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Home Sweet Home

Posted Aug 6, 2011

The Broncos were back at INVESCO Saturday for the team's Summer Scrimmage.

DENVER -- For the first time in months, Broncos players were able to come out the tunnel of an actual stadium, spending the afternoon practicing at INVESCO Field for the team's Summer Scrimmage.

The players received a boisterous ovation from the 17,982 fans in attendance, and many were overcome with excitement, storming onto the field and to the sideline.

But safety Rahim Moore took his time.

The rookie took a few short steps onto the grass. Then he stopped and took a knee.

From there, he prayed. And he cried.

"When I heard my name, 'Rahim,' from one of those fans over there, I started crying," Moore said. "I did my pregame ritual when I was praying on the 3-yard line and I started crying, really -- I was full of tears.

"It's a blessed opportunity for me and I'll never forget it."

Fellow-rookie Nate Irving got his first taste of INVESCO Field as well, and the linebacker came away impressed with the overall experience.

"I enjoyed it, just being out here and getting a glimpse at how it is playing at altitude in this stadium. Being in front of the fans is really fun," Irving said. "I want to see it filled up and cheering for us after our wins."

Veterans were just as excited to be back at INVESCO with the fans.

Defensive end Elvis Dumervil was back on his home field after spending a year on the sidelines with a pectoral injury.

"That was exciting. It felt great to come out here in front of the fans, being out here with my teammates and actually putting on a helmet and lacing up at INVESCO," Dumervil said. "I missed it a lot last year, so it was a thrill for me to come out here."

After taking the field and soaking in the moment, the Broncos got to work.

Follwing some positional drills and some 7-on-7 work to start the session, the team scrimmaged with live-tackling, starting with the first-team offense taking on the second-team defense.

The offense got off to a hot start with two screen passes. Brandon Lloyd caught the first one from Kyle Orton to pick up a first down, and running back Knowshon Moreno followed that up with a 45-yard gain of his own from a perfectly set-up screen out of the backfield. Matt Prater later converted a field goal attempt at the end of the drive and added another to finish off the next series.

After those two drives, the second-team offense -- led at first by quarterback Tim Tebow -- came on and squared off against the first-team defense.

Jeremiah Johnson broke free early on for a big gain up the middle, but the defense put a stop to the offense's progress.

Rookie Von Miller got to Tebow and recorded a sack and Elvis Dumervil recorded one of his own just two plays later. Dumervil later added another sack and was constantly in the backfield during his time on the field.

"Elvis had a heck of a day," Miller said. "It made it a lot easier for the rest of the defense."

Head Coach John Fox was quite happy with the play of his two dynamic pass-rushers.

"They're going to be special," Fox said of Miller and Dumervil. "We have a lot of work to do, but they're both special talents."

Brady Quinn later got his chance to work with the third-team and he produced some big plays. The quarterback targeted Dante Rosario down the sideline and the newly-acquired tight end leaped and snagged the ball over the top of Darcel McBath to make the reception. Quinn would cap off the drive with a touchdown pass to rookie tight end Virgil Green in the corner of the end zone.

At the end of the day, Fox said he came away pleased with the play of his quarterbacks and the progress they showed.

He was also proud of Tebow for battling and leading the second-team offense against the No. 1 defense.

"I think Tim had the roughest duty going against the No. 1 defense," Fox said. "That's tough, but he is a tough guy and made things happen. He made a couple things happen -- that one third-and-long throw that came up 1 yard short -- that was a big play. We'll keep evaluating him. This was just a small taste today."

The Broncos now head back to Dove Valley for the remaining days of training camp as they prepare for the season opener, where they'll be among the fans at INVESCO once again when the Raiders come to town.

The preseason home opener comes even sooner — Aug. 20 against the Buffalo Bills.

"Hopefully we gave (the fans) a show," Moreno said. "We can't wait to see them again when we get here for the first home game."