Sunday, July 29, 2007

Flipping out

The highlight of the first practice of training camp happened before the first drill.

Before most practices, the Broncos call someone to lead cheers before they stretch. The player called usually does a dance at the end, and most get booed back to their spot in line.

Before the first practice, rookie defensive linemen Marcus Thomas and Steven Harris were called. As Harris started clapping and the Broncos clapped along, Thomas got the fans fired up, then took off his jersey and pads. After a short running start, he did a cartwheel, a round off and a full backflip. Thomas, Denver’s fourth-round pick, is listed at 315 pounds.

“First time I’ve seen that, a big guy like that,” cornerback Champ Bailey said.

The practice had one serious moment, when wide receiver Javon Walker and linebacker Nate Webster collided and lay on the ground for more than a minute. But both got up, and Walker returned to practice a few plays later. Both players had the wind knocked out of them and are fine, coach Mike Shanahan said.

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