The Broncos welcomed some familiar faces to their training camp practice inside Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse on Tuesday, including past Denver legends and one of the best quarterbacks of his generation.
More than 30 Broncos alumni were in attendance as Denver returned to the practice field in preparation for its preseason finale against the Los Angeles Rams. The alums also had the chance to meet with Owner Carrie Walton Penner at a reception prior to practice.
The group spanned six decades, from wide receiver/kicker Billy Van Heusen, who entered the league with the Broncos in 1968, to linebacker Brandon Marshall, whose final season came in 2018.
Head Coach Sean Payton appreciated the chance for his current players to meet and talk with the standouts of the Broncos' past teams and said they are an essential part of the Denver organization.
"We had a lot of people," Payton said. "We had our alumni in today, so that was really good. They were able to watch practice and spend some time with our players afterwards. It's the lifeblood of your program, are the people. The present players, the former players, those that came before us and really built this foundation and built this tradition that we've been able to really enjoy."
Payton also hosted a distinguished former player from his time with the Saints, two-time Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl XLIV MVP Drew Brees.
"He was just in for a day, Payton said. "His brother lives in Centennial, so he phoned us yesterday saying he was going to see his brother and wanted to know our schedule. So he came in, it was great to see him."
Though Brees never played for the Broncos, several of his former teammates have joined the Broncos' ranks this offseason. Former Brees targets Marquez Callaway, Adam Trautman and Lil'Jordan Humphrey are among the former Saints on the Denver roster, and Brees' longtime quarterbacks coach, Joe Lombardi, is leading the offense this season as the Broncos' offensive coordinator.
"He knows a lot of people here, coaches, players," Payton said. "I think for him, it was really just getting around and seeing some familiar faces."