Let me start off by saying today was a lot of fun. If you live in the San Diego area and haven't been to a practice yet, try and find time to go do it. I flew in from Denver last night and will be going to practice for the next few days.
Now to the part you all care about: what I saw at practice.
As Garrett has been saying in his practice reports, the QB's not named Rivers are not that great. I saw lots of bad passes to open WRs and TEs today. I went to practice thinking that Kellen Clemens or Zach Mettenberger would be starting to look like the clear backup, but it was actually UDFA Mike Bercovici who stood out among the backups. Yes...Mike Bercovici. He was the most accurate in both the QB drills and 11-on-11/7-on-7 periods. His footwork could still stand to be improved, but he was the best QB not wearing 17 today, even if he is the smallest one out there.
Melvin Gordon ran hard today through the "practice effort" tackles, but didn't break anything off that to me looked like it would have been 10+ yards in a game. None of the running backs for that matter did anything to grab my attention other than Dreamius Smith who had 2 very nice runs that would have been big gains. One of them came against the 2's and the other was against the 3's, but they were impressive none the less. I'm looking forward to see what he does in the preseason.
I am also concerned about the lack of Chris Swain in team drills. They rarely had a FB on the field today in 11-on-11's, and when they did it was almost always Watt. Watt looks pretty natural as a receiver out of the back field, but he doesn't do much for me as a blocker.
Kaser tried something new today. Kickoffs. I asked Garrett and he confirmed he hasn't seen Kaser practicing kickoffs before today's practice, but he had at at least a dozen attempts at kicking off. They didn't have a ton of air under them, but most of them were being caught at chest height 3-4 yards deep in the endzone. It could be something to watch to see if they try to have him take on the Kickoff duties along with punting.
As Garrett mentioned, Wiz did some fun stuff with Travis Benjamin today. Outside of that, Tyrell Williams lived up to the hype and ran some good routes and generally looked like he belonged with the 1's. James Jones looks large, in a good way. I will be happy to see them start rotating him in with the 1's in the red zone. Out of all the backup wide receivers fighting for what will likely be a practice squad spot, Isaiah Burse caught my eye today. He runs crisp routes and goes all out on every play. That kid is trying like hell to get a spot on this team. Like Dreamius, I will be looking forward to seeing him in some game action during the preseason.
Also, I know TEs are not WRs, but I wanted to note that I was surprised at how much Sean McGrath was running with the 1's. And he wasn't exactly doing great. Hopefully they were just rotating him and Jeff Cumberland with Antonio Gates sitting out practice today.
Overall it was a good practice. You can check my timeline on twitter for a few more details (@boltfanindenver), like Hunter Henry beating Manti Te'o for a very easy TD in red zone work.
I'll be back out there tomorrow, but I did see a tweet from Ricky Henne that said ballcoach Mike McCoy is "rewarding" the team for their hard work by letting them practice in shells tomorrow rather than full pads. *sigh*