ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --All season long, the Broncos practice at their Dove Valley headquarters, which also serves as the club's training camp site.
So even though training camp came to a close Thursday afternoon, not all that much will change in the Broncos' routine -- except that a record number of fans will no longer fill the sidelines, and one more all-important aspect.
"Honestly, sleeping in my bed -- that's probably the biggest difference," cornerback Champ Bailey said. "The work still goes on, we just don't have late days like we've had."
Rookie Quanterus Smith said he doesn't even consider training camp over as three preseason games are still on the horizon -- "It's just getting started," he said.
"You still have to come out here and work to earn your spot," running back Ronnie Hillman added. "It's just that you're out of the hotel and you get to sleep in your own bed."
Regardless, veteran linebacker Stewart Bradley said it's always a relief to end that period of the preseason.
"I mean they're fun and obviously have their place and help prepare for the season, but it's nice when you can put it behind you for the year," he said.
Tight end Julius Thomas joked that the best part of the close of camp is that he can finally shave the beard that he attempted to grow throughout the session.
But quarterback Peyton Manning said there's more to finishing up camp than just the ability to properly groom and sleep at home. It's more about the team's mindset.
"I think the best part is knowing that we got a lot of good work accomplished," he said. "It has been a physical camp. We are in full pads just about every day, which certainly can take a toll physically on players, but guys have pushed and worked through that. It's the only way to really get a real idea of what kind of team you are going to have and how guys hold up in full contact.
"We got a lot of positive work done — still some things that we need to clean up and work through. But I think having a sense of accomplishment is probably one of the better things."