ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –Thursday's preseason finale with Arizona will likely take place without the presence of most of the Broncos slated as first-teamers.
But for those on the field, there is a lot on the line – including the two quarterbacks on the roster not named Peyton Manning.
Brock Osweiler, who has seen a lot of action this preseason, will have one more chance to fine tune his approach in a game-day setting. Meanwhile, Zac Dysert – who has thrown just three passes this preseason – is looking to earn his spot on the 53-man roster.
"We don't really know yet," Dysert said about the prospect of having three quarterbacks on the final roster. "That's kind of what I'm trying to do out there – tell them that we need to keep three. But whatever happens, happens. That's in God's hands.
"I can only control what I can control and that's going out and playing a good game tomorrow night."
Dysert, the Broncos' seventh-round pick in the 2013 draft, added that it can be frustrating to spend more time watching than actually taking snaps, but acknowledged that he expected that coming in. He said that to combat that, he's making sure to take "mental reps" in the absence of physical ones.
That process has been aided by having Manning on the squad to learn from.
Both Dysert and Osweiler said that having Manning to talk to and glean from has been advantageous this preseason. Dysert said that any time that he needed to ask Manning something, the veteran was available to him.
"Peyton's great," Osweiler said. "He's really good about pointing out little things that maybe I didn't notice when I was out there on the field. Giving me subtle reminders and just being another set of eyes for me out there."
Osweiler has completed 22-of-31 attempts in the first three preseason games for 260 yards, but the majority of that production has come with the second unit. In the game last week against the Rams, Osweiler had the opportunity to target starters including wide receiver Demaryius Thomas – an opportunity he relished.
He said Wednesday that since he doesn't get a lot of reps with the ones, situations where he does get those chances will be a "huge key" for his future.
It's also just fun to throw to Pro Bowl receivers like Thomas.
"Oh, it's nice," Osweiler said. "I told him that as soon as we came to the sideline. I said, 'Man, I love throwing you the football.' Like I said, it was good to go out there, get some reps with the ones, get used to those guys.
"Obviously, the game speed is a little bit different, the way we do things is different – going no huddle. It was a lot of fun."
Regardless of who is on the field, both Dysert and Osweiler plan on treating Thursday's game the same way they would any other game.
"Anytime you set foot on the game field, whether it's a scrimmage, a preseason game, a playoff game or a Super Bowl, I'm going to treat them all the same way," Osweiler said.
"I'm going to prepare the same way and I'm going to get ready to go. Tomorrow night's another great opportunity for us. A lot of young guys go out there, show what we're capable of doing and make plays."