The Broncos were already breaking team records during the first day of workouts as a team as the practice drew a rousing crowd of 58 members of the media on Monday. Manning dazzled with his zip on passes and accuracy throwing the ball.
Head coach John Fox was impressed with Manning and his continual improvement during this offseason, saying: "He's getting better every day. His progress has been outstanding. We're excited where he is. I think he's pretty good right now, and we think he'll get better. He definitely raises all boats, that's for sure. That's not just with the young players, but with the veterans."
Manning took charge of the practice and led the team through several drills even as the new "kid" on the block.
Manning's take on the first day of practice as a team was equally as pleased with his development, where the team is at and all that is coming together for the Broncos even so early in the offseason.
"I thought the tempo of the practice was excellent; guys flying around, fast-moving practice, upbeat," Manning said. "That's the way that I like to work, and it was good to see that from everybody today."
Manning brings to the Broncos an up-tempo attitude and expects the guys around him to produce every repetition, even during practice. He sees the work put in during the offseason just as valuable, if not more valuable than the work during games every Sunday, saying:
It felt good to be out there. I haven't really been out there like this for a year and a half. It's a day I've been waiting on for a long time. I've always believed you develop your timing for the passing game in the offseason. You can't just show up in September and expect to be on the same page. Offseason workouts, it's a great time to make an impression on the coaches. Coaches are always evaluating, so there are a lot of benefits from this work.
The Broncos now are building a foundation for their success in the future. However, just because Denver has Peyton Manning doesn't necessarily guarantee instant success. It will be the work put in before games start and in the film room that most people forget about that will make the difference when the pressure is on.
Not only did Manning sling the ball around to some new faces, but he already has assumed a role of leadership on the team and on the field to direct the offense, his receivers, move the drills along—living up to his reputation as a "field general" in only the first full practice with all the team in 2012. Not only are his receivers taking notice, but veterans on the other side of the ball such as Champ Bailey are loving what they see.
"I love to see that," Champ Bailey said. "For a guy to have that much confidence in knowing what everyone is supposed to do and expecting nothing but perfection from the guys around him, it's amazing to see."
So after a hard day's work at the office, how does a superstar like Peyton Manning react and respond to the numerous questions the media asked him after his first day of OTAs? With jest, of course.
One media reporter asked how it felt to look up to a rookie QB like Brock Osweiler. Shaking his head, probably thinking, "I can't believe this idiot just asked me that," Manning's retort was, "That happens to you all your life, probably. You set yourself up for that one.”
Check out the video of Manning making fun of the media guy here.
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