Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/30/12

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 10: John Fox Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers looks on during the game against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game on January 10, 2009 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

John Fox acknowledges his team is ahead of where it was this time last year, if for no other reason than OTA practices were wiped out by the lockout.

The Broncos reconvened Wednesday after taking a break over the Memorial Day weekend, and Fox conducted an up-tempo session. It also helps to have a veteran quarterback like Peyton Manning barking out instructions.

"No wasted time," running back Knowshon Moreno said about the pace of practice. "Everyone needs to know what they're doing and know where they need to be at every moment. We like that. We like that kind of leadership on this team, for sure."

This time is critical for teams like the Broncos, who are implementing several new pieces, from Manning to fellow free agents wide receiver Andre Caldwell and tight end Joel Dreessen. It's also a significant change back to a more pro-style offense after making a significant shift to accommodate Tim Tebow's style last season.

"We're making good progress. Guys are working at it hard," Fox said. "We've had excellent participation. We just have to continue to improve. Today we had a little bit to be desired, but I'm sure they'll get back in the flow of things for tomorrow."

To aid in the learning process, the Broncos are one of the teams making the transition to distributing playbooks and game film on iPads. Fox is a fan because it gives players the ability to wirelessly download new material away from the team's facility.

"It's pretty cool because if you're looking for a play, instead of thumbing through a million pages as thick as a dictionary, you just type the play you want in the search and it shows up. So it's pretty cool," Dreessen said.

While the focus on offense has been all the new additions, the secondary is under a lot of scrutiny on the other side of the ball. Veteran Brian Dawkins has moved on, and the team's youngsters struggled when pressed into duty in 2011. Mike Adams was signed in free agency, but the Broncos are also counting on a bounce back sophomore season from Rahim Moore, who's confidence plummeted along with his playing time as his rookie season wore on.

"I think any time you're dealing with rookies, I think it's a level jump," Fox said. "They'd be the first to tell you that it's bigger, stronger and faster (in the NFL) and it takes a little while to get used to. The second time around, their sophomore season, they feel way more comfortable.

"Again, you have to develop a pro body. This game is twice as long as the college game when you figure in the preseason as well as the playoffs. It takes a while. They are much further along and much more comfortable the second time around."

And there's a whole new crop of rookies getting their first taste of NFL practices.

"I don't know if it's slowed down enough to have a 'pinch-me moment,'" said quarterback Brock Osweiler. "You just have to try to pick up as much stuff as you can and just ride the wave and try to help the young guys out and just get better."

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