Good afternoon from INVESCO Field at Mile High. We’re closing in on the kickoff of the 2009 home opener against the Browns. Keep it here today for the latest happenings from stadium. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook throughout the game.
12:32 p.m. MDT: Kyle Orton is warming up with Brandon Marshall, working on several short routes.
12:42 p.m. MDT: Orton is now working with Jabar Gaffney on rollouts in the red zone.
12:47 p.m. MDT: With a special season of Broncos football upon us, the middle of the field is sporting the 50th Anniversary logo.
12:57 p.m. MDT: Andra Davis gets his feet loose and works on an interception drill. Brett Kern is the first Bronco out in uniform, working on his punt drops.
1:02 p.m. MDT: Here are the Broncos inactives for this afternoon’s game: Tom Brandstater, Kenny McKinley, Spencer Larsen, Seth Olsen, Chris Baker, Brandon Gorin, Brandon Lloyd, Le Kevin Smith.
1:05 p.m. MDT: The inactives for the Browns are as follows: QB Brett Ratliff, RB James Davis, DB Marquis Floyd, RB Cedric Peerman, OL Rex Hadnot, OL Phil Trautwein, WR Brian Robiskie, TE Martin Rucker.
1:10 p.m. MDT: Matt Prater and Lonie Paxton join Kern, with the trio working on field goals. They alternate with Browns kicker Phil Dawson and his team of specialists. Each kicker connected from 55 yards out.
1:15 p.m. MDT: On the day when Broncos great Shannon Sharpe will be inducted into the Ring of Fame, the team is wearing its traditional blue threads. The Browns are in their road white uniforms with brown pants.
1:22 p.m. MDT: A crew of Broncos returners are out on the field. Peyton Hillis is working on fielding kickoffs out of the end zone, while Eddie Royal and Alphonso Smith are taking punts.
1:27 p.m. MDT: Pregame photos have arrived, courtesy of Gray Caldwell.
1:29 p.m. MDT: Several members of the Broncos offense have taken the field. Gaffney and Orton led the team out of the tunnel, with Brian Dawkins not too far behind.
1:34 p.m. MDT: The rest of the team has taken the field to a standing ovation, and is running through its pregame stretches.
1:39 p.m. MDT: Marshall and Dawkins meet at the 40-yard line on the north side of the stadium, clanking helmets getting each other fired up for the start of the contest.
1:44 p.m. MDT: Ben Hamilton and the offensive line greet Kenny Peterson and the defensive line in the north end zone, slapping high fives before lining up against each other for practice reps.
1:49 p.m. MDT: The team completes its first sets of 11-on-11s, with Correll Buckhalter, Knowshon Moreno and LaMont Jordan alternating carries. Marshall lined up across from Champ Bailey at receiver, with both firing each other up for kickoff.
1:52 p.m. MDT: As Thunder the horse enters the field, the Broncos exit the field, getting in their last preparations for the 2:15 kickoff.
2:00 p.m. MDT: The Thunderstorm paratroopers are beginning their descent onto the stadium field. At the same time, the PA announcer has introduced the Denver Broncos Ring of Famers on hand for today’s induction of Shannon Sharpe as its newest member.
2:02 p.m. MDT: The crowd goes wild as Sharpe shows his daredevil side, flying onto the field as the final skydiver. He makes a safe landing at the 10-yard line, raising his arms in triumph while greeting the crowd. Sharpe leaves the stadium faithful with one message: “You showed me so much love. Let’s show everybody what we’re all about today. Let’s get loud.”
2:07 p.m. MDT: The Broncos run out of the tunnel, led by Darrell Reid and Moreno. Reid stops at the 50-yard line and greets the crowd with a fierce look, while a load of orange balloons flys high into the sky.
2:09 p.m. MDT:The Broncos starters on defense have been announced: Ryan McBean, Ronald Fields and Kenny Peterson up front; Mario Haggan, Andra Davis, D.J. Williams and Elvis Dumervil at linebacker; Renaldo Hill and Brian Dawkins at safety and Andre’ Goodman and Champ Bailey at cornerback.
2:11 p.m. MDT: Click here for the rest of the pregame photos. We’re off to the first half blog. Be sure to follow along with us.