Jul 31, 2015; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) prepares to throw over quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp during training camp activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Oh what a difference a day makes.
The Denver Broncos were out in full force for training camp on Tuesday morning, and the team looked astronomically different thanks to the return of some key veteran players who were given the previous day off.
Peyton Manning, Von Miller, Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr., T.J. Ward, and Demarcus Ware were all back on the field and it made an incredible difference in the feel, flow, and pace of practice.
For my second and final day on site at Broncos camp, I was greeted by some familiar faces and friends throughout my writing career, including Mile High Report’s Jon Heath and BSN’s Rich Kurtzman. Here are some of the notes, observations, and musings from camp that I think you’ll enjoy…
Peyton Manning looks phenomenal
I can’t even really begin to quantify the difference between Peyton Manning and any other quarterback on the Broncos’ roster right now. That should go without saying, but when you watch a day of practice without a Hall of Fame quarterback and living legend and are able to compare it to a practice that he is leading, there’s really no comparison.
That’s not to say Brock Osweiler and the other signal callers were dreadful (though they had their moments), but Manning is simply on another level.
First and foremost, he looks healthy. It was clear at the end of last season that Manning wasn’t right, and as a result, he was overcompensating and easily frustrated. The Broncos were running through drills right over on the media’s side of the practice facility, and Manning looked as sharp as I’ve ever seen him.
The quarterbacks were going through a lot of movement drills, rollouts, and footwork drills, all of which Manning excelled. Not surprisingly, his passes on the run — as he stated — were money. The throws were from about 15 yards out or so, and they were practicing hitting receivers in the corner of the end zone on the same side of the field where they were rolling out.
Of course, against air, this drill was a piece of cake. They executed later in practice, where Manning had a couple of picks as well, but for the most part, he looked incredibly on point to me.
I was telling my friend Rich (of BSN) that the major difference I notice between Manning and other quarterbacks is, he knows exactly what to do in every situation and he always has an option before the snap. Even in this new offense, Manning seems to have a command of what the defense is going to give him before the snap and he can exploit that.
He knows when to rocket a pass in quickly (as he did to Owen Daniels and Andre Caldwell) or loft a pass out to a running back in the flat (as he did to C.J. Anderson). Manning also sees receivers open before they are even at the top of their route. He threw an absolutely gorgeous touchdown pass to Cody Latimer in the back of the end zone, and the ball was thrown before Latimer had even turned his head around to look for the ball.
All of a sudden, Manning’s perfect pass was waiting for Latimer, who made a beautiful catch.
Peyton Manning made the right choice coming back this season. He is a stud.
Next: Von Miller