NEWARK, N.J. --Well before the Broncos' team buses pulled beside the Prudential Center, the crowd of reporters and cameras around Peyton Manning's podium swelled into the hundreds.
There would be no such throng to greet backup quarterback Brock Osweiler. Along with fellow reserve Zac Dysert and most of the offensive players, he stood in a corner of the carpet-covered hockey rink, watching from a distance, knowing that his eventual success will be defined by whether he ever sits at a central podium on media day.
"I could not be more happy for this team, for Peyton," Osweiler said. "But without question, I want to be in his seat one day."
And if Osweiler ever spends the last Tuesday in January staring down a phalanx of cameras and answering an hour of questions with wit and charm and without overtly losing patience, then he will have successfully applied one of the key lessons he's taken from his years with Manning:
"The thing that I've learned that has its highest value is how to be a professional. How to be a professional quarterback and how to be a professional in the National Football League," Osweiler said. "By being around him for two seasons, I've really learned how to carry myself and conduct myself on a daily basis."
Only experience and game action will show how close or far Osweiler is from being a productive starter in the NFL. Media Day was just another moment in which the second-year quarterback could glimpse where he wants to go, but be reminded of the distance he must traverse to get there -- even when it's just 150 feet of media representatives, cameras, wires and carpet.