Greetings from INVESCO Field at Mile High, where the Broncos conclude their preseason slate tonight against the defending NFC champion Arizona Cardinals. Both club’s couldn’t ask for better weather for their final tune-up before the 2009 regular season. Temperatures have been ideal all day and have stayed within the mid-80s the past few hours. As an added bonus, clouds are few and far between.
With NFL teams required to trim their rosters to 53 this weekend, tonight’s game will be the final audition for players trying to secure roster spots. Click below for weather and traffic reports.
4:34 p.m. MDT: Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy has made his way out of the tunnel and is running steps of the stadium’s lower level.
4:58: p.m. MDT: A number of members from Denver’s secondary unit — including David Bruton, Rashod Moulton and Jack Williams — have taken the field to conduct some pregame stretching.
5:05 p.m. MDT: Tom Brandstater is out on the field warming up his arm by practicing 25-yard throws.
5:25 p.m. MDT: Kurt Warner and Matt Leinart are out on the field for the Cardinals. Both quarterbacks are rotating snaps, firing short passes to members of the Cardinals’ receiving corps, including Larry Fitzgerald.
5:34 p.m. MDT: Donning bright orange gloves and headphones, Chad Jackson is out on the field getting his feet loose.
5:41 p.m. MDT: Former Broncos long snapper Mike Leach and Matt Prater have met up near midfield. The two former teammates are sharing a pregame chat.
5:48 p.m. MDT: In nearly the exact location Leach and Prater chatted a few minutes ago, Arizona punter Ben Graham and Lonie Paxton — former teammates with the New England Patriots — have struck up a conversation.
Here are some more photos from Gray Caldwell:
6:00 p.m. MDT: With special teams coordinator Mike Priefer looking on and Brett Kern as his holder, Matt Prater is practicing deep field goals.
6:03 p.m. MDT: Suited up in full pads, Nate Swift and Alphonso Smith have taken to the field. Both players are taking turns receiving punts from Kern. Meanwhile, Kenny McKinley and Matthew Willis are back returning kicks from Prater.
6:10 p.m. MDT: The Cardinals have listed five players as inactive for tonight’s game: quarterback Brian St. Pierre, cornerback Bryant McFadden, running back LaRod Stephens-Howling, wide receiver Early Doucet and wide receiver Anquan Boldin. The Broncos don’t have any players listed as inactive.
6:12 p.m. MDT: A host of Broncos just made their way out of the tunnel in full uniform and are wasting little time getting to work. Brandstater and Ingle Martin are busy firing deep passes to the likes of Eddie Royal, Brandon Lloyd and McKinley.
6:16 p.m. MDT: After huddling near the goal line, the team has begun warming up together as a unit with strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten.
6:24 MDT: Stretches are now complete and the team has broken into small groups. Defensive backs are practicing grabbing interceptions, while defensive linemen are working on getting off the line of scrimmage.
6:28 MDT: Linebackers coach Don Martindale is working with his unit near the goal line on footwork and hand-eye coordination.
6:32 MDT: Daniel Graham and tight ends coach Clancy Barone are tossing around the pigskin.
6:34 MDT: Lined up at their own 10-yard line, the offense is going through an 11-on-11 walkthrough against the club’s defensive unit. Brandstater just connected with Eddie Royal for a 30-yard completion.
6:37 MDT: The team is making its way off the field, heading back to the locker room to prepare for its exhibition finale.
6:41 MDT: Team mascots Miles and Thunder have made their way onto the field. Miles just attempted a field goal, which he connected on. Meanwhile, Thunder is busy galloping up and down the field.
6:48 MDT: Miles and Mini Miles are walking around the sidelines, attempting to fire up Broncos faithful who have taken to their seats.
6:50 MDT: Thunderstorm, the team’s official paratroopers, just made an impressive flight onto the field.
6:58 MDT: The Cardinals are making their way out of the tunnel.
7:00 MDT: Led out of the tunnel by Thunder and Miles, the Broncos make their way onto the field to a loud ovation from the home crowd.