The final preseason game might not mean much to Broncos fans, but to the team itself and to the “bubble” guys, the game is invaluable and indispensable.
The Broncos’ last preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday will give the second and third stringers plenty of time to shine. With just one monster play, a player can go from the cut-list to the final 53-man roster.
“It’s a great opportunity for those guys that maybe haven’t had as much playing time over the last couple of weeks,” John Fox said Wednesday afternoon. “Now they get that opportunity.”
For example, a guy like third string rookie quarterback Zac Dysert out of Miami University has the opportunity to secure a spot on the practice squad or even on the 53-man roster. It will be his second time playing in an NFL game. He played in week one against the 49ers and went 3-for-3 for 16 yards.
“Very, very excited for it,” Dysert said. “Very excited for the opportunity to get out there with the guys in a game-like environment and just to show people what I can do.”
Dysert played well in the team scrimmage, leading his group down the field and to a field goal. That’s why it’s important for the guys like Dysert, who show glimpses, to get a chance in extended time in preseason.
Of course, Brock Osweiler will see plenty of time against the Cardinals. He’s just one play away from being the team’s starting quarterback, and the extra reps are critical to the future of the franchise.
Osweiler got some reps with the starters last week against the Rams.
“I didn’t get a lot of reps with the ones during training camp, so for me to be able to go in there and get some time with those guys in a game situation, I think that will be a huge key if something was to happen in the future,” Osweiler said.
If the Broncos are up in the second half and Manning gets hurt and has to leave the game, Osweiler could easily steer this team to the game’s finish line and pick up the win. That’s why the reps in preseason are so important.
That’s why the fourth preseason game is so important. Preparation doesn’t come without work.