The Broncos train at their facility in Englewood, Colo., but they still manage to make it feel like a campsite. Fans sit on a grassy slope overlooking the main practice field, close enough to hear the cornerbacks jawing with the wide receivers. There are no bulky barricades or chain-link fences separating spectators from players. The Broncos need to train locally in order to get accustomed to the thin air, their home-field advantage during the season. Players may complain about the altitude, but not the weather. Eighty-five degrees here feels like 75.
In the days after safety
The Broncos believe everyone is sleeping on them, and they might be right. They have all the makings of a team that gets written off by the middle of November, only to storm back and enter the wild-card conversation by Christmas. Their first nine games are a gauntlet, including San Diego, New Orleans, Jacksonville, New England and Cleveland. But if they can stay afloat, check out the smooth homestretch: Atlanta, the Jets, Carolina, Buffalo, and home dates with Oakland and Kansas City. Sure, the Broncos close at San Diego, but by then the Chargers could be resting starters.
As the Broncos started field-goal drills, Marshall sprinted to the goal line, making sure he was in position to judge whether kicks were getting through the uprights. Marshall has embarrassed himself several times in the past year, but
• Shanahan is entering his 14th season in Denver and he has only finished with a losing record twice: 6-10 in 1999 and 7-9 last year.
• Dumervil is 5-foot-11, but judging by the length of his arms, you'd think he was 6-6.
• The Broncos are on their third defensive coordinator in three years, with
• When Marshall is out, the Broncos' top receiver will be
• It is bizarre seeing someone other than