Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas spoke to the media today after the team's practice. He was asked how he thought quarterback Peyton Manning looked, and he had some exciting comments about Manning and his arm strength.
"He's smiling. I feel like he's good. I don't know with the arm strength because I know I haven't caught a lot. I don't know if you all are going to believe what I say, but I think it's a little more zip on it. I don't know how he can do that. He's an older guy—one of the oldest guys on the team—but I feel like every year around this time, there's almost more zip on his ball. You can notice it. He threw a couple posts today, probably 50, 60 yards, and I'm like, 'Whoa.' It's making me excited."
Manning launched a bomb to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders during the early portions of today's practice. This play looked like something you saw from the Shanahan/Kubiak offenses in the late 90's and early 2000's.
Obviously this is great news for the Broncos and Manning. His arm strength really began to decline at the end of the 2014 season. It was hard to tell if it was because of his injury, wear and tear, decline, or a combination of all of them. So it's great to see that Manning can sling it when he needs to.
Now the big question here is if he can keep this arm strength throughout the season. Manning clearly has been working on his conditioning this offseason, so that could help. Also, the more balanced offense and rest Manning is expected to get this year could help keep his arm fresh.
The Broncos postseason success may once again rely on how well Manning's arm looks in December, January, and hopefully February.