Take a look at the Broncos' first practice of this week's minicamp.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos' three-day mandatory minicamp began on Tuesday. Defensive end DeMarcus Ware calls minicamp the "steak and potatoes" of preparing for the season.
Ware has been looking forward to minicamp and after workouts and the start of OTAs, he now feels like he is now truly a part of the Broncos.
"You go about six months, five months without really running around out here on the field, not being around the guys, and now you're getting the gist of here's what you've been waiting for, for a while," Ware said. "Everything's kicking back off again, you're knocking the dust off and getting ready for this season."
He said when you join a new team, it takes time to learn the other players and find out where you fit in. Ware said the team is back to "grind time" and he was happy with how they practiced today.
Quarterback Peyton Manning said the biggest difference between OTAs and minicamp is the amount of time on the field. He also noted that these three days allow for more teaching opportunities.
"Obviously we had more time to be over here to watch the film of today's practice this afternoon, correct that, and then go into a late afternoon walk through where you can slow things down and do a little more teaching," Manning said. "You're allowed more time, which I think it's important to take advantage of it. There's definitely, because of the time, it's different than OTAs."
Head Coach John Fox said there isn't a vast difference between what the team can accomplish in OTAs versus minicamp. He said the focus right now is to improve and further identify who the top 53 players are. He said minicamp gives the players the opportunity to compete and that minicamp is "always a fun time of year to get back on the grass."
Fox said the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) allows teams one real practice and a walkthrough practice with helmets.
"So they're similar but they're different schedules and they're all very good opportunities because you get a pretty live practice, going offense against defense on the field," he said.
It's too early for Fox to determine if the effects of the new CBA are positive, but he did say they that the changes are "good and needed."
Though OTAs weren't mandatory like minicamp is, the team's high participation in OTAs further decreases the discrepancy between the two.
"We're doing everything we can to improve in all three phases," Fox said. "Again, you've got to be a complete team to win it all and we did fall short, and we're trying to get better so we don't fall short."