Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak came away from Monday’s OTA practice clearly disappointed. “I’ll be honest with you, we didn’t practice very well today” Kubiak said, “It wasn’t our best day, that’s for sure.”
Monday’s practice may very well have been the worst since Kubiak took the helm in January. Receivers dropped multiple passes, cornerbacks were called for multiple penalties, and the inexperienced Broncos offensive line struggled to hold blocks. “We were kind of sloppy,” Kubiak said.
However, it wasn’t all bad at Dove Valley on Monday. Quarterback Peyton Manning played spectacularly during his work under center, and of course, excelled when given the chance to play out of the shotgun.
“The only player who had any command out there today was Peyton Manning,” KKFN’s Darren McKee said, speaking about Monday’s practice. Coach Kubiak agreed. “He’s throwing the ball really well,” Kubiak said, “He’s getting real comfortable with what we’re doing.”
Manning, 39, entered OTAs after agreeing to take a four million dollar pay cut, the first such salary reduction of the five-time MVP’s career. The hiring of head coach Gary Kubiak only further complicated the situation with Manning.
Kubiak and Manning have been trying to “mesh” Manning and Kubiak’s very different offensive philosophies this offseason into something of a Frankenstein system that will, in theory, facilitate the kind of sustained postseason success that has eluded the Broncos during the Manning era.
Kubiak says he’s been impressed with both Manning’s on-field work, and his leadership in the Broncos locker-room. “He’s been steady with what he’s doing,” Kubiak said, “He’s had to work with some really young players…he’s doing well.”
Monday’s practice marked the first in the final week of offseason conditioning work, prior to the opening of training camp in late July. Players will work out until the end of the week, and then get several weeks off, before reporting to Dove Valley in July.