Okay, so that’s not exactly breaking news, but when a quarterback’s passing prowess leads the local evening newscasts, you know it’s a big deal. The Denver Broncos kicked off the first day of their three-day OTAs, and not surprisingly, Peyton Manning’s right arm – and surgically repaired neck – stole the show. The good news for Broncos fans: Manning’s throws looked as sharp as ever before.
What’s good news for Denver could prove ominous for the AFC West and the Broncos’ 2012 opponents. Sorry, foes. (Actually, no I’m not. Not at all.) Let’s not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but Manning looked like Manning, only now wearing a darker shade of blue. He was poised under center with complete command of the offense, showcasing an array of accurate passes. And it was awesome. Manning said of his first OTA as a Bronco to DenverBroncos.com:
“I do think there’s a difference when you’re on the field in helmets going against the defense. Up until now we haven’t been able to go against the defense, so this will be great work for me. Going against Champ Bailey, Von Miller, Elvis (Dumervil), (Tracy) Porter, Drayton Florence we just signed — we’ve got three great cover corners to work against. Until now we’ve been kind of just throwing passes versus air. You can work on your timing with the receivers, but really it’s a great test to go against these corners. I’m looking forward to it and I’ll try to use all these practices to see where I am and get better each time.”
Nearly 60 media members showed up to watch Manning’s first “official” snaps with his new team. Manning has organized several informal throwing sessions with his receiving corps. Cornerback Champ Bailey, who hopes to catch a few of those Manning throws in practice and training camp, summed it up best:
“From what I see right now, the guy hasn’t missed a beat. I knew it just watching him before the OTAs started that he was going to look good this week.”
The OTAs are voluntary. The Broncos hold another three-day of OTAs next week, with a four-day session in early June.