After practice, Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos star quarterback, met with the media to discuss the first day of OTA's and his offseason work in the community. The first Day of OTA's is in the books and the countdown to the 2014 NFL season has begun.
On injured players getting back at it
People forget what the injury rehab is like after missing an entire season. To get back on the field is a monumental step.
On OTA's being voluntary
I think with the way the schedule is set up now, it’s a pretty restricted time that you’re allowed to be here with the coaches. So I think it’s good that our players have understood that it’s a limited amount of time, so it is important to be here during this time. We’re trying to put in the offense, trying to install it, trying to work on your timing with the newer players. You certainly would be disappointed if everybody was not here given that you’re only allowed a certain amount of time, so that certainly is a positive.
On his offseason charity work
Well, I certainly feel more comfrtoable with my surroundings here in Denver is. When I have more free time, it does allow for more work in the community ... and were proud to donate more than a $1 million to our charities.
On building chemistry with Emmanuel Sanders
On Wes Welker
Wes is a great guy to have in the locker room. He’s always upbeat, in a good mood. That’s a great quality to have. I think it’s kind of contagious. It spreads to other players. He can keep things light when you need it. If you’re in one of those grinding mode mentalities, he can find a way to get a smile on everybody’s face. As a teammate, certainly, kind of like Emmanuel, he came in here last year. We sort of started with our off campus work down there in North Carolina at Duke, like we did with Emmanuel this year. And I think that worked, really established a good foundation and we were able to build on it through these OTAs and into training camp. I don’t think Wes catches two touchdowns in the season opener if not for the offseason work. He obviously had a great year for us last year. He’s still a difficult matchup problem for teams and I know he’ll be even more comfortable here in year two, and I’m looking forward to playing with him. He’s a fun guy to play with.
On Aqib Talib
I didn’t see it live or anything but I’m excited to play with Talib. I’d much rather play with him than play against him, I’ll say that. So we’re glad to have him on the team and looking forward to him helping out the Broncos a lot this year.
On the offensive line shuffling
Obviously getting Ryan back is—that’s kind of like signing a free agent or having a top pick in the draft. He is the top left tackle out there and not playing with him last year, I thought our team did a great job stepping up, answering the bell, losing one of our best players. But it is certainly nice to have him back. And as far as Orlando making a move and Chris making a move, this is the time where you experiment. This is the time where you see guys in different positions. This is where you get guys out of their comfort zones and push them a little bit and see what they can do. Orlando’s been a solid player for us these past two years, so whether he stays a tackle or goes to guard, that’s probably to be determined. But he will be on the field and as a quarterback, I certainly like having Orlando on the field. He makes the quarterback feel comfortable back there.
On the free agent defensive players added to the roster
Yeah, obviously I’ve played against both of them. It’s nice knowing they’re wearing the same color jersey as you are for the most part. Obviously quarterbacks wear a little different colors right now but it’s nice knowing that DeMarcus will be on your team. I think Eli was not disappointed that DeMarcus was leaving the NFC East and coming to the AFC. We feel lucky to be adding a great player to our team. And Talib, I thought was probably the toughest corner that we played against last year, after going against him twice. And so any time you can add good players to your team, that’s what you’re looking for. We’re glad to have him. I’ve had a chance to spend some time with him. We’ve had some things that we’ve done together. Trying to get to know those guys and T.J. and Emmanuel, I think it’s a good time to get to know those guys, spend some time with them. Because you’re all going into a grind once the regular season gets here, so I’ve enjoyed getting to know those guys.