Page last updated on Wed Nov 25 09:14:50 EST 2015
Thu, 19 Apr 2012 02:28 AM EDT

Peyton Manning is back in his root, barking out calls, throwing passes and working out with his new teammates. It sure beats watching, wondering and worrying. Basketball spreads

He’s still finding his comfort zone in Denver after spending 14 seasons in Indianapolis, but Manning is back serving as both quarterback and coach on the football field rather of pacing the sideline and pondering when his neck is going to permit him to return the group. Basketball lines

Manning and his new teammates reported to the Broncos’ HQ for the start of the team’s offseason conditioning plan. After some work in the classroom and weight room, Manning threw passes to his new receivers during some on-field work without having the coaches, who aren’t allowed to join them outdoors till OTAs start up in May.

“Everybody’s been anticipating this day for a while now,” Manning recounted. “I believed it was an effective 1st day, but we’ve got plenty of work to do.”

He did not want to make any precipitate judgments about his receiving corps and though he said he was happy with his 1st official workout since signing a 5-year, $96 million contract with Denver on March 20, Manning renounced to discuss his health or the improvement he’s made as he recuperates his arm strength following a series of neck operations that sidelined him for all of last season and led straight to his exit from Indy.

“I’m not going to get into these weekly statements. I’ve kind of been there and done that all fall of last year,” said Manning, who is rehabbing under the command of head athletic trainer Steve “Greek” Antonopulos and new strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson.

“I’m enjoying being under a single roof, being supervised by those two guys,” Manning said.

Though he’s been putting in a lot of miles finding remote school fields to train on, Manning stated that he hasn’t truly gotten to know his new city yet.

Manning, 36-year-old, has always embraced the offseason program, and he said he’s sure he wasn’t the only one who was relieved when NFL groups opened their doors for the voluntary offseason conditioning programs that were scuttled last year by the league’s lockout.

“I am (thrilled), there’s no longer any question. I think a lot of players around the NFL will tell you the lockout threw plenty of players off their routine and what they’re used to,” Manning declared. “So, I (like) the indisputable point that everybody’s allowed to be in the complex now working out in a single place, we can throw on the field now, right next to the weight room now as opposed to going to a school. That was what you had to do, but it is good to be able to do everything here and have a little time with the coaches, as well.”

Because the coaches can’t join the players on the practice fields till next month, the players run the on-field portion of the plan themselves, and this arrangement is fantastically suited for Manning, who will direct the installation of the Broncos’ new no-huddle offense.

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