ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Yes, Broncos fans have already seen their team at Sports Authority Field at Mile High twice in the past week.
Nearly 22,000 turned up Sunday for the team's first open practice, and more than 9,000 braved unrelenting rain Wednesday for the second. But Saturday's Summer Scrimmage will give fans a glimpse of something else for the first time this NFL season: full-tackle football.
"We are getting them ready for live football so we can be prepared for our opening preseason game," Head Coach John Fox said Friday.
That game is just around the corner, with the Broncos hosting the Seahawks Thursday night. While the team has gone to full-tackle drills twice during the first nine days of training camp, Saturday will be the first time they've done so when using the full field.
Different units will cycle in 12-play sequences during the scrimmage, with first teams going against second teams and third teams playing each other. Fox said the coaching staff will be using the same equipment they'll use during games this season, including "new still shot technology" from the league to go over plays with players between series.
Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase is hoping the offense will "stay ahead of the chains" and convert on
third down while looking for explosive plays when available. They'll go up against a defense that has high expectations and has looked fiery thus far in training camp.
Safety Rahim Moore's goal is for the unit to play "that Orange Crush-type defense" and is excited to "see how much we've developed."
David Bruton has a similar focus heading into the scrimmage: "Just showing that aggressive mindset that we've established within the DB room and go out there and make plays and have fun."
Even without the top units facing off against each other, the expansion of live drills to the extended team periods should provide plenty of opportunity to see each unit's chemistry at this point. Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio wants to see the defense "putting it together when there's actual tackling live, response to plays and play action."
"[See them] putting it all together and playing real football in front of our fans," he said. "It should be an exciting time."
"I think it's going to be a great time for our team to be able to showcase our talent and be able to go out there and have fun and make plays and get ready for Seattle next week," Moore said.
*Details for the Summer Scrimmage are as follows:
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR FANS
Parking lots open
Noble Energy Sports Legends Mall opens
8: 45 a.m.
Stadium Gates (3, 4, 8, 9 & 10) open
Performances by the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders
Admission and parking are free to all fans.
Broncos TV will host a live show at 10 a.m. that will broadcast on the Thundervision big screen in the stadium as well as on DenverBroncos.com.
Broncos radio play-by-play announcer Dave Logan (850 KOA) will emcee the event.