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Training Camp 2013: Day 22 Quick Hits

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --As the final hours of the Broncos' 2013 training camp wound down, the noise distinctly cranked up.

Speakers pumped in recordings of crowd noise to help simulate the roar of an NFL stadium, but the players made just as much noise on the field as the artificial amplification.

The practice field was sprinkled with big plays from both sides of the ball as the Broncos worked heavily in team drills on Thursday morning.

Deep touchdown passes, acrobatic pass deflections and short-yardage defensive stands marked some of the most exciting moments from the final day of training camp.

Here's a rundown of how everything happened on Day 22.


Running back C.J. Anderson left practice with a right knee injury, and Head Coach John Fox said he's being evaluated.

"Obviously it hurt pretty bad and we'll see how bad the hurt is as far as MRI and those types of tests," Fox said. "It's a kick in the gut any time you see a player go down."


Champ Bailey flashed some of the vintage form that has resulted in 12 Pro Bowl appearances throughout his career. On the first play of the morning's team drills, Bailey made an athletic play to break up a Peyton Manning pass deep down the field intended for wide receiver Eric Decker. Later, Bailey took a ball away from Decker in the corner of the end zone, picking off Manning and then racing up the sideline to cheers from the crowd.

Bailey didn't get the best of Manning every time, however. In team drills, Manning lofted a deep ball for Demaryius Thomas, who made a nice over-the-shoulder catch with Bailey draped all over him in coverage.

Decker had his own bundle of highlights on Thursday. During team drills, he rose up with cornerback Omar Bolden tight in coverage, made a spinning adjustment in midair, and hauled in a deep Manning pass. Decker also had back-to-back touchdown catches while working in the red zone in team drills.

Safety Duke Ihenacho made an acrobatic, leaping breakup of a Manning pass intended for wide receiver Wes Welker during team drills, nearly grabbing a sideline interception.

Manning's famed arm took a back seat to his legs on one play when the 16-year pro pump faked the defense, then took off running through a seam up the middle for a big gain.

Tight end Julius Thomas broke off a big gain early in practice when he caught a pass from Manning, then broke into the open and turned up the field.

Wide receiver Gerell Robinson shined during one of the final situational team drill of the morning. As quarterback Brock Osweiler led the offense, Robinson hauled in a deep pass on the sideline to keep the drive going, then made a leaping catch in the corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Just for good measure, Robinson hauled in the two-point conversion on the next play.

Linebacker Wesley Woodyard stuffed running back Ronnie Hillman on a fourth-and-short situation to halt the offense's progress late in practice

Cornerback Kayvon Webster had a nice leaping breakup of an Osweiler pass in the back of the end zone.

  • Defensive linemen Derek Wolfe and Robert Ayers applied heavy pressure on Manning during one play in team drills, forcing a Manning incompletion. Wolfe also burst through the line on another play and got to Manning before the quarterback released the ball.
  • Wide receiver Trindon Holliday had back-to-back touchdown catches from Osweiler and quarterback Zac Dysert in team drills.
  • Hillman showed off his athleticism when he caught a short pass from Manning, then nimbly juked a defender, bounced outside and tore up the sideline for a big gain.
  • Cornerback Mario Butler made a nice break up on an Osweiler pass intended for wide receiver Tavarres King in the corner of the end zone, leaping in front of King and nearly taking the ball away.


NASCAR driver Kurt Bush was in attendance for practice. Gray Caldwell got a one-on-one interview with the driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, which will be posted on later this afternoon.

  • The artificial crowd noise marked the first occasion that the Broncos have practiced with speakers this year.

Towards the end of practice, Bolden ran through the crowd giving high fives to fans.

  • Although there may not have been a defender present, Demaryius Thomas may have made the most spectacular catch of the day while running routes with Manning. Thomas extended his arm and made a one-handed catch that drew a big reaction from the crowd.

One of the most humorous moments of training camp happened when quarterbacks Manning, Osweiler, Dysert and Ryan Katz took turns bombarding a Porta Potty with footballs while tight end Julius Thomas was inside.

"I guess they thought they could just get away with it, but I saw them all running off," Thomas laughed. "It's OK though. We'll come up with something and the debt will be repaid."

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