ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Training camp is still two months away, but it certainly feels like the season is fast approaching as the Broncos kicked off the first practice of OTAs Monday.
The execution on the first day the offense and defense were able to take part in full-team drills was "crisp," according to Head Coach John Fox.
"I thought (it was) excellent," Fox said. "Guys' attitudes were great, their work ethic was great and it was a good first day, all-in-all."
While the team's offseason conditioning program has been in full swing since mid-April, players spent most of phase one of the program in the weight room. Phase two brought coaches onto the field as the team was able to run through individual position drills. Now that phase three has arrived, it brought with it a different level of intensity.
"It's nice to be able to get back on the field with jerseys and helmets and have more of an organized practice," quarterback Peyton Manning said. "We've really just been running plays and throwing passes versus air. To go against our defense, to go against our secondary players like Champ (Bailey) and (Chris) Harris, our new secondary players – it's always good work going against really good players."
The goal for OTAs is simply to build familiarity. Whether it's new players getting accustomed to the squad, returning veterans continuing to build chemistry or learning the playbook, the club is "starting trying to mold into a team."
It's also a chance for rookies, who took part in a minicamp earlier this month, to join the rest of the team on the field and get a first-hand look at what it takes to succeed in the NFL.
"There's no better teaching tool than watching a veteran do it right," Fox said.
Manning acknowledged that there's a level of comfort present on the practice field as two of the club's coordinators are back this season, and new Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase was on the staff last year as quarterbacks coach. That feeling was evident across the roster.
"You could tell, both sides of the ball, even special teams, we're like, 'We know each other,'" safety Rahim Moore said. "The communication and the verbiage out there was phenomenal. Even our head coach said it. So, we're going to build off that."