ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --As promised by Head Coach Gary Kubiak, quarterback Peyton Manning will receive rest days at training camp -- beginning with Monday's full-pad practice, the Broncos' first of the summer.
"Peyton needs his break," Kubiak said Sunday.
Monday morning's full-pad practice will be the first of these, giving the first-team work to Brock Osweiler and bumping up the workload for backups Zac Dysert and Trevor Siemian.
"It's not just Brock today. It's other guys," Kubiak told KRFX-FM (103.5) Monday morning. "I want to see how they respond.
"I'm going to give six or seven guys a break today," he added. "That's the plan we've had in place this offseason.
Kubiak rested Manning and other veterans during OTAs and minicamp. He said he planned to continue this practice during training camp, following the pattern the Baltimore Ravens use with many of their key veterans.
It has the double advantage of keeping seasoned players fresh while giving young players crucial repetitions to help them build experience and confidence.
This is a new experience for Manning, whose voracious appetite for practice work is the stuff of legend. Kubiak said last Thursday that he planned to monitor Manning's work, just as he did throughout the offseason.
"I think that he responded really well in the off-season program about not working every day," Kubiak said Thursday. "I think that his arm looked really good. I thought, physically, looked really good, and I want to stay that course. I think that it will be good for him and good for the team."
And good for Osweiler in particular.
" think those will be big days for him," Kubiak said Sunday. "He's improving. I want his feet to continue to improve. I think if his feet improve, he'll be a better player, and it's something I'm staying on him about."
Executive Vice President/General Manager John Elway, who flourished in a similar offense with similar rest days at age 38 in 1998, thinks the respites will help Manning, as well.
"I think that he realizes where he is, so I think he's getting a lot better at understanding what his body can and can't do," Elway said. "Our mind thinks that our body can always do it. No matter if you're 55 like I am or 39, you still think you can do certain things. And you just can't do that. I think he understands that situation and he'll be good with it."
Day 3 of training camp was highlighted by Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas running routes with two kids and a visit from Mayor Hancock. (All photos by Eric Lars Bakke)