ENGLEWOOD, Colo.** – The Broncos returned to the practice field for Day 1 of their 2015 training camp under sunny skies and in front of over 4,000 cheering fans Friday morning.
While the fans injected energy and excitement into the atmosphere, practice remained focused as players worked on adjusting to Head Coach Gary Kubiak's way of running things.
On the first day back, Kubiak and his staff concentrated on getting the fundamentals down and building mental toughness while easing players back into practice mode. Tight end Owen Daniels, a mainstay in Kubiak's arsenal since he was drafted to the Texans in 2006, is well versed in Kubiak's ways.
"Physically, he's not going to do anything crazy to us the first couple days. We're going to build up to it," Daniels said. "Build up over that two hour mark. You watch our practice, we're constantly moving and it's more of a mental grind than physical grind right now."
After running through individual, seven-on-seven and some situational field goal drills, the Broncos dispersed for walkthroughs with helmets off for the remainder of practice.
"We went for about an hour and 40 minutes and then we backed off and walked through for about a half hour," Kubiak said. "I like the way we came back and [we had] a good frame of mind. One thing about football, once you get going, you get started real quick and it doesn't take long to realize you're back in the battle of camp. I think we just need to settle down and have a good camp."
One thing that is different than what Kubiak has done in the past is increase the number of daily meetings from two to three: One meeting in the morning, at lunch and a session after the second walkthrough in the evening.
"I think this team needs refreshers on our schemes and those type of things on a consistent basis," Kubiak said. "That is of big importance right now. But I think we've done a pretty good job. We just have some issues. Like Demaryius, he missed a whole offseason and obviously he's huge in our offense, so we have to catch him up. But for the most part, everybody's kept up pretty good."
Take a look through the lens at our best photos from Day 1 of Broncos 2015 Training Camp.
The Broncos have had a taste of Kubiak's practice philosophies during OTAs and minicamp this offseason, but that cannot compare to his expectations and the faster tempo of training camp.
The faster pace of Kubiak's practice not only affected the rookies and others still adjusting to the 'Mile High' elevation, but also veterans like Peyton Manning, who helps set that tempo with each snap.
"With Coach Kubiak you learn how he wants things during minicamp and OTAs and learn how he wants things here in training camp and there will be another adjustment when he gets to in season," Manning said. "We're trying to do what he's asking us to do and I though today was a good start to get that going."