ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Did the extra time off following the Thursday night opener help the Broncos?
The answer probably depends on who you ask.
"I think it's good for the players," Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. "For us as coaches, things don't change, other than having a little bit more time to prepare for this team [the Colts].
"But it's been good for our players. Camp was a grind. Pushing toward the opening Thursday was a grind, and I was able to give them a break over the weekend. So I think we're fresh, and it looks that way running around. It should be good and fresh coming Sunday."
But it does alter the rhythm a bit.
"It was good. It felt like too long; I'll have to tell you the truth," QB Trevor Siemian said. "But it's good. You've got to take your days off when you get them and get ready for the long haul here."
What else stood out from the Wednesday of work at the UCHealth Training Center?
- ON TO THE COLTS -- THE NEMESIS**
No AFC rival has given the Broncos more fits, more consistently, in recent years than the Colts. Indianapolis is the only team to defeat the Broncos in each of the last three seasons -- during regular-season games in 2013 and 2015 at Lucas Oil Stadium, and in the 2014 divisional playoffs in Denver.
The Colts' .786 winning percentage against the Broncos in the last 15 years including the postseason is the highest of any team in the NFL at Denver's expense. Only the Chargers have beaten the Broncos more often in that span, but their 13 wins were more than balanced by 18 losses. Indianapolis, meanwhile, is 11-3 against the Broncos since 2001 and has won eight of the last nine games in the series dating back to the 2004 postseason.
Much of the Colts' success at the Broncos' expense came with Peyton Manning at quarterback. But the Broncos went 1-3 against Indianapolis once Manning was in orange and blue. The rapid emergence of Andrew Luck had plenty to do with that.
"At the end of the day, we've always said if you'e got a quarterback in this league, you've got a chance, and they have one of the top ones," RB C.J. Anderson said.
But other teams have top quarterbacks and don't have the kind of dominance over the Broncos the Colts have had. So just why are the Colts such a thorn in the Broncos' side?
"I don't know. That's a tough one," Anderson said. "I don't know if when they see the Broncos, they just want to go out there and want to kick our butts, if that's just how they feel when they play [us].
"They're very well coached. We know that, from Coach [Chuck] Pagano and what he does, especially his background being in Baltimore. Having that physical background that he has, he just imposed that on his players, and it's worked out no matter who's on the team every year."
- MARSHALL, STEWART PLAN TO APPEAL FINES**
Both ILB Brandon Marshall and SS Darian Stewart said they will to appeal the five-figure fines levied against them by the NFL for helmet-to-helmet hits on Carolina QB Cam Newton in last week's season-opening win.
Neither plans to alter how they attack quarterbacks.
"I am upset about it, but it's still football, man. It's not going to change the way I play the game," Stewart said.
Just as Marshall and Stewart don't plan to change their style of play, their defensive teammates don't plan to hold up when they're on the attack.
"I'll just say this: We play hard. We're going to continue to play hard," Kubiak said. "It's really, really difficult to me defensively when you have a quarterback who goes from a passer to a runner, and you're committed as a football player.
"We understand that you've got to stay away from the head. We understand all of those types of things. But we're going to continue to play hard."
"They call it 'dirty,' but we just call it, 'Bronco football,'" CB Aqib Talib added. "We're playing full speed, to the whistle. We just call it, 'Bronco football.'"
- PLAYING "BRONCO FOOTBALL" AGAINST LUCK**
Although Luck and Cam Newton share some attributes, Luck is much less likely to run; he carries the football on 9.2 percent of his dropbacks since 2013, compared with 18.6 for Newton in that same time frame.
But the key for the secondary, believes Talib, is to focus more on their own play than what Luck might do and how he can beat defensive backs in coverage.
"We're going to play Bronco football. We're going to do what we do," Talib said. "We're going to play what Coach [Wade Phillips] calls. Coach is going to come up with the game plan. We're going to have our little tendencies that we know, but we're going to play Bronco football."
Still, Talib and the defense know the challenge they face -- and what Luck has done to them in the past. Luck has nine touchdown passes and two touchdown runs in four career games against the Broncos, and has a career 88.2 rating at their expense -- 7.0 points higher than the Broncos have allowed to all other quarterbacks since 2013.
"We know when we're playing one of the best," Talib said. "It takes more preparation than the time we have at work. We're aware that we're playing one of the best this week, and we've got to prepare like it."
Photos from the Broncos' first day of practice in preparation for the Colts in Week 2. (photos by Eric Bakke unless noted)
- TACKLING CHANGE**
A day after he knelt during the national anthem, Marshall mentioned that one of his coaches asked him, "What's your end game?"
He might have found part of it this week. A day after meeting with Denver Police Chief Michael C. White, Marshall announced that he plans to donate $300 for every tackle he makes to multiple charities.
"That's part of the end game," Marshall said. "That's only one part of it. I'm going to continue to think of different things and continue to come up with different solutions so that's one thing and I'm looking forward to other things as well."
Marshall said he had not set a timeline for when he would stand for the national anthem instead of kneeling.
"Whenever I stand up, I'll stand up and I think it'll be a good thing and I think I'll make an impact," he said. "I'm trying to make an impact in the community as well. When I do stand up it'll be because kneeling really was just to bring attentions to the issues, an awareness factor, a symbol, so to speak, just like the flag is a symbol. That's really what everything's about.
"It's not about kneeling; it's about other things, so now I'm doing the donation thing and I'm going to do other things to back up my kneeling."
5. VANCE WALKER UNDERGOES SURGERY
Just under one month after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in practice, the eighth-year defensive end underwent surgery to repair the torn ligament.
The rehabilitation process is expected to take several months, and Walker is expected to return for offseason work in 2017. His current two-year contract ends after this season.