Chris Schneider/Associated Press
There’s no question about Peyton Manning’s arm strength in practice. He’s been able to zip passes that two years ago (coming off four neck procedures) would have been nearly impossible.
Not only is the added arm strength noticeable to the media, but teammates are also commenting on Manning’s arm.
Demaryius Thomas dropped a pass in practice that Manning zipped in hot. Afterwards, Thomas explained the ball arrived much sooner than he was normally expecting.
Manning doesn’t have a rocket arm, but he can make every throw required in the NFL. With the addition of Emmanuel Sanders, we could see Manning fire more deep shots this season.
The veteran quarterback loves what he’s seen from Sanders so far.
“Emmanuel has come in and worked really hard. He is a guy that stays after practice every day, he is trying to improve his craft [and] he is trying to help the young guys. We certainly appreciate that about him. A veteran player with that kind of work ethic, I am excited about playing him this year.”
Per Broncos media policy, we can’t report on exactly how Sanders is being used. Let’s just say that Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase is being “very creative” with his new weapon.
Gase is pleased that Sanders (and rookie Cody Latimer) is staying after practice to work with Manning.
“I am sure they are enjoying it. There are a lot of things to cover and we can’t do everything in the meeting room and it is good for them to spend some time with him just to kind of get used to his mannerisms, how he operates at the line of scrimmage.” Gase concluded, “I don’t think anything is really going to [prepare them for] what it really is like until we get into those preseason games and they can understand the tempo of the way we play and how our no-huddle offense really works.”
In order to beat tough, physical defenses like those in Seattle or San Francisco the Broncos must do two things.
First, they must run the ball more effectively. When a defense is stacking the line of scrimmage to jam receivers in a spread set, an offense must be able to soften up an opponent up the gut.
Second, the Broncos must go vertical. Press-man or press-bail coverage near the line of scrimmage means a lot of one-on-one situations deep. Manning needs to take advantage of this look with vertical routes on both sides.
With Manning’s improved arm strength and speedy receivers like Sanders, Latimer and Demaryius Thomas, we could see the Broncos throw long early and often in 2014.