ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- For the past two days of practice, it's been easy to see the intensity on the field. Well, easy to hear, at least.
"I think now that we're kind of going against each other this week, there's a lot more trash talk about what we can do," cornerback Champ Bailey smiled. "I don't know how close you guys are to the building when we're out here, but it's pretty loud."
With the Broncos' next opponent still up in the air, the team has spent its bye week improving its own areas of need. It has also meant the first-team offense has matched up against the first-team defense more often than usual.
"It's been a little bit like almost college bowl practices where you're just kind of going against each other," tight end Joel Dreessen said.
The results have been entertaining.
Linebacker Wesley Woodyard, who on Thursday received the Darrent Williams Good Guy Award, has been the most vocal of the trash talkers on defense.
During stretch period Thursday, Woodyard let quarterback Peyton Manning know that he couldn't wait for the red-zone portion of practice.
"We go back and forth, especially this week," Woodyard said. "We have so much fun. Yesterday, (Manning) got the best of us and spiked the football on us, so he's having fun and he's out there like a rookie quarterback just enjoying himself. I think that's what it's all about, when your star quarterback is able to have fun and not be tight all the time. It relaxes the team."
Woodyard recounted that on Wednesday, Manning changed a call at the line of scrimmage to a quarterback sneak. He made it by the defense into the end zone for a touchdown, punctuating the score by spiking the football and trash talking cornerback Chris Harris a little on the way back to the sideline.
"He's one of those dudes that comes out here excited every day and everybody loves him," Woodyard said.
Fellow linebacker Von Miller wasn't very impressed with Manning's touchdown celebration, however.
"I don't think it was as great as my sack dances or my touchdown dance," he said. "I'll get in the lab with him and practice with him a little bit."
But as much fun as the Broncos have had this week in practice, the team is making sure it's serious work as well.
Woodyard said the main reason the groups get so competitive is because the defense doesn't want to get shown up by the AFC's starting Pro Bowl quarterback.
"We don't want to get embarrassed anytime, so there's definitely a game-time situation every time we play him out here," Woodyard said. "And it's translating to Sundays."
Whether it's the defense or the offense that wins on the practice field, Miller pointed out that everybody's on the same team. The Broncos win, regardless.
"And it's always a good day when the Broncos win," he said.