ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --While the sounds of pads popping in Dove Valley over the past few days have made it clear that football is back in full swing at Broncos headquarters, there's nothing quite like taking the field at your home stadium to bring about the realization that football season has arrived.
The Broncos will do just that at their Summer Scrimmage on Saturday evening at Sports Authority Field at Mile High -- and players have readily expressed their excitement about returning to their home venue and simulating the feel of a game day.
"I think the scrimmage is a fun way to get out in front of the fans, be at the stadium, and be able to get into that routine of game day," wide receiver Eric Decker said after day seven of camp on Wednesday.
Playing at the stadium – in front of a much larger crowd than the ones at Broncos training camps – will lend a game-like atmosphere to the scrimmage, and linebacker Wesley Woodyard made it clear on Wednesday just how much he's looking forward to getting back onto the field for the real thing.
"I'm excited to get to tackle (QB) Peyton (Manning)," Woodyard joked to the media on Wednesday.
Woodyard mentioned that the scrimmage represents another opportunity to evaluate the team's progress before the preseason.
"It's going to be good," Woodyard said. "We had our first little live situation not too long ago, but it's going to be good to really see just exactly where we are as a defense and as a whole team. So it's exciting to get in front of our fans too."
For newcomer Wes Welker, the scrimmage will be a sneak preview of the game day atmosphere he'll experience for the first time as a Bronco this season.
"Just treat it like any other practice in getting ready and getting ready for the surroundings," Welker said. "I'm really looking forward to that."
More details on the Summer Scrimmage, presented by King Soopers, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Melanoma Exposed and U.S. Bank, can be found here.