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Broncos notes: Method to Fangio's long practices

Jake Butt held out a second consecutive practice; Juwann Winfree has sore leg; Chaz Green suffers from heat dydration.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Time to break down a Vic Fangio training camp practice to its simplest form.

They are long.

At two hours, 45 minutes for the morning workout Monday, the Broncos are now practicing nearly an hour more than they did when Mike Shanahan, Gary Kubiak or Vance Joseph was their head coach. Those coaches believed keeping bodies fresh in July and August helped carry them through a 16-game regular season.

John Fox occasionally went longer than two hours, but not often.

To each their own. Fangio has worked up from two hours, 10 minutes with the Broncos’ first camp practice last Thursday, to the 2:45 on Monday, which led into Tuesday’s off day for the players.

Longer practices do build toughness, not just physically but mentally. Josh McDaniels, who came from the Bill Belichick school of coaching, would have long practices.

“I just think guys have to practice,’’ Fangio said. “The only way you get better is to practice, get more reps. One thing you all need to keep in mind, too, is there are 90 guys out there. Although we’re out there a long time, there’s nobody getting more than maybe a third of the reps. So individually, it’s not that long other than being out there.

“But that’s how long a game is. If we were to throw a halftime break in here, it would probably be right at about three hours, so that’s good.’’

Where Fangio does spare the players – and media tasked with observing – is with the afternoon walkthrough. The biggest waste of time anywhere is the early evening, one-hour walkthrough since the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement instituted its new camp rules in 2011.

Still all the other coaches, from Fox to Kubiak to Joseph, went through with the walkthrough. Fangio rarely does. In fact, he has yet to have a full squad walkthrough.

“We’re not doing walkthrough(s) too often so they’re off their feet in the afternoon,’’ Fangio said.

No longer Lefty Lindsay

Running back Phillip Lindsay plays with a small, plastic brace velcroed around his surgically repaired right wrist. He mostly carries the ball with his left hand, any way. But any problems carrying the ball with his right hand?

“No. I just got to get used to it,'' he said. "I carried the ball so much with my left hand, but my right feels good. It actually feels the best it has in a long time. It actually feels better than the other hand sometimes. ... My mind is not on my hand anymore, it's about making plays.”

Culture, schmulture

I first heard the term “culture’’ in the early 2000s while covering the Rockies. Dan O’Dowd, the team’s general manager, said it a lot. Joseph used the term, “culture” the past two years.

The problem with selling a fan base on the team’s improving “culture” is it’s difficult, if not impossible, to quantify.

Fangio didn’t seem enamored with the term when asked what kind of culture he wanted to his set with his team, although to his credit, he wasn’t dismissive.

“Culture is kind of a new word in the sporting vernacular.’’ he said. “Culture to me is getting a bunch of good players in here, getting a bunch of good coaches doing a good job coaching them and then you win games and everybody’s happy and all of a sudden we’ve got a good culture. I don’t know. We’re going to work hard. We’re going to play smart and try to be on top of things mentally.”

Bronco Bits

Tight end Jake Butt (knee) was giving another day off Monday. The hope is with a third day of rest Tuesday, he will be ready to go for practice Wednesday. …

Rookie receiver Juwann Winfree sat out practice Monday with soreness in his left leg. …

Backup offensive tackle Chaz Green was carted off at the end of practice as he was experiencing a heat/dehydration issue. He should be back at practice Wednesday. …

Right guard Ron Leary got a vet day off. Veteran Don Barkley filled in with the first-team offense. …

It was Josh Watson’s second turn at filling in for the injured Todd Davis at one inside linebacker spot Monday. Since Davis went down with a calf injury, Alexander Johnson got two practices in the No. 1 base defense and Watson got the other two. Joe Jones has been the No. 1 inside linebacker on passing downs. …

The Broncos invited their alumni players out to camp Monday. Among those who showed up were Steve Foley, Brandon Lloyd, Ken Lanier, Ron Egloff, Mark Cooper, Bucky Dilts, Don Horn, Tatum Bell, Demetrin Veal, Le Lo Lang, Claudie Minor, Glenn Martinez, Brandon Stokley – and about 10 others -- oh, and Terrell Davis, who was in on assignment for the NFL Network, and John Elway, who was there on assignment as the Broncos’ general manager.


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