ENGLEWOOD, Colo.** – As soon as wide receiver Demaryius Thomas exited the locker room and was spotted, a crowd of over 4,000 fans attending Day 1 of training camp erupted into cheers.
That was far from the last time the crowd celebrated the return of Thomas, even though he was held back from participating in some of practice.
After missing the offseason, Head Coach Gary Kubiak plans on gradually easing the wide out back into full participation later on in camp. During Day 1 of camp, Thomas saw action in individual receiving drills and the walkthrough portion of practice to close the first session.
Take a look through the lens at our best photos from Day 1 of Broncos 2015 Training Camp.
Even though Thomas had been absent for the initial stages of the Broncos' transition into the Kubiak era, quarterback Peyton Manning isn't concerned about his ability to get up to speed with the rest of the offense.
"It's great having him back," Manning said. "Great to get him back. He and I were going over some plays last night in the hotel room. He has been kind of studying whatever he was allowed to and whatever he could keep up with. I feel he'll catch up. Demaryius has always been a cerebral player and he's been in a couple of different systems in his short career already, so he knows how to adjust. I'll think he'll be caught up to speed pretty quickly. But [it's] great to see him back out there and great to throw a few passes to him."
This season, Kubiak and his staff will hold three meetings a day to help all the players adjust and get up to speed on schemes and his practice philosophies. This can only help Thomas, who Kubiak says was 'swimming' during his first day.
"It was good," Kubiak said. "He's got a long way to go to catch up mentally. But boy, I'll be honest, I had no idea he was that big… He's got to do a lot of catch-up work from a mental standpoint. Physically, we're going to bring him along slowly. But he's a nice young man and a great player. Obviously, we're looking forward to getting him going."
One highlight of the day came during walkthroughs when Thomas made a reaching catch from Manning, sparking loud cheers from the fans in attendance.
Even outside linebacker Von Miller couldn't help but get excited over seeing Thomas and Manning back on the field together.
"Seeing D.T. out here… was great," Miller said. "Peyton throwing to [No.] 88 – [I'm] hoping we can see that all season long. It was great. It was as good as a first day can go."