ENGLEWOOD, Colo –The start of training camp at Dove Valley begins one week from today and* *one of the tasks that Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio will work on during training camp will be mastering the art of disguise.
But keeping the defensive play a secret from 16-year veteran quarterback Peyton Manning is no simple task. But that's exactly what Del Rio is trying to get his defense to do.
"We want to make the quarterbacks work," Del Rio said during minicamp. "Obviously, he's known for being special at kind of determining what's coming and making adjustments, so it's great work for us to try and work our disguise and give him different looks and try to keep him guessing."
The defensive unit this year has a little bit of a head start compared to the past several seasons as the Broncos have the same defensive coordinator for the second year in a row for the first time since 2006.
With that familiarity, the defensive unit had a base of knowledge from last season to build on during the offseason.
"I think we have a foundation that we can build on," Del Rio said in June. "I think the guys understand some of the language, some of the principles that we believe in here and that we're teaching. But I don't like our guys comfortable, so I like pushing them and demanding. Making them uncomfortable and understand that this is the time of the year where you have to fight for everything."
"That's how we're really approaching it, making it competitive wherever we can. I think the part where they've come back and they understand the language, the principles and the way we do things, I think that part has been more comfortable."
It's still a challenge to mix-up Manning during practices, but pulling that off now will make it easier to do during the season.
"If you can keep Peyton guessing in practice then that's good work for being able to keep quarterbacks guessing on Sundays," Del Rio said.