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2015 Broncos OTAs: Day 1 news and notes

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The Broncos are doing football things!

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Day one of the 2015 Denver Broncos organized team activities kicked off today with three key linebackers sitting out of today's practice. Starting inside linebackers Brandon Marshall (foot) and Danny Trevathan (leg) both sat out of today's practice as they recover from injuries. Joining them is the Broncos' first-round draft choice Shane Ray (toe), who is also recovering from an injury.

Trevathan is recovering from multiple leg injuries last season that sidelined him for the majority of the 2014 season. Marshall underwent surgery on a Lis franc injury earlier this spring and is recovering nicely. Ray is recovering from a turf toe-type injury and should be good to go soon. All three of these guys are expected to be healthy or close to returning by Training Camp.

Running back competition:

ESPN Denver's Cecil Lammey was on hand to watch the Broncos participate in today's OTA practice. According to Lammey, the Broncos running backs had an up-and-down practice session.

It's good to hear Ball looks more agile this season, but I share Lammey's concerns about the running back. His indecisiveness as a runner really stood out to me in 2014. He looked like he was thinking too much instead of reacting and hitting the hole. This will be something he will need to work on this season.

Lammey also had some negative things to say about Ronnie Hillman, adding he "looks odd in the zone-blocking scheme" and also questions his decisiveness and patience as a runner.

I figured Hillman's running style would fit in well with Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme, but it's still very early in the process.

Now for some good news. Remember when former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase called running back C.J. Anderson chubby? Well, Anderson showed up to OTAs looking very un-chubby apparently.

Anderson is going to have a great season. I cannot wait to see him running in Gary Kubiak's offense.

The competition for the No. 2 running back position is up for grabs, but it appears that Juwan Thompson might have the very early lead for the spot. Lammey said Thompson showed well today, mentioning Thompson's powerful running style, how well he sees the field, and how decisive he is as a runner.

I agree with everything Lammey has to say about Thompson, and I believe No 40's running style fits in perfectly with Kubiak's offensive system.

Kubiak hopes to hear something about Antonio Smith in a "week or two:"

While Smith is dealing with his off-the-field legal matters, he has been excused from OTA practices.

Manning getting work under center:

According to the Denver Post's Troy Renck, quarterback Peyton Manning was seen taking reps from under center during today's practice session.

These are some much-needed reps for Manning. As Renck said, Manning was uncomfortable under center last season because of the lack of practice in that position. Now with Kubiak's offense asking the quarterback to work under center more, Manning will need to get as many reps as possible.

USA Today's Lindsay Jones also noticed how much Manning was under center. She called it the most noticeable difference to the Broncos offense thus far.

This will be a storyline to keep an eye on all summer.

Sambrailo impressing early on:

According to Lammey, rookie offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo compares to Louis Vasquez.

Lammey says he would be "shocked" if Sambrailo wasn't the team's starting right tackle Week One.

I like hearing about Sambrailo's strong punch and mean streak. If this holds true throughout training camp and into the season, the Broncos could have a pretty intimidating right side of their offensive line.