In front of an enthusiastic and massive crowd that spilled into the second and third decks, the Broncos had the closest thing to an actual game, working in team situations for most of a 90-minute practice Saturday.

The goal was to get in a good practice, but when the Broncos saw more than half the stadium's seats occupied for a practice, they realized they wanted to put on a show. QB Peyton Manning figured that out after settling for five dump-offs to begin a 7-on-7 period, causing him to change the script for the next pass.

"I could tell during the 7-on-7 early on that throwing the short passes wasn't real exciting for the crowd," Manning said. "So the last play of my 7-on-7, I actually changed that play to a deep pass just to try to keep the fans from leaving, I guess."

It worked from a practical and aesthetic perspective when he found WR Andre Caldwell for a 40-yard gain.

But when the Broncos' OL was added to the mix during a team period, the offense had its hiccups.  Although Manning avoided a sack during his plays, backup Caleb Hanie was taken down by DE Elvis Dumervil. Reserves Adam Weber and Brock Osweiler were under a siege that was only mitigated by the Broncos' desire to avoid injuries. On one play, rookie Derek Wolfe had missile lock on Hanie, but pulled up about four yards short.

"Well, we need our quarterback," Dumervil said.

Banged up: MLB Joe Mays appeared roughed up after a collision but returned after one play. RB Mario Fannin left with a left leg injury. He needed assistance to leave the field and could not put any weight on the leg. TE Anthony Miller absorbed a hit from CB Syd'Quan Thompson on the last play of the day and was slow to get up.

Massive crowd: The Broncos drew a team-record 41,304 for the scrimmage -- nearly double the previous mark of 20,782, set at the 2010 stadium practice.  This crowd was not only larger but more supportive. At the 2010 scrimmage, many fans spent much of the evening jeering then-starter Kyle Orton.

For up-to-the-minute Broncos updates, follow Andrew Mason on Twitter at @CBSSportsNFLDEN and @MaxBroncos.