Peyton Manning made his official practice debut as a member of the Denver Broncos today, and Denver coach John Fox liked what he saw.
“He’s getting better every day,” Fox said, via the Denver Post. “His progress has been outstanding. We’re excited where he is. I think he’s pretty good right now, and we think he’ll get better. He definitely raises all boats, that’s for sure. That’s not just with the young players, but with the veterans.”
In footage from the Broncos’ organized team activities, Manning appeared to be throwing and running well and showing no ill-effects from the multiple neck procedures he had last year, forcing him to miss the entire 2011 season. We won’t see how well Manning can take a hit until the preseason begins, but we have seen that Manning can take a snap, drop back and pass looking more or less the way he has always looked.
Manning said he is developing a rapport with receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, and he believes that, more than his own progress in recovery from last year’s neck injury, the Broncos are making progress as a team.
“It felt good to be out there. I haven’t really been out there like this for a year and a half. It’s a day I’ve been waiting on for a long time,” Manning said. “I’ve always believed you develop your timing for the passing game in the offseason. You can’t just show up in September and expect to be on the same page. Offseason workouts, it’s a great time to make an impression on the coaches. Coaches are always evaluating, so there are a lot of benefits from this work.”
Fox’s evaluation of Manning after one day on the practice field sounds like good news for the Broncos.