Not to say it's been a while since Broncos fans last watched Quinton Carter, but the last time he was on the field, Brian Dawkins was his safety partner.

It's been so long since Carter last played, Tim Tebow was the Broncos' starting quarterback.

A lifetime ago in NFL years.

"It feels like a long time in one sense," Carter said Thursday after the Broncos' final minicamp practice. "But it also feels like riding a bike. You get back out there, you get used to it, and sooner or later, it's exactly how it was."

Carter has been one of the feel-good stories of the Broncos' offseason. After missing most of the past two seasons with a knee injury that required a microfracture procedure and strenuous rehabilitation to repair, Carter has been getting strong safety reps with the Broncos' first-string nickel defense. And with the Broncos giving T.J. Ward some rest Thursday, Carter got every rep on the base defense.

"Rod Woodson told me today he had the same procedure and he played 14 years after that," Carter said, referring to the Hall of Fame defensive back who was a guest coaching instructor during the Broncos' minicamp. "I've been away from it for a while, just working. It is great to be out there and getting the opportunity and I'm thankful for it."

Behind the Broncos' practice fields, a new 85,000 square-foot indoor practice facility is getting stronger with iron every day. They should call it The House That Quinton Carter Built.

Selected by the Broncos in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, Carter started 10 games as a rookie, then two more in the playoffs when he intercepted Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady in consecutive games.