ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Wednesday the Broncos will take their talents outside of the Rocky Mountain region for the first time since 2012 as the Broncos preseason begins Thursday in San Francisco.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Head Coach John Fox said that he has the first unit ready to play the full first quarter, and while they may see less time, they won't play any longer than that. The second team will play in the second and third quarters while the third team will finish out the game.
“However long you’re in there, you’re looking for some execution," he said. "You’re looking for probably a mix of situations if you can.
“You’d love to get some third-down work, some red-zone work, and some short-yardage work. I think those are the things the coaches would like to see.”
No matter which unit is on the field, there will be just 11 Broncos uniforms on the field at one time, compared to the 22 that the team has been working with during the first two weeks of training camp.
The opportunity to show what improvements they’ve made during camp against an opponent like the 49ers is something that the Broncos are looking forward to.
“I think all the players are looking forward to going against a different jersey,” Manning said. “We’ve had a lot of practices since training camp started, and we haven’t had to miss any practices due to weather or really an injury situation.
“There is good familiarity between the Broncos offense and the Broncos defense. So to go against another team, a great team like the 49ers will be a great test for us.”
The trip to San Francisco marks the first of four preseason affairs that will ultimately help the coaching staff whittle down the roster to the 53-man squad that will take on the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 5.
Players have a chance to really make themselves stand out in preseason games, more so than they do in practices.
“We are looking for how guys operate in game conditions,” Fox said. “This game is about what to do, how to do it and be able to execute that under pressure. You have guys sometimes that flash really well in practice, but maybe not so well in games.“The games are ultimately how we grade. It is a performance based profession and we like to see how those guys perform as we try to pick our 53 guys.”