And as the Broncos approach the on-ramp to the regular season, they continue to work their injured players back to full speed, starting with
1. No firm determination has been made as to Miller's status for Sunday's game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., but his practice performance offers assurance that he'll be ready to contribute when the games matter.
"I don't know. I'm just following 'Greek' (Head Athletic Trainer Steve Antonopulous). Whatever he wants me to do" said Miller. "Whatever he wants me to do. Practice is different in the game, and I know whenever it's time for me to play, I'll be ready. So I'm not rushing it."
Indeed, practice is different. There, he has looked ready. He opened the team period Friday with a practice "sack" of
"I mean, I feel like I can play," he said. "I feel good where I'm at. I feel great physically and mentally. I feel I can play.
"It's always more you can do, and I feel like I'm not all the way there yet. But I feel I can play. I feel great physically where I'm at."
Roby got the best of Julius Thomas on first-and-goal, using the hand moves he's improved with the aid of Hall of Famer Rod Woodson to deflect a pass that was headed for the tight end's grasp. But after two more plays gained eight yards, Manning found Demaryius Thomas on a fade route to beat Roby on fourth-and-goal.
3. Special teams -- specifically, punt returns -- will likely determine whether wide receiver
Norwood's experience means the practice squad is not an option. At 27, he's the third-oldest wide receiver on the roster; only
“You can tell he is very smart in what the defense is trying to do," said Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase. "He’s done a good job using leverage of the defense to get open. He really understands what we’re trying to do with our scheme compared to the defensive scheme."
But as much as he does on offense, he needs to perform on punt returns in the next three games to have a realistic shot in a crowded receiving field.
Brock Osweilerdid not have his best day, throwing a pair of interceptions. The first was picked off by Tony Carter, who adjusted to a ball for Bennie Fowlerthat was slightly underthrown; Carter and Fowler tussled for the football, but the cornerback won the duel. The other interception, by Lamin Barrow, was in space in the right flat.
Brandon Marshallhad a well-timed blitz up the middle for a "sack" of Manning. "We're expecting Brandon Marshall to come in and do great things for us until Danny (Trevathan) gets back," Miller said.
- Running back
Juwan Thompsonhad another solid day, working with Manning and Osweiler. Thompson shows surprising lightness on his feet on a downfield burst. Although at 225 pounds, he isn't large enough to qualify as a "dancing bear" of the ilk that Jack Del Rio wants for the defensive line, Thompson's fluidity and quickness continues to impress in the backfield.
5. The only true difference for the players next week is in the accommodations. For veterans, it means having the option to go home instead of stay at the Ramada Inn. For some, that is a blessing; others want to stay.
"I like my bed at the Ramada. And it was closer, so you don't really do too much in camp anyways, so it was the same for me," said Miller. "My bed at home is actually a little harder than the Ramada bed, so it was cool."
Not everyone agreed.
"We get to get out of the hotel and it's not as long of a day, but we're still preparing in that mindset," said safety