ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Tuesday marked the first day of minicamp at Dove Valley, but it also meant the end of offseason workouts is drawing near.
Quarterback Peyton Manning and the receiving corps used OTAs to familiarize themselves with each other - a process easier now that most of them played together last season - and are looking to further define their identity in minicamp.
"It's always an exciting time because you kind of form the identity of your team and you're working on form and chemistry," Manning said. "We have some new players that we're adding. We have some young players that were here last year that are a year older, they're more mature and they're going to play a bigger role this season."
Wide receiver Eric Decker said the receivers have a higher comfort level with Manning now in their second offseason together.
That comfort has given them the opportunity to bypass some of the formalities they had to deal with last season and focus on the details for 2013.
"I would say we're definitely a lot more comfortable and I think that translates to smoother route running, better timing, a lot of little detail stuff that we're not ironing out, we're just getting better at," Decker said. "And we're focusing on things that maybe we couldn't focus on last year because we were building that relationship."
Decker said that confidence comes from that sort of comfort, and it bodes well for the passing game.
That relationship between the receivers and Manning allowed for fine-tuning work this offseason instead of adjusting to major changes. It has also permitted more time to refine the way they play together, including work on their timing.
"I sure hope we've made some improvements," Manning said. "We're still working on some different things. You work on putting some guys in some different spots. I think one thing that (Offensive Coordinator Adam) Gase is doing is trying to push guys' limits a little bit and trying to get guys out of their comfort zones and seeing what they can do to see what might give him more flexibility in his offense.
"But you're always working to improve on your timing. I don't think you can ever plateau in that aspect of the passing game. You can always get better."