If Peyton Manning had his way, the Broncos would buck the growing trend toward having training camp at their regular facility.
Denver will open camp at its headquarters in Dove Valley for the 10th straight year, after previously going to the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
And as nice as it is, and convenient, Manning would rather go away for the summer.
“I do,” Manning told Mike Klis of the Denver Post. “I wish we went away. I know we stay there at the facility and we stay at a hotel. I’ve heard coach [John] Fox and John Elway talk about potentially [moving away] again. I think there’s something about going to a different site and just homing in on football.
“It’s not as long as it used to be, but there’s definitely some team bonding that occurs that I think can win a game for you down the line. Having breakfast with a guy, watching some film in the room with a guy; I think it helps.”
Manning acknowledged that not everyone shares his enthusiasm, which may stem from missing camp last year as well.
“I understand why linemen probably don’t enjoy it as much because they’re banging on each other,” Manning said. “Quarterbacks don’t get hit as much, so I probably have a little different point of view. But if you love football, which I do, you love training camp.”
There’s a constant debate about the merits of going away, and it’s swinging toward the stay-at-homes now.
With the Bengals bypassing their annual trip to Georgetown, Ky. to work at Paul Brown Stadium, 18 of the league’s 32 teams now have “camp” at the same place they have practice during the regular season.
In 2000, only five of the 31 teams stayed home. This year, the, Bills, Colts, Chiefs, Jets, Raiders, Steelers, Cardinals, Panthers, Bears, Cowboys, Packers, Vikings, Giants and Eagles will pack up and make the move.
The biggest hassle remains the logistics of a move, as teams have to pack up not just shoulder pads and helmets, but the entire weight room and training room, computers and copiers for the office and hundreds of little things you never think of such as sunscreen for the staff.
But the camaraderie you can build away from home is hard to replace. It’s no surprise Fox has mentioned leaving home to Manning, because he was always an advocate of camp when he coached the Panthers, who go 85 miles away to Wofford College every year.