As Broncos’ players filed into Dove Valley Wednesday, we heard plenty of questions from the media about Von Miller and his four-game suspension. While everyone would have liked more of an explanation about the situation, we still got some good sound bytes about what’s happening on the field this year.
Wes Welker? He tried to explain the difference between a Peyton Manning pass and a Tom Brady pass.
“They’re both spectacular, so I don’t think there’s too much of a difference between them,” Welker said. “It’s like comparing Picasso and Michelangelo. It’s hard to compare the two.”
As for whether Welker is more a Picasso guy than a Michelangelo guy, Welker didn’t know. The fine art analogy is a good one though. Welker couldn’t have landed in a better spot. New England didn’t see a need for him anymore (are they kicking themselves yet?), and the Broncos needed a proven and younger slot receiver with big-time production.
Welker has been through plenty of camps, but this one brings a new challenge: Adjusting to the altitude.
“I’ve been in Oklahoma City for the past week, 10 days,” Welker said. “The humidity’s been pretty bad there so I’m hoping that helps me out a little bit and maybe off sets everything, but definitely, the altitude is something that you’ve got to overcome and we’ll see as we get going.”
One guy Welker will get more familiar with in training camp is none other than cornerback Champ Bailey. There was some talk about moving Bailey to safety after the devastating loss to the Ravens in January.
“I’m still Champ,” Bailey said. “Don’t get me wrong. I still can play this game at a high level and I believe in myself 100% just as much as when I was 25. There’s no challenge put in front of me that I won’t take on like a man and go out there and try to do the best that I can. I believe in myself and only time will tell if I need to move or anything like that.”
Bailey looks at this season with the Broncos as his only shot to win a Super Bowl. That’s not to say he’s retiring at the end of the season, but he knows that at his age, every game given to him is a blessing.
Bailey will get to line up against Peyton Manning for a second year, so the right question was asked: Does Bailey, one of the best corners to ever play, find it easier to read Manning’s passes?
“No. It’s really not,” Bailey said. “We pick up on little things, but not enough to make us too effective. He’s great. He’s one of the greatest, probably the greatest ever to do it. I expect that from him, and even now that he’s more comfortable, it’s going to be tougher this year.”
The guy protecting Manning’s blindside just inked a new five-year contract worth $57.5 million before camp started despite undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.
“I’m not 100 percent, but it’s getting there as I ease into camp,” Ryan Clady said of his shoulder.
John Fox said that he would be better able to tell everyone about Clady’s status for camp after he gets the results of the physicals, but he expects Clady to take it slow initially.
Clady said after he signed his new contract, Manning sent a “Congratulations” text and told him that they have some work to do this season. As for is Clady had any regrets about turning down the Broncos’ offer last year, he said, ”Maybe towards the end of the season when my shoulder was banged up, I was maybe regretting it a little bit.”
That’s the recap from the Broncos’ first unofficial day at training camp. The team officially kicks things off tomorrow on the field, where words mean much less.