ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –When Broncos players returned to the team's Dove Valley training facility on Monday, it was the first time that several players had met one another.
During free agency, the team added cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton, linebacker Stewart Bradley, guard Louis Vasquez and wide receiver Wes Welker.
Cornerback Champ Bailey was excited to add another cornerback to the secondary in Rodgers-Cromartie.
"We got another good player," Bailey said. "He can help us win games. I know what he's capable of in talking to some of his old coaches and teammates. The guy is a special talent. So I look for him to do good things here."
Bailey also recognized how the addition of Welker would not only help the offense, but the defense as well.
"It was hard enough (in practice)," Bailey said. "You've got 18 (QB Peyton Manning) back there, so that makes it tough. Then Demaryius (Thomas) and 'Deck' (Eric Decker), they're only going to get better. Now you've got the proven vet, Wes."
When the Broncos signed Welker, cornerback Chris Harris took to Twitter with his excitement for their practice matchups.
On Monday, Bailey agreed with Harris' sentiments that the competition would only make both players better.
"Chris Harris has got his hands full with that," Bailey laughed. "That's his problem."
On the offensive side, the rest of the Broncos receiving corps expect to benefit from Welker's arrival as well.
With the matchup problems that Welker creates in the slot, Thomas and Decker will have more opportunities on the outside.
"I knew when he was coming in that I would probably get more one-on-one coverage," Thomas said. "So I was kind of excited, actually, because with that guy, and Decker, and two great tight ends, it's going to be hard to double-team somebody, so I think it will help me out and help the team out, as a whole group of receivers."
Manning wasn't ready to get ahead of himself about the team's free-agent acquisitions, but said that he called his new teammates after they signed with the team to welcome them aboard.
"I talked on the phone to Vasquez, met him for the first time today," Manning said on Monday. "He seemed excited to be here. I want to play with guys who want to be here. I met Rodgers-Cromartie, he's excited to be here. I know he's looking forward to learning from Champ. What a great opportunity for him."
As Manning gets set to play his 16th NFL season in 2013, he is happy to be surrounded by a roster that has the same goals in mind. "I called them all as soon as they signed and welcomed them to the team and told them that I'm looking forward to them making a contribution to the team and we're going to need them to," he said. "They seemed excited, which is exciting for me."