ENGLEWOOD, Colo. **– There may be three days until the Broncos report for training camp, but already the halls are buzzing. On Monday, the rookies got a jump start on the veterans and opened their first day of practice.
This may not be the newcomers first practice with the team, considering they had months of offseason team activities and minicamp, but the stakes are much higher for the group now. Especially for the Broncos newest draft class and undrafted free agents out of college, this is when the true competition for a spot on the 53-man roster heats up.
But for now, the rookies have three days of practice before the rest of the team arrives to get acclimated to the training camp regime.
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"I think it's great," said rookie defensive lineman Darius Kilgo. "They're not just throwing us in the fire, so I think it's great that this gives us a chance just to kind of get our feet wet a little bit before the vets come back. I'm just trying to take advantage of it."
The Broncos first round draft pick, outside linebacker Shane Ray echoed Kilgo's sentiments.
"I think that it helps a lot for me in particular," Ray said. "I've been here the whole month training and making sure that I stay on top of things as far as keeping my body right. I feel like I'm in great shape and I'll be ready to go for camp."
In addition to their acclimation to training camp before the remainder of the team arrives, this also gives the rookies a chance to build some camaraderie.
"This is my first training camp in the National Football League," said rookie offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo, "so, like I said, I'm taking it one day at a time. I think with any level of football camaraderie kind of builds through the grind of camp. I'm looking forward to gaining that with my teammates."
The remaining Broncos will return to head quarters on Thursday, July 30 and then kick-off the first day of camp on Friday, July 31. There will be 14 open practices for fans to attend, free of charge.