Originally posted on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 5/2/12

INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 24: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts under center during the first half against the New York Jets during the AFC Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 24, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Jets 30-17. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Peyton Manning works out in Denver outside Dove Valley shortly after signing with the Denver Broncos. (John Leyba/The Denver Post)

With the 2012 draft complete, the Denver Broncos moved into the second phase of their 2012 offseason program Wednesday — organized workouts at the Broncos facility.

That’s right folks, we’re talking about practice. Almost.

And even though the Broncos are without pads and can’t even square off offense vs. defense at these workouts, it’s pretty damn exciting. Peyton Manning is in the building, people.

Until now, Manning has had to work offsite and without the involvement of any coaches employed by the Denver Broncos Football Club. Now, the free agent quarterback can work at Dove Valley and be monitored by said Broncos employees. He can throw in individualized drills to his wide receivers. Coaches can discuss plays and the playbook, and film work can begin.

“It was great, it felt like a practice almost,” wide receiver Brandon Stokley told The Denver Post Wednesday. “You’re kind of able to start realizing what you have as a group. It’s nice to have [the coaches] out there.”

I’m sure the feeling is mutual from John Fox and QB Coach Adam Gase. They each must have been chomping at the bit to get some actual work done with Manning these past six weeks.

Mini-Camp and OTA’s

“Practice almost” is nice, but “Practice for reals” is just around the corner. On May 21, the Broncos can being Phase Three of their offseason workouts — Organized Team Activities (OTA’s). These are still held without pads, but the workouts can include team drills. These practices last four weeks, according to the Chiefs website:

  • Week One (beginning May 21) – Up to three practices.
  • Week Two – Up to three practices.
  • Week Three – Up to four practices.
  • Week Four – Mini-Camp. Three mandatory practices.

A special mini-camp for rookies can be held before OTA’s begin, but otherwise these workouts are restricted to veteran players under contract.

It feels good to have a real NFL offseason again. It feels even better knowing your quarterback is the type of player who won’t miss a single voluntary workout, and the type of leader where that work ethic trickles down.


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