DENVER --For more than 40 minutes, heavy rain and some threatening thunder and lightning in the distance delayed the start of Saturday's Summer Scrimmage.
But the 44,439 fans that attended the free practice at Sports Authority Field at Mile High never wavered.
"Pretty amazing," wide receiver Eric Decker said. "It tells you how much they support this team, how excited they are and what we can do is give them good football. That's what out goal is this year."
During the delay, Broncos players periodically sprinted onto the field to celebrate with the fans, including one point late in the delay when virtually the entire team -- including quarterback Peyton Manning -- dove headfirst onto the wet field and slid across the grass.
"I felt like a kid," Manning said. "I don't know when the last time I got a chance to do that was, in a professional venue like that."
Safety Duke Ihenacho even jumped in the crowd as the team circled the the stadium to high five the wet-but-enthusiastic fans in the front few rows.
"It was great," linebacker Von Miller said. "I didn't know it was going to turn out like that but I looked around and everyone was sliding like penguins. I was like, 'I might as well dive down there, too.'"
Those that braved the conditions were rewarded when the Broncos got the live action started with the rain still pouring.
The crowd remained fired up throughout the delay and into practice, cheering even during individual drills.
"I think it is unbelievable," Head Coach John Fox said of the fans' support. "For it to be the conditions it was and still have 45,000 fans is pretty awesome."
The conditions of the scrimmage not only showed the Broncos just how committed their fans are, it also provided some early experience just in case some rain shows up during the regular season.
"This might happen at any time in the year so you have to prepare for the worst -- this is up there for the worst," Decker said. "If it was snow it might have been worse but again with that condition, guys stayed focused and I thought we zoned in and had some good plays."
The club was happy with the work it got in during the wet scrimmage, and Manning said there will be plenty to take away when watching the film.
But the main thing the Broncos gleaned from Saturday's session is the support they have in the Rocky Mountain region and beyond.
"I said it once, I'll say it again," defensive end Derek Wolfe tweeted after the scrimmage, "BEST FANS IN THE WORLD!"