The Denver Broncos started their 2012 campaign last week with as much fanfare and excitement as any other team in the NFL. ESPN and NFL Network zeroed in on Dove Valley during the first few days of training camp, and the record crowds in attendance proved that Broncos Country is expecting great things during the Peyton Manning era.
The first thing everyone wanted to see was how Manning looked in his first real practices since he last played for the Colts during the 2010 season, and he didn’t disappoint. Manning has looked sharp during camp so far and isn’t showing any ill effects from the neck injury that cost him an entire season. It was quite the sight watching Manning run onto the practice field in a Broncos jersey. That’s something that Broncos Country is not going to get tired of seeing any time soon.
Outside of Peyton Manning, the most exciting news I’ve heard so far has been Ronnie Hillman emerging as an early candidate to back up Willis McGahee, and the positive reaction of the defensive players to Jack Del Rio. Hillman is going to be an impact player immediately, and he has a chance to be a Darren Sproles-like player for the Broncos. It sounds like Del Rio is relating well to his players and that they already believe in him. I feel Del Rio is going to be a difference maker on the defensive side of the ball and will take them to the next level very quickly.
It seems like Ben Garland is making some headway at camp and has a real chance to make the team this year. I’m rooting for young players on the defensive line like Garland and Derek Wolfe because Denver needs players to step up in the trenches.
The first preseason game at Chicago will be played on Thursday, August 9th, and it will probably be one of the highest rated preseason games of all time. I’m excited to see Manning get some game action and take a few hits. It will be great to hear the national media quit talking about Manning’s neck surgeries and talk about how amazingly he’s throwing the ball. Mile High Monday will be back after that game breaking it all down. Until then, stick with PredominantlyOrange.com for complete 2012 training camp coverage!