos will have to play in such weather this year -- so why not get used to it now?
"I think that's a good thing," Manning said. "We had a little rain yesterday, wet field. A little wind today. Any time, whether it's OTAs or training camp, as many game-like conditions that might come up during the season, that's a positive."
Even with the wind, Osweiler showed improved decision-making and ability to react to a pass rush has improved. He commits more quickly to staying in the pocket and throwing or escaping and throwing it away or running.
4. The timing between Manning and
The play was more a credit to Moore's hustle than anything else. Don't expect Manning and Welker to miss many of those plays when the results matter.
5. You don't want a practice scrum to spill over into one that causes physical harm. But a little aggression now and then is a healthy thing, and it's not necessarily a bad sign that rookie defensive tackle
"I like that kind of intensity," said cornerback Champ Bailey. "It lets me know that guys are really dialed in about what's going on."
Contact is minimal during football drills of these practices, but that doesn't mean players aren't competitive -- particularly a rookie like Williams, who wants to prove he belongs and can fit in the Broncos' defensive-tackle rotation. So far, he looks the part.
"He doesn't know how strong the linemen are, so he's not playing with his hands all the time," fellow defensive tackle
And as long as Williams' aggression can be properly channeled, his feistiness will be an asset when it counts.