The Broncos have some visitors this week as they host the San Francisco 49ers for joint practices before their preseason matchup this weekend. The teams practiced together for the first time Wednesday morning and will have one more practice on Thursday before meeting again on Saturday night.
One of the biggest benefits joint practices bring to both teams is a chance to go up against something different for the first time outside of their preseason games.
"It's different because you're so used to working against each other and each other's schemes," says Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak. "All of a sudden, you see something different. I think it's good."
The 49ers' defense is also a 3-4 formation, but that doesn't mean the Broncos' offense is seeing an identical defense, especially in scheme.
"It just gives you a chance to see some different coverages, see some different blitzes, for receivers to go against a different defensive back who may play with a different technique, so it's always a good thing no matter when you do it," said Peyton Manning.
The practices will also give the 49ers a chance to try and adjust to the high altitude that often gives visiting teams a slight disadvantage.
"They all felt it but they kept going right through it," said 49ers Head Coach Jim Tomsula. "It's for real. Everybody says it and we all feel it; it's for real. Getting able to blow the lungs out with that today and another day tomorrow… I'm happy we're here."
Although it's not the real thing, with the preseason game on Saturday, the tense atmosphere gives both teams a chance to raise the competition level from what they're used to during practices by themselves.
"Practice is a lot faster, a lot tougher; it's more like a game," said Von Miller. "So, it's good work for both sides. Today was a great day and another great day of practice."