ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- One player took his helmet off and threw it to the ground after a dropped pass. Several others engaged in fights, including one skirmish that saw a player lift his teammate up slamming him hard against the ground. Team drills were marred by smack talk and some lack of attention to detail.
After a while on Wednesday, Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak had seen enough. Kubiak called a halt to practice, ordered the entire team to a midfield huddle and told them to start the entire session over. And this time, he said, get it right.
"The message today was I don't want see things selfish on the football field," Kubiak said. "When you go out to work, it's going to be good. There's going to be mistakes. That's part of football. But we can never get selfish as a team and do things that will cost us games. I felt like we were that way a little bit early in practice but we regrouped and practiced hard and hopefully we learned some things.
"And hopefully you learn those things on the practice field and they don't bite you during a game."
Tight end Owen Daniels, who was coached by Kubiak when they were both in Houston and Baltimore, said he's seen Kubiak step in before to get an unruly practice under control and re-emphasize the point of the workouts: getting better individually and as a team.
"I think he just wants us to do it right every day, not getting caught up in being selfish, get into fights and taking unnecessary hits on guys," Daniels said. "He's not afraid to do that [stop practice]. He's done it plenty of times. He wants us to handle things properly and practice the right way so we can get better."
The grind of training camp could be wearing on players. The Broncos have been going at each other for the last three weeks. They have one more formal session on Thursday before technically "breaking" camp, though the Broncos, like many other teams now hold their camp and final preparations for the regular season at their own practice facility instead of going offsite.
"I don't know how camp changes anymore because you're in the same place," Kubiak said. "We're tired of each other and tired of working against each other. But it's kind of a good sign, too. They're battling. I like when they do it and they get on top of it, but that's my job also. Like I said, we settled down and practiced well."
Some relief is in sight: The team travels to Houston on Saturday for its second preseason game, and next week the 49ers come to town for three days of joint practices ahead of their Aug. 29 exhibition at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.