ENGLEWOOD, Colo.** – In the wake of Head Coach Gary Kubiak's announcement that Peyton Manning will serve as his backup, quarterback Brock Osweiler appeared calm and collected at his Wednesday media availability.
That says a lot, considering Osweiler probably knows a considerable amount of focus will surround the Broncos' decision to start Osweiler over Manning, who will be in uniform if he makes it through this week's practice work.
"I'm not really going to think about how the backup is this week," Osweiler said. "My focus is 100 percent on the Chargers' defense and doing whatever I can to prepare to go win a football game."
But like most passionate athletes, he couldn't help but be honored by Kubiak's decision.
"Obviously it means a lot," Osweiler said. "It shows I think that Coach believes in me, but once again, that's not where my focus is. Like I've said before, whether I'm the starter, whether I'm the backup, I'm going to prepare the same exact way. I'm going to give this team everything I have every single week.
"Certainly to answer your question, yes, it means a lot, but that's not really where my focus is. It feels good, but at the same time, I have a job to do this week. That's where my focus is this week."
While the Broncos may have already punched a ticket to the playoffs, the Chargers stand in the way of a first-round bye and the AFC West title.
Practice during this short week will be crucial as the Broncos come off an overtime Monday Night Football matchup, leading to a short week that included an altered practice schedule. The Chargers are coming off a Thursday Night Football showing, leaving a 10-day gap between games.
"Obviously we're on a short week this week, but nobody is acting like that," Osweiler said. "Nobody is acting like they're tired. Nobody is acting like they're beat up. In fact, there is an extreme focus and energy throughout the building right now. Everybody understands what is at stake on Sunday, and the focus is really great right now."
The Broncos secured a playoff spot in a thrilling overtime win against the Bengals.
There was concern for Osweiler's health coming out of the Broncos' Week 15 game in Pittsburgh when he injured his non-throwing shoulder. Against the Bengals on Monday, Osweiler hurt the elbow on the same arm, but he says not to worry about him.
"I feel great. I really do," he said. "Like I've said before, a lot of guys are beat up this time of year. At the same time, as far as my personal injuries, I feel great. I'm very excited to go play this Sunday."