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No indoor practice for McDaniels, Broncos

ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Sports Writer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos didn’t go indoors when the weather turned bad.

Instead of practicing inside “the bubble,” coach Josh McDaniels had his team work out in the rain, sleet and snow that pelted Dove Valley on Thursday.

The forecast for Sunday when the New England Patriots (3-1) visit the Broncos (4-0) calls for a chance of slushy snow, so McDaniels figured it would be silly not to practice in it.



And the players had better get used to it, too.

McDaniels said his philosophy is that bad weather during the week is a gift.



“If it is wet, damp, raining, snowing or whatever, we are going to be outside,” he said.

What if somebody gets hurt?

“I don’t really weigh it,” McDaniels said. “If we play in it (in a game), to me, we have got to get ready to play in it. You can’t just tell the guys, ‘Hey, we are going to practice inside in a bubble all week long. Then, when we go out there and play in the snow on Sunday, just make sure that you do all of the things you are supposed to do when the weather is bad. Stay on your feet. Field the ball. Throw it in the wet and all that stuff.'”



More than half of Denver’s roster is new, so McDaniels wanted to use the bad weather as a teaching moment.

“You have to understand what you can and can’t do when the weather is poor,” he said. “You can’t cut the same way. You may not be able to throw the same way. It definitely affects the kicking game first. Ball handling, our kickers, our specialists, all of those things, doing those types of actions in poor weather, that is not something you (can ignore) and then go out and perform well.

“For all the people that touch the ball, footing is an issue. Passing, catching, kicking, fielding, all of those things are definitely an issue when the weather gets bad. The only way you get good at doing it in the bad weather is practicing it.”

And what if Sunday comes and the forecasters were wrong?

“I don’t think practicing outside is going to hurt anybody anyway,” McDaniels said.

“If there was some clear-cut thing where we knew the weather was going to be beautiful on Sunday and we are out there trying to practice in two feet of snow, I don’t think that would be smart. If the weather has got a chance to be poor on the weekend, I think you have got to get ready for it.”


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