ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – So far, so good at Dove Valley for the Denver Broncos with training camp under way.
With Peyton Manning in Denver the Broncos have become a national team with every move they make being chronicled, dissected and analyzed. A large crowd was on hand for the first day of training camp just to see Manning.
“I need this work in training camp and this is the first day,” Manning said. “I’m going to try to keep getting better every day, keep making progress … I still have rehab to do, which I’ll continue to do throughout training camp, probably continue to do throughout the season.”
There are more than 80 players on the field at Dove Valley, but everyone understands it’s Camp Manning and he’s under the microscope every second he’s out there.
“He looks good. He’s as accurate as he has been in the past, and I don’t expect anything less from him,” cornerback Champ Bailey said.
“I can see him getting a lot better, but right now, the way he’s throwing, the leadership he has in the huddles and the calls he’s making; it’s fun coming out every day,” wide receiver Eric Decker said. “That’s the biggest thing, is having enthusiasm coming out because camp can get long.”
When fans aren’t watching Manning, they’re checking out the defense. Everyone knows it has to get better — a lot better for the Broncos to get where they hope to go this season.
“We’ve got a lot of talent, but it’s all on paper right now. After this year we can see how much talent we really had,” defensive end Elvis Dumervil said. “As far as the starters, we’ve got a lot of depth with guys competing and it’s good for the team.”
“No spots are given to you. You have to come out here and earn them each and every day,” linebacker Joe Mays said. “The guys, they know that, so they’re definitely coming out hungry each and every day trying to get better.”
“We’ve got guys who came in and immediately complimented us, so I guess that is kind of a big change,” linebacker Wesley Woodyard said. “We’ve got some guys we’ve added to the secondary who are ball-hawks and make plays and some guys up front who are playing amazing. I think the biggest thing is that we’re healthy right now.”
Lightning forced the Broncos to practice indoors on Friday. Saturday was the first real milestone of camp — the first practice in pads. To the players it meant that football has really begun.
“It’s kind of like that first day when you’re going back to school,” wide receiver Brandon Stokley said. “It’s always fun, it’s exciting, and it’s always good to put the pads back on.”
“Once you starting hitting and everything, that really builds as a team because you know if this guy’s not going hard you’re going to try to make him better,” defensive tackle Mitch Unrein said. “If I’m not going hard somebody’s going to try to make me better.”
Practice is free and it’s open to the public.