Greetings from INVESCO Field at Mile High and Broncos’ 2009 home opener. A steady rain began falling at about 3:57 p.m. MDT, sending members of both the Bears and Broncos inside the locker room tunnels. Twenty minutes later, both the sun and a slew of players returned to the field. Click below to find out the weather and traffic reports for tonight’s game.
4:01 p.m. MDT: The shower squall comes to a stop, and rookie Britton Colquitt is out on the field practicing his punts. Several of his attempts measured 50-55 yards in distance.
4:06 p.m. MDT: Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy runs a pair of laps down the length of the Broncos sideline.
4:10 p.m. MDT: Bears quarterback Jay Cutler takes the field, throwing sets of post routes to his receivers.
4:15 p.m. MDT: The sun peeks its way through the clouds, just in time for the first rounds of fans to take their seats for the home opener.
4:22 p.m. MDT – Kyle Orton takes the field, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries with several of his former Bears teammates.
4:28 p.m. MDT – Orton gets loose, working on some short five- to seven-yard curl routes with Brandon Stokley and Eddie Royal.
4:37 p.m. MDT – Ingle Martin works on three-step drops with Coaching Assistant Ben McDaniels.
4:45 p.m. MDT – The specialists have taken the field, and it’s apparent that the Broncos will be wearing their alternate orange uniforms tonight. Matt Prater and Brett Kern chat with Bears kicker Robbie Gould.
4:52 p.m. MDT – Rookie Chris Baker helps spot Kenny Peterson with his pregame stretches.
4:59 p.m. MDT – Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer watches as Prater completes his pregame field goals. He switches from the center to right hash mark, kicking and connecting as far back as 52 yards.
5:04 p.m. MDT – Coaching Assistant Keith Burns leads out the trio of Matthew Willis, C.J. Jones and Kenny McKinley to work on both kickoff and punt returns.
Here are some more pregame blog photos from Gray Caldwell.
5:08 p.m. MDT – The Broncos take the field and quickly get to work. Orton works on five-yard outs with his receivers, while the defense stretches out in the end zone. A minute later, the Bears joined them, serenaded to some audible boos from the first crowd of 2009 at INVESCO Field at Mile High.
5:13 p.m. MDT – Head Coach Josh McDaniels takes the field and watches his team run its opening lap down the home sideline. Two minutes later, Cutler leads a few Bears out of the tunnel to some more boos.
5:20 p.m. MDT – Strength and Conditioning coach Rich Tuten leads the team through its pregame stretches. Warming up at the 35-yard line is Brian Dawkins, with a wrap on his right hand.
5:26 p.m. MDT – The wrap doesn’t bother Dawkins on an early interception drill, as he snags two picks with relative ease. Correll Buckhalter, Peyton Hillis, and Darius Walker joined the line of defensive backs, catching balls split out wide.
5:32 p.m. MDT – Royal catches three balls in an early set of 7-on-7s between the offense and defense. Orton practices in the pocket and out of the shotgun, with both Hillis and Buckhalter standing as dual setbacks.
5:37 p.m. MDT – After missing last week’s preseason game at Seattle, Brandon Lloyd is back and healthy. He sports his comfort with Orton, reaching out to snag a 35-yard pass down the left sideline. A minute later, the Bears and Broncos both exit the field, with a wave of cheers drowning out a smattering of boos.
5:39 p.m. MDT – Former Patriots and Chargers safety Rodney Harrison is hanging out on the Broncos sideline. After retiring from the game in June of this year, Harrison now works for NBC Sports’ “Football Night in America.” Miles also takes his first trots down the field, ushering in a new season of Broncos home games.
5:47 p.m. MDT – As the Broncos Cheerleaders complete their introductions and first number of the 2009 season, the Bronco-headed tunnel is set up for the team to make its entrance onto the field.
5:53 p.m. MDT – A flock of six paratroopers make an impressive flight onto the field, sporting Broncos jerseys including Royal, Champ Bailey and Ryan Clady.
5:57 p.m. MDT – The Bears make their way out of the tunnel, with boos raining down from the crowd.
5:59 p.m. MDT – The Broncos entry video makes its way onto ThunderVision, with a mix of the old and new to celebrate the club’s 50th season. Images from the past include the likes of Floyd Little rushing upfield and John Elway raising his arms in triumph. Images from the present include the offensive line in the trenches and a Royal touchdown spike.
The Broncos have made their way out of the tunnel and kickoff is minutes away. Keep it here as our first-half blog gets underway. You can also follow the game on our twitter page – twitter.com/denver_broncos.