DENVER (CBS4) – With less than five months until Week 1 of the NFL’s regular seaon, Peyton Manning knows a lot of work has to be done in a small window of time when it comes to building the chemistry of this year’s Denver Broncos.
Manning made his first public appearance in Denver since February’s devastating Super Bowl loss when he spoke Wednesday morning at the Boy Scouts of America Denver Area Council’s annual Sports Breakfast.
And he’s talking like a quarterback who is on a mission to bring his team back to another Super Bowl, and maybe win it this time around.
“You have to move forward,” Manning said of the 43-8 Super Bowl loss to the Seattle Seahawks. “You have to kind of reestablish your identity as the 2014 team. 2013 was a good season in a lot of ways. There’s no question it didn’t end the way we wanted it to. But we have to try to find a way to build on that and take it a step further to finish.”
Manning said he expects he and his teammates will “use that loss to fuel us this offseason.”
The Broncos assemble Monday at the team’s headquarters in Englewood for the start of their offseason conditioning program, but Manning has already spent some time throwing to some of his receivers this offseason.
Earlier this month Manning worked out with Demaryius Thomas, Bubba Caldwell, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at Duke University in North Carolina. Sanders is the new face in the receiving corps who the Broncos signed during free agency.
“It was good to get some good work with him,” Manning said.
Manning described the Duke workouts as a “good kickstart to the offseason.”
Manning and the Broncos will be reestabling their identity in the upcoming months with lots of new faces, and many players from last year missing.
“We lost some great players and some great friends,” Manning said of the free agency period. “It has been a real pleasure to play over the last two years with Champ Bailey, Knowshon Moreno, Eric Decker, Wesley Woodyard, Chris Kuper retiring … Zane Beadles, who has been great,” he said. “That’s the worst part about football is when you form some friendships with these guys and put a lot of hard work in and the business side comes into play.”
One of the most notable new members of the Broncos is pass rusher and sack specialist DeMarcus Ware, the former Dallas Cowboy. Manning said his brother Eli told him he’s glad Ware won’t be in the same division as Eli’s New York Giants anymore.
“I know Eli told me he was glad DeMarcus Ware was leaving his division. He can no longer hit him and I’m glad he’s on my team,” Manning said.
Manning also said he’s looking forward to the return of injured players Von Miller, Derek Wolfe and Ryan Clady.
“It will be nice to get some of the guys that were injured and get them back on the field to go along with some of the new players that we’ve added,” Manning said.