Courtesy USA Today Sports Images
DENVER - Over the course of the first three preseason games, teams, and the Broncos are no different, are all about fine tuning. They're preparing in a number of ways for the grueling and tumultuous season ahead. The final contest though it happens to be equally meaningless in the record books is about making a statement.
Peyton Manning will not likely play, and neither will a majority of the Broncos starters.
Those that do take the field though will be playing to show everyone that they can be a difference maker. They're playing for a coveted roster spot, on any NFL team. A win over Arizona isn't necessary, an impression is.
"Their resume is on that tape," Fox said. "So whether it works out for them here or not, it could work out for them somewhere else. It's a great opportunity for those guys that maybe haven't had as much playing time over the last couple of weeks. Now they get that opportunity."
The Broncos will have to slim down by more than twenty players over the next couple days as the final deadline for cuts are on Saturday afternoon.
Some players have more of a chance to make the team than others. Denver will likely only keep a pair of quarterbacks on their active roster, Manning and back-up Brock Osweiler, but that doesn't mean rookie Zak Dysert won't still try to persuade Fox and the coaching staff otherwise.
"That's kind of what I'm trying to do out there, tell them that we need to keep three but whatever happens, happens," Dysert said. "I can only control what I can control and that's going out and playing a good game."
This, the final audition, is not all about making the team, though that may seem to be the primary goal. Many of those that play Thursday be brought back as a part of the practice squad. It's also about proving that you can be an essential part, a factor in the games that count.
"Let's face it, when we pick 53 we're looking to hopefully get 53 startersguys that we feel good enough about to start," Fox said. "You need that depth throughout the season."
Don't call this Broncos game meaningless, especially not to those whose careers will be swayed by what happens in it.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)