ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –With the weekend's Summer Scrimmage at Sports Authority Field at Mile High now behind them, the Broncos have entered the first game week of the 2013 campaign.
"It's the first time we've played a game this season," Head Coach John Fox said. "So it's always interesting, always fun. It's a little bit like opening day, it's opening preseason game. There are some uncertainties because you have new guys and I'm excited to watch them play."
In just three days, the Broncos will line up against the San Francisco 49ers – instead of their teammates – for the first preseason game.
And the opportunity to hit someone not in blue or orange is something the Broncos are looking forward to.
"You kind of get tired of just practicing against your teammates," running back Ronnie Hillman said. "You want to get out there, see how you are against other people. It should be fun and I can't wait for it."
For the rookies, this will be their first taste of live, NFL action. And while it won't be as new to other players, that doesn't mean they are less excited about getting the preseason underway.
Cornerback Champ Bailey said he still loves this game and "everything about it." He's also ready to offer some of the wisdom he's gained over his 15-year career to the younger players.
"Every guy that's on the first unit, once you come out of that game you have to stay involved because those young guys need us," Bailey said. "For a lot of them this is going to be their first live action, so you want to give them as much help as possible."
Rookie running back Montee Ball said Monday that he didn't really know what to expect in San Francisco in terms of how much he'll be on the field but he's excited to take another step in his pro career.
"(It's) just another little checkpoint I have to hit," Ball said. "But I'm looking forward to it because it's something that I've never done before. It's going to be exciting. I'm looking forward to it for sure."
First-round draft choice Sylvester Williams is also looking forward to the chance to get better in a game situation. He said Monday that he feels prepared having gone up against the Broncos offensive line and Thursday will just be a matter of execution.
He's also excited to be able to make a real run at a quarterback.
"I can't wait," Williams said. "You can't get anywhere near Peyton (Manning), so (every) time you have to jump back. It's going to feel good to get a good clean rush and get back out there and get after the quarterback."
Williams said he wants to get out there and get things going as quickly as he can.
"There's no time to daydream anymore," he said. "It's time to roll."