Broncos crank up the volume for practice


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In the effort to find even more touchdowns for an offense that scored more than any other in league history last season, and to perhaps stop a few more on defense, the Denver Broncos have turned to …

Lil Wayne.

And Dierks Bentley. That’s to go with Nikki Minaj, Carl Douglas, Ozzy Osbourne and whatever else comes out of the industrial-sized speaker just beyond the end zone of one of their practice fields.

The Broncos have ditched recordings of stadium crowds or jet engines and taken a page from most any adolescent who has rattled the folks next door and simply cranked up the music. The idea is to make it as difficult as possible for players on both sides of the ball to communicate.

“The main ingredient for it is the crowd noise,’’ Broncos coach John Fox said. “... We have kind of gone to this music versus I guess you’d call it jet engine noise, I’m not really sure. It’s more wordy, actually you have to focus a little bit more so that’s been our indication so far, we will see how it goes.’’

Offensive coordinator Adam Gase said it was Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas who mentioned offhand after an offseason workout that it was more difficult to concentrate when the music was piped through the speaker rather than the simulated crowd noise the team has used in the past.

Since then, the Broncos have gone with tunes, using a wide range of artists and musical genres with volume really being the only constant.

“It makes them focus more,’’ Fox said. “If they know the song, like the song, they have to concentrate on what they’re doing, whereas the just engine noise isn’t quite as distracting.’’

“[Thomas] was like, ‘It’s a little tougher when there are words behind it, we really have to focus on what Peyton [Manning]’s saying,’ so that kind of got us thinking that maybe there is something to this,’’ Gase said. “Now that we’ve started camp and working on our first road game, it’s really worked to our benefit.’’

The Broncos play their first preseason road game Sunday afternoon in the San Francisco 49ers' new stadium. The noise may help them prepare for their first regular-season road game -- a Week 3 trip to Seattle -- considered the loudest outdoor venue in the NFL.