Greetings from INVESCO Field at Mile High where the Broncos (6-1) take on the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) on Monday Night Football.
Tonight’s AFC battle between the Broncos and Steelers marks the first Monday Night Football matchup between the two club’s in over 23 years. In fact, the last time the two squads faced off on Monday Night Football was on Sept. 15, 1986.
Currently, conditions are gorgeous. There is not a cloud in sight and temperatures are in the Mid-50s. Temperatures, however, are expected to drop by kickoff of tonight’s game.
Here is a full weather report for the contest:
And here is a traffic report for tonight’s game:
No too much going on at the moment, but the Monday Night Football crew is setting up shop for tonight’s coverage on ESPN. Stay here for sights and sounds leading up to kickoff as they come available.
4:15 P.M. MST: Tyler Polumbus is one of the first Broncos out on the field warming up. Polumbus, who will start at right tackle tonight for Ryan Harris, is loosening up near the goal line.
4:18 P.M. MST: Lonie Paxton is out on the field practicing snaps to special teams assistant Keith Burns, who is lining up as the punter.
4:27 P.M. MST: Cornerback Alphonso Smith was just pacing back and forth in the end zone, getting amped for the game by listening to his iPod. Now he is warming up his legs with quick shuffles of his feet.
4:30 P.M. MST: Brandon Stokley and wide receivers coach Adam Gase are sharing a chat near midfield. Stokley was just running a few quick routes with Gase acting as quarterback.
4:32 P.M. MST: A few Steelers have made their way onto the field including Ben Roethlisberger, who is firing off 10-yard passes.
4:36 P.M. MST: Wesley Woodyard made his way onto the field and wasted little time getting his heart pumping. He is currently jogging around the entire field, as is teammate Kenny McKinley.
4:40 P.M. MST: Chris Simms and Tom Brandstater have made their way out of the tunnel and are both loosening up their arms.
4:45 P.M. MST: Kyle Orton is now on the field as well. He is alternating passes with Brandstater at midfield.
4:51 P.M. MST: Simms and Brandstater are taking turns slinging 45-yard passes to opposite corners of the end zone. Meanwhile, Gase is now working with Eddie Royal on his technique for short receptions.
5:02 P.M. MST: Pittsburgh long snapper Greg Warren is the first player from either team out on the field in full uniform.
5:04 P.M. MST: Kyle Orton just chatted for a bit at midfield with Brian Griese — his former teammate in Chicago.
5:10 P.M. MST: Just got word of tonight’s inactives for the Broncos. QB Tom Brandstater, RB Peyton Hillis, S David Bruton, G Seth Olsen, T Ryan Harris, TE Richard Quinn, WR Brandon Lloyd and DL Ryan McBean are inactive. Brandstater is the team’s third quarterback.
5:12 P.M. MST: Brandon Marshall is out on the field catching 5-yard touchdown passes from Brandstater.
5:20 P.M. MST: Very few members of the Broncos are on the field at the moment. For the Steelers, a few of their specialists are getting in some work. Meanwhile, here are some pregame photos courtesy of Gray Caldwell:
5:25 P.M. MST: I was just given a list of inactives for the Steelers: QB Dennis Dixon, S Ryan Clark, G Kraig Urbik, T Tony Hills, DE Sunny Harris, WR Shaun McDonald, DE Travis Kirschke and LB Lawrence Timmons. Dixon is listed as the team’s third quarterback.
5:27 P.M. MST: The suspense is over in regard to what uniforms the Broncos will wear for tonight’s contest. The team’s specialists — Paxton, Mitch Berger and Matt Prater — are all on the field donning orange jerseys.
5:31 P.M. MST: With special teams coordinator Mike Priefer looking on, Prater just attempted a number of 60-plus yard field goal attempts.
5:36 P.M. MST: Prater continues to launch long-distance field goals. He just connected on a 65-yard attempt, drawing a high-five from Priefer.
5:40 P.M. MST: Royal, McKinley and Alphonso Smith are among the first position players out on the field for the Broncos in full uniform. All three are working on returns.
5:45 P.M. MST: Broncos’ quarterbacks were just led out of the tunnel by offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy. Moments after taking the field, Orton began firing laser passes to offensive assistant Ben McDaniels.
5:49 P.M. MST: The Broncos have officially taken the field for pregame warmups. Knowshon Moreno led the rest of the club out of the tunnel, sprinting to the 50-yard line and then pausing for a moment. Saying Moreno looks excited would be an understatement.
5:53 P.M. MST: Head Coach Josh McDaniels is on the field watching his team prepare for the contest. Newly-signed defensive back Ty Law is also on the field. He is positioned at the five-yard line and is working one-on-one with Alphonso Smith on technique for jamming receivers.
5:55 P.M. MST: The Broncos just gathered near the tunnel for their pregame huddle. In the center of the huddle was Brian Dawkins, who revved up his teammates before the squad broke the huddle.
5:59 P.M. MST: Directed by Strength and Conditioning Coach Rich Tuten, the the Broncos are all stretching out on their side of the field.
6:02 P.M. MST: The Broncos have broken into different units and working with their position coaches. Linebackers coach Don Martindale is working with his unit on a contact drill. The defensive line, meanwhile, was just working with Wayne Nunnely on getting a jump off the line of scrimmage.
6:06 P.M. MST: The linebackers just formed a mini-huddle in the end zone. At the center was D.J. Williams, who was clearly amping up his defensive counterparts in vocal fashion.
6:09 P.M. MST: The Steelers are making their way off the field, while the Broncos are currently going through a 11-on-11 walkthrough.
6:12 P.M. MST: The Broncos ended their set of 11-on-11s with a field goal by Matt Prater before heading back into the locker room to a loud ovation from the hometown crowd.
6:14 P.M. MST: Trying his best to fire up the crowd with the team now back in the locker room, team mascot Miles just connected on a 37-yard field goal.
6:25 P.M. MST: Anything but afraid of the Monday night lights, the team’s paratroopers — Thunderstorm — just made their way onto the field to a standing ovation.
6:26 P.M. MST: With fans firing off flashbulbs, the final Thunderstorm member entered the field holding onto a massive American flag. That really got the crowd amped up.
6:29 P.M. MST: Head Coach Josh McDaniels just ran onto the field. He has his headset on and is ready to go. Meanwhile, the Steelers just ran out of the tunnel.
6:31 P.M. MST: Both teams are now on the field as the Broncos are all out on the locker room and ready to go. At the moment, defensive starters for the Broncos are being introduced.
6:34 P.M. MST: If you’re watching on TV, be sure to check out Brandon Marshall’s bright orange shoes. They sure stand out.
Thanks for joining us for the pregame blog. Kickoff is just moments away, be sure to stay with us for sights and sounds from the entire Monday Night Football matchup between the Broncos and the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots.
– Zach Eisendrath, DenverBroncos.com