There was a record-setting 4,372 fans that stepped inside the gates at Dove Valley Thursday morning to watch the Denver Broncos’ first practice. That set a team training camp attendance record. Tebowmania what?
“I don’t think we’d ever have to incorporate fake crowd noise out here if we wanted to work on playing on the road,” Peyton Manning said after practice. “This crowd could handle it for us.”
The throngs of orange and blue clad fans got to watch an up-tempo practice under the strong Colorado sun.
“We operated on a play number more so than a time period, and we were about six minutes ahead of schedule, so I think that’s the advantage of having the OTA’s and the off season program,” head coach John Fox said. “Guys are a little more acclimated to the tempo and the scheme.”
The Broncos had about five weeks off prior to Thursday’s practice, but Manning said that you could tell that the guys kept to a strict training regimen.
“It was a good first day,” Manning said. “You can tell guys have been working. Guys have continued their training since we broke OTA’s. That month that you kind of have off they encourage you to get away a little bit, get your mind right, but you have to keep training. I can tell guys have been doing that.”
You can count on the young players listening to Manning’s words. There are plenty of veterans on the team as well as former players willing to dish out good advice. In fact, former Broncos safety John Lynch gave a motivational speech Wednesday night about player needing to play better than they ever have before.
Not only do the young players benefit from veterans’ advice, but Manning said that the older guys benefit from the younger ones’ spunk.
“I like being around our young players,” Manning said. “They’re all young compared to me, but I know (Brandon) Stokley and I were talking, and it’s fun being around these guys that are 22, 23 (years old). It keeps you kind of feeling young and feeling into it. It’s humbling at times when they tell you they enjoy watching you play on ESPN Classic.”
Manning had to smile after making that statement. As for us, here in Broncos Country, we’re smiling because the Broncos are officially back to work.