ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- **Last week, the Broncos worked in full pads. This week, the practices have been in shorts. Speed and tempo has been the priority during the practices as the Broncos focus not just on Thursday's preseason finale, but the regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.
"This week, we're making a huge emphasis on making sure we're conditioned," wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. "We want to play football the way that [Offensive Coordinator] Mike McCoy and [Head] Coach [Vance] Joseph want us to play football: [in] an up-tempo style to try to take advantage of this attitude. But at the same time, we can't let this altitude kill us.
"So we're training out here, and I'll tell you what -- it's tough. Going on the scout team and being up-tempo -- these past few days have been tough on me, tough on my lungs. But I know that eventually I'm going to be in shape, and when the fourth quarter comes, I'll be ready to go."
Being properly conditioned to play up-tempo football whenever asked would go a long way toward being able to accomplish a goal that Sanders believes is within reach: to be the No. 1 offense in the NFL.
"I want to be an explosive offense. I think of the 2013 Broncos," Sanders said. "If we can get there -- or get three-quarters of that, they went and broke records and scored points and everybody across the league took notice. ...
"If we can get that, and knowing that we're going to have a good defense, if we can get an offense that is explosive like that, we're going to have a dangerous team."
... Offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo has started at left tackle and right tackle in his three-season career, and worked at right guard during training camp last summer. This week, he added center to his repertoire, and he will get some snaps at the position against the Arizona Cardinals Thursday.
"We're going to try that with him," Joseph said.
The reason is simple: versatility. The more positions a reserve offensive lineman can play, the better, and snapping is the only skill on the line he has not shown in an NFL game.
"Our backup four or five linemen, we want those guys to have flexibility in positions," Joseph said.
"You want to see a guy, [that] if he has to go in a game, he can operate at that position -- simple as that."
... After a spate of turnovers during Monday's practice, Tuesday's on-field work saw substantial improvement for the offense.
"It was very solid. It was clean," Joseph said. "It's a game-prep practice, so it should be clean."
... DE Zach Kerr (knee bruise), DE Derek Wolfe (lower ankle sprain), DE Jared Crick (back spasms), WR Carlos Henderson (thumb), OLB Shane Ray (wrist), WR Demaryius Thomas (groin) and QB Paxton Lynch (right shoulder) did not practice Tuesday.
With the Broncos' final preseason game just three days away, these last days of preseason practice are crucial for preparing for the regular season and for players trying to make the roster. (Photos by Gabriel Christus)