ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —** With Head Coach Gary Kubiak leaving the curfew to his captains, quarterback Peyton Manning seems to have his mind set on an early bedtime, but that didn't seem too popular with his teammates.
"9 p.m.? Where's Peyton?" tight end Vernon Davis deadpanned when he heard the news.
Added Manning, with a smirk: "That didn't get a lot of positive views. So DeMarcus said he was going to have to take some time to think about it and weigh in and maybe there's a panel to go on."
Jokes aside, the curfew time is of little concern for this team and its coach.
"I trust my guys," Kubiak said. "We're going to have our preparation. They've done a good job with this football team. Our accountability has been very good. Obviously, that's a tough environment, but I've trusted them all year and I'll trust them again this week."
Accountability has been a major key to how tight this team's bond has become over the course of the season. Regardless of experience or role, each player yearns to give the team the most they can, not just for themselves but for those who share a locker room with them.
"I don't know about 9 p.m. but I think we have a unique group of guys, and I think they're smart," Davis said. "They make the right decisions and they're very accountable, and as a team, we have to hold each other accountable because if we can't hold that next guy accountable, then we can't really trust him, right? I think everybody gets this is a big game—huge game—and we have to be smart."
For those who come to Davis, one of Broncos' 17 players who fully participated in preparation for a previous Super Bowl, he tells them what he did in the lead-up to his first Super Bowl: "I stayed in my
The Broncos begin their on-field preparation for the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. (AP Images)
room all day. I went out and got a bite to eat, but for the most part, I stayed in my room and just hit the playbook and walked around the hotel a little bit and kept my focus."
Keeping the focus is something Kubiak has in mind, too, and he has the Broncos preparing as if the Super Bowl were just three days away, rather than 10 days.
"We're trying to approach the game like we're playing this weekend," Kubiak said. "That's been our preparation. So today's our Wednesday, tomorrow will be our physical day. So we're trying to approach it that way. When we get our plane Sunday, I want to feel like we're pretty close to being ready to play."
"One of the things you want to do is just make sure you're as good as you can be at that day. So we're going to try to have a good practice, try to build our energy up to next weekend, but the focus is very good."