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Setting the Tone

Posted Jan 29, 2014

The Broncos' padded practice on Wednesday will help set the tone for the final days of Super Bowl preparation.

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Wednesday.

It's typically the day that kicks off on-field preparation for the upcoming opponent. That's no different for the Super Bowl.

Except that the Broncos spent last week preparing for the Seahawks as well.

"Obviously, the two weeks of preparation is a little bit of a minefield from the standpoint of you don’t do it any other time during the season, and so we call it a reverse bye week," Head Coach John Fox said.

For that reason, quarterback Peyton Manning explained that there's always the threat of "overpreparing" for the opponent.

"I think you can as you watch some of the same Seattle game film for the fourth and fifth time," he said. "It is easy to be able to go, 'Well, I know we had this play and it's good — what if we just put this guy on a different route?' It was a great play last week, but now you get to this week and you feel like you have to change something. You have to fight against it."

That's not to say that Manning and the rest of the offensive players won't have conversations with Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase about potentially adding wrinkles to plays here and there.

"Sometimes there is a good idea that pops up this week on a Wednesday or Thursday and you want to put it in, and it might convert a third down for you or be a touchdown pass for you," Manning said. "But I think it's important to also go with some of the core things that got you here. You want to be able to be sure you're staying on top of those plays."

Regardless, Wednesday's practice -- which will be held in full pads -- will be a tone-setter for the remainder of the week of practice.

But Manning said it's not necessarily up to him to set that tone. In fact, he hopes it's not.

"On the practice field, I certainly would be disappointed if I had to set the tone, because I feel like our guys have practiced well all year," he said. "It's been a big reason why we've been able to play well on Sundays. Guys have been into practice. They were into it last week. I think last week is a challenge to have good practices because you've got stuff going on — people are trying to do tickets and all those kinds of things. But our practices were up-tempo, focused last week, which I was real pleased with as a quarterback. I certainly expect that same intensity and up-tempo practices to take place starting today. I think that'll be important."

The focused intensity will start in the offensive and defensive meetings that the team will hold prior to the start of practice. Manning said he expects that Gase -- and Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio on the other side of the ball -- will set the tone for what is to come.

Then it's all about going out and executing.

"This will be an important practice today," Manning said. "It's the first practice of what a normal game week would be like. We need to hopefully carry over the good practices we had last week to this week. You're not practicing at your own facility, at the Jets facility, different surroundings, and guys need to keep the focus. I thought it was a good day Monday. Hopefully we can continue that practice today."

As for the quarterback himself, he feels good.

"We had a good week of practice last week, we were able to get a lot of work in yet try to get refreshed," he said. "For whatever week of the season we're in -- 20, 21 -- for a 37-year-old quarterback, I actually feel pretty good."