Raiders pregame notes -- Setting the scene

September 12, 2011, 11:18 pm
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comDENVER -- There are few settings in the NFL as picturesque as the home of the Denver Broncos.But almost as jarring as the scene is serene is the new corporate name of the Broncos' stadium -- Sports Authority Field at Mile High.It makes the Coliseum sound like a Ma and Pa B&B.But I digress.There are miniature American flags adorning virtually every seat in the 75,125-seat stadium, sure to be utilized for a 9-11 pregame ceremony. More than 100 police officers and firefighters from the Denver area will be on the field to pay tribute to "all first responders of the 911 tragedy that took place 10 years ago."Three-plus hours before kickoff, though, the only people on the field were the Broncos cheerleaders and while there were clouds in the sky, it was 84 degrees late in the afternoon.But after the Raiders arrived, the first three players on the field were tight ends Brandon Myers and Richard Gordon and defensive end Matt Shaughnessy and they played a game of catch that was as ugly as it was brief. The spirals were, well, not spirals at all.Then there was rookie head coach Hue Jackson and returning defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan getting their laps in.A curious sight was going down on the other side of the field, though, as Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, in shorts and T-shirt, was running patterns and catching passes. And looking good doing it. He made a one-handed grab in the end zone from about 15 yards out.The Raiders and Broncos are also making history as the most common matchup in Monday Night Football history. This is the 15th time the teams have met on MNF, besting the 14 times Washington and Dallas have met on this primetime stage. Chicago and Minnesota have et 12 times on MNF, as have Dallas and Philadelphia. Miami and the New York Jets have met 11 times.The Broncos hold an 8-6-1 series lead on MNF against the Raiders.Finally, here's a quote Raiders fans will get a kick out of, straight from the Broncos' Gameday magazine: "The Raiders are the one team I can say in our division everybody hates." - Broncos third-year defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely, who also coached in San Diego.Nunnely also gave the Raiders props for being "very talented" and "well-coached." So there.