1 » Signing his rookie contract Thursday, former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow got his first taste of practice with the Denver Broncos on Friday in front of some reporters. Things were different Sunday at the team’s first public training camp event, as 3,103 Broncos fans packed the Dove Valley facility (the most since it opened in 2003) to get a glimpse of the former Heisman Trophy winner (and the rest of the team). [Another 1,891 attended in the afternoon, setting both session records and a one-day total of 4,994.] The Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Center was “almost at full capacity with fans sitting shoulder-to-shoulder alongside the practice field.”
The Denver Post describes one notable moment: “During seven-on-seven drills, Tebow worked in the rotation to completed a 40-yard pass to Matthew Willis on a fly route. The crowd cheered and some stood to their feet, as if the season had already begun.” There were also chants of “Te-bow! Te-bow!” during portions of the practice. In fact, “Tebow received cheers for everything he did,” according to the Post. “For walking out of the locker room, handing the ball off or tossing a short screen pass. And especially for every time he tucked the ball under his arm and ran through the Broncos’ defense.”
Two Denver players – one a fellow Florida alum and another from Georgia – had their own thoughts on the festivities off the field.
“It’s darn near like Gainesville. It feels the same way,” former Gators defensive end/linebacker Jarvis Moss said. “I don’t know too many people who have fans like Tim. You can’t think of too many people who people just love like that.” Countering but still agreeing was a Bulldog. “You’ve got to think he’s the most marketable guy in the league right now so he’s definitely going to that attention. The only knock on him is he went to Florida,” cornerback Champ Bailey added.
Two BITS on Percy Harvin’s health and a fight started by Riley Cooper…
2 » OGGOA mentioned yesterday that former Gators wide receiver Percy Harvin was carted off the field during the early portion of Minnesota Vikings training camp. Later in the day, he returned to action for the evening session showing no signs of discomfort. After practice concluded, the Minneapolis Star Tribune caught up with Harvin to find out exactly what happened. According to the player, he “tweaked” his ankle, and it immediately began to swell. The trainers were able to get the swelling down quickly, and he claims he feels fine now. “I’ll continue to follow the program, the rehab, but I feel fine,” Harvin said. “I’ll be all right.”
Extra BIT » Practicing at such high temperatures with so many competitive athletes, tempers tend to flare from time to time. Take a look at what happened during a little tussle between former Florida WR Riley Cooper and his new Philadelphia Eagles teammate, cornerback Ellis Hobbs on Saturday. “He was on the line doing his job, and I gave him a shove and he didn’t like it,” Cooper said afterward. “So we had a little talk about it. […] I’m an easy-going guy. But I’m not going to take crap from anybody.” Hobbs disagrees. “A cheap shot,” he said of the move, which he responded to by ripping Cooper’s helmet off. “I don’t know how everybody else feels, but I speak for myself: I’m not going to just sit here and take crap,” he continued. “We’re going to play hard, we’re going to play hard the right way. […] He likes to put his hand on people, and when you’ve got a guy like that, they don’t like to be touched. As you see, when he gets touched, he gets riled up a little bit. Riley gets riled up. … But I’d rather see him do that than cower down.” Bygones are bygones and both have now proceeded forward. “It is what it is. It’s hot out here, you get annoyed, it’s gonna happen. Move on,” Hobbs said. “It’s in the past,” said Cooper. “We’re good.” Notice who is one of the first to step in and separate the two – Cooper’s former Gators teammate, tight end Cornelius Ingram. VIDEO