Once Training Camp gets underway for the Broncos, all the focus will once again be on quarterback Peyton Manning. Now entering his 18th season in the NFL, Manning already has had a roller coaster of an offseason. First he was recovering from a torn quad that he suffered during the season. Then there was the retirement talk, apparent trade talks with the Houston Texans, and then an eventual four-million dollar pay cut. Now with all that behind him, Manning is ready to focus on the upcoming season.
However, Manning does not come without some serious questions and concerns. First off, he is now 39 years old. His best days are probably behind him and he very well could be playing his final season in the NFL.
Another question will be how Manning plays in Head Coach Gary Kubiak's offense. Manning is expected to play under center more in 2015, and the run game figures to be more of a focus this year. It's unclear how well Manning will fit into this offense, but Manning recently said that he's "all in" for the new scheme.
"I'm committed, I'm all in on trying to make any adjustments that I have to and at the same time do some of the things that I've done well and hopefully keep doing those well and improve on things I need to improve on."
How well Manning is or isn't executing this offense during Camp will be something that everyone will be focusing on.
Another thing that will be watched is Manning's conditioning during camp. He worked with world renowned career extending coach this winter to help improve his conditioning. Also, expect to see Manning taking fewer snaps during Camp.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak is focused on giving his veteran players some extra rest and allowing his younger players taking some extra reps.
"I want to practice at least one day with those other guys sitting because I just think it’s important. You’ll probably see some of that in training camp, too. I think the NFL season is a long grind. How you go about keeping guys healthy is a tough deal and a tough assignment. Also how you go about getting young guys involved with your team—the only way I know how to do that is give them practice time."
Now Manning isn't the only storyline to watch at the quarterback position. Quarterback Brock Osweiler is probably heading into his most important Training Camp of his career.
The fourth-year player is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and will need to impress General Manager John Elway and new Head Coach Gary Kubiak if he wants to get a contract extension from the team.
This could be Virgil Green's year to shine.
•Mile High ReportI see a Peyton Manning touchdown pass in Virgil Green's future.
With Kubiak planning on resting Manning some during Training Camp, Osweiler will be getting the most reps that he has ever had this camp. This is something that excites Osweiler.
First of all, I absolutely love it. I’m getting more reps than I’ve ever gotten as a Bronco. Peyton is out and I split time with Zac. I’m getting twice what I usually get. It’s very valuable to a new player, and especially in a new offense. You can only study so much in the classroom. You need to get out to the grass and you need to go out there and run those plays. The more reps you can get, the better you’re going to be."
These extra reps figure to be very beneficial to Osweiler.
The battle for probably the final quarterback position will come down to Zac Dysert and rookie quarterback Trevor Siemian.
How both perform during Training Camp and the Preseason will the deciding factor on who stays. I believe the winner of this competition is destined to be on the Broncos practice squad.
Current Depth Chart:
|1st string||2nd string||3rd string||4th string|
|Peyton Manning||Brock Osweiler||Zac Dysert||Trevor Siemian|
Manning will be the starter for the Broncos this year. His spot on the roster is safe.
Osweiler is the Broncos "Quarterback of the future" and the backup to Peyton Manning. His spot on the depth chart and the roster is safe.
On the roster bubble:
Dysert's spot on the roster is shaky at best. He will be competing for probably the final quarterback spot with rookie Trevor Siemian.
It's possible that the new coaching staff will decide that they want to move forward with their guy instead of Dysert. A strong Training Camp and Preseason could really help him out.
The rookie is still recovering from a torn ACL. If he misses any portion of Camp because of his recovery it will really hamper his chances of making the team.
I ultimately believe that Siemian will be on the Broncos Practice Squad.
Depth chart prediction:
|First string||Second string|
|Peyton Manning||Brock Osweiler|
*Trevor Siemian makes the Broncos practice squad.
Quarterback Peyton Manning on learning Gary Kubiak's offense.
"I can tell you one thing: I am not bored in the least bit. I’m stimulated. I’m studying and I feel like I’m engaged and trying to learn something new from Gary Kubiak. I’m learning something new from Rick Dennison. I’m learning a little something from Owen Daniels. Anytime someone has a question of me, I’m glad to answer that about a route with Owen or James Casey. That has been the truth. I think change—instead of being stymied by any type of change, you can be stimulated by them. That’s been true for me and I think that’s been a real positive, to tell you the truth."