NFL Journal: “Live” practice periods in training camp would help Broncos make back-of-the-roster decisions


Back in 2004, when Joe Gibbs returned to the NFL to coach Washington, he wanted to have a night practice to change up the routine so players and coaches boarded buses to a northern Virginia high school.

Coach Joe really changed things up during the workout’s final period.

Live blocking/tackling.

At the goal-line.

Starters vs. starters.

I can’t even remember if running back Clinton Portis was able to cross the goal line, but I do recall the post-play trash talk and high-fives between offense and defense.

The intensity was off the charts and it was awesome.

It was also rare. I only recall one other “live” training camp period and that was Jacksonville in 2013 and Justin Forsett sustained a toe injury during an inside run-game drill. But in this season of extraordinary circumstances (no preseason games), Broncos coach Vic Fangio floated the possibility of live practice periods this month.

“Obviously with no preseason games, we’ll lose those evaluation times,” he said. “It will be a challenge for young players to learn and adapt to the game. … Maybe in practices, we’ll have to have some live action in there on occasion. I’ve never been many places where that’s been done in practice. We just relied on the preseason games for that.”

This is what Fangio should do: Have live periods of practice for the back half of the roster. The starters go to one field and do their thing to prepare for the Sept. 14 opener against Tennessee. On another field, Fangio oversees live practice situations.

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“All of them, you can’t evaluate them totally until it’s live action,” he said. “Who can tackle? Who’s willing to tackle? Who can break tackles?”

Going old school for just a handful of plays during camp could pay off.

Broncos rank 25th. On Friday, Forbes unveiled its annual rankings of the sports world’s most valuable franchises and the Broncos checked in at No. 25 (11th in the NFL) with a valuation of $3 billion.

The top five: Dallas Cowboys ($5.5 billion, first for the fifth consecutive year), New York Yankees ($5 billion), New York Knicks ($4.6 billion), Los Angeles Lakers ($4.4 billion) and Golden State Warriors ($4.3 billion).

The top five (NFL): Cowboys, New England Patriots ($4.1 billion, seventh overall), New York Giants ($3.9 billion, ninth), Los …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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