In winter weather fit for New Jersey, the Denver Broncos took the field Thursday for their first practice leading up to their Super Bowl showdown against the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 2.
With about three inches of fresh snow swept from the practice fields and a temperature of just 10 degrees, the Broncos began installing their game plan.
All players were on the field except for kicker Matt Prater, who was dismissed because of illness. Starting running back Knowshon Moreno, who injured his ribs in last Sunday's victory over New England in the AFC championship game, was a limited participant. It remains to be seen how much Moreno will practice the rest of this week.
Defensive tackle Mitch Unrein did not practice because of an injured knee.
Quarterback Peyton Manning certainly was not bothered by the frosty field and the frigid temperatures.
“We played in this and practiced in this a good part of the year, so really, we've been through this. But it's good to get out here and get started,” quarterback Peyton Manning said.
Asked to evaluate the Seahawks' talented defense, Manning essentially dodged the question, at least for now, saying he was just beginning to study Seattle.
Manning said John Fox has asked him and some of the other veterans to talk to the team about handling the Super Bowl experience, but Manning declined to share what he told his teammates.
Fox said he wanted players such as Manning and receiver Wes Welker — who have both played in two Super Bowls — to “share their experiences with the younger players.”
The Broncos have four players with Super Bowl experience, while the Seahawks have none. When asked if that would be an advantage for the Broncos, Fox said: “This game, like any game, comes down to who plays the best. Advantages and disadvantages kind of go out the window and hopefully we are prepared and work hard enough to be that team.”
The Broncos will practice at their Dove Valley headquarters again on Friday and Saturday before leaving for New Jersey on Sunday.