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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Broncos practice report: Osweiler ready

By Jeff Legwold

The list of guys who have started at quarterback in the final Broncos’ preseason game in recent summers, a list that includes Caleb Hanie, Tom Brandstater, Darrell Hackney (twice) and Alex Van Pelt, is not one filled with long-term starters for the team, but it’s one Brock Osweiler is still happy to join these days.

That’s because it means he’s expected to be behind center to open Thursday night’s game with the Arizona Cardinals. And that means some significant playing time, another chance to run the show, and another chance to see where he is on the developmental curve.

“There’s no replacement for game reps,’’ Osweiler said following Wednesday’s practice. “So, I’m really looking forward to getting more (Thursday) night and trying to make the most of my opportunity.’’

Peyton Manning and most of the other Broncos regulars won’t see the field against the Cardinals, so it will give some of the other folks on the depth chart the chance to dive into a game situation. Zac Dysert, a seventh-round draft pick in this past April’s draft, is also expected to get his first significant game action of the preseason when he follows Osweiler into the game.

Dysert, who projects to the Broncos' practice squad during the season, played briefly in the preseason opener in San Francisco.

“(I’m) very excited for the opportunity to get out there with the guys in a game-like environment and just show people what I can do,’’ Dysert said.

For their part, the Broncos like what Osweiler's done with his game over the past year, but they want to see him manage the offense Thursday night, work through some pre-snap audibles and make good decisions with the ball. He has been under siege at times, having been sacked eight times in just three preseason games behind some shaky line play, but the Broncos want to see him work through things without fumbling a snap as he did last week against the Rams, or throwing an interception when he forced a ball against St. Louis as well.

“The interception, we can put that on both of those guys (quarterback and receiver),’’ said offensive coordinator Adam Gase. “ … But he has to protect the ball, he knows that’s his number one priority.”