Speed heals: Offense

In Thursday morning’s practice, Peyton Manning was tossing long touchdown passes to Demaryius Thomas without any visible strain. After months of people guessing at what percentage of fully healed and recovered his neck, brachial plexus, and arm strength might be, the question is unofficially over. He’s not as strong as he will be, but it no longer matters. He can make any throw, and he can put the ball into the hands of his deep receivers without difficulty. His short and intermediate throws are on target, quick, and accurate. Beyond that, the improvements will make what’s already remarkable even more effective.

As camp continues on into the start of the season, Manning will continue to gain in strength and accuracy as he follows the rehabilitation program that his doctors have set up for him. His receivers will be tasked with running routes precisely and hitting the right spot exactly on time. To do that, several skills will be necessary - the ability to beat press coverage off the line, the ability to gain separation from the coverage, and the hands to make sure that the drops that are part of developing the connection between QB and wide receiver are a thing of the past.

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Chargers prefer to disappoint all their young fans rather than just some of them

Chargers won’t sign autographs at FanFest
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

Fanfest note: No team auto session this year. Has become too big; too many kids going away bummed w/o autos. Still great day with your team.

MDS suggests this is a proper solution to memorabilia sellers loading up on merch, but why not just set an age and/or item limit for autographs (ie 15 and under, one item each)?

You stay classy, San Diego.

BMarsh: Cutler “has the it thing going on”

Old friend Brandon Marshall made an appearance on a Chicago radio show this week, and of course he was asked about his rejuvenated bromance with Jay Cutler. Here's what he said when asked if Jay is an elite QB:

But the things that separate those quarterbacks from the Super Bowls and all the other stuff is the guys around them. … Jay has the it thing going on.

What would you suppose BMarsh means by "it"?

Correcting the Comeback King record Lard

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Thursday's practice (video, photos, more photos) drew another big crowd - over 5,000 fans showed up at Dove Valley.

Injuries kept Quinton Carter (knee, hamstring) and Greg Orton (ankle) out, and the team waived/injured wideout D'Andre Goodwin (ankle). Ronnie Hillman (hamstring) and Orlando Franklin (concussion) were present but did not practice, although Franklin did participate in the evening walkthrough.

Eric Decker (groin) was also back on the field but did not practice (he should be back today), and Demaryius connected with Peyton Manning several times to take full advantage of the spotlight (video).

Justin Bannan practiced with the starting defense, where Jason Hunter worked for the second straight day ahead of Robert Ayers, who just doesn't seem to be impressing Jack Del Rio all that much. It's early, but a permanent demotion of Ayers could be another massive hit to the Broncos' ill-fated 2009 draft class.

Brock Osweiler was again impressive, this time near the goal line; Ryan Harris remains behind Chris Clark at tackle in Franklin's stead; Del Rio says he plans to call plays from the sideline as he's always preferred.

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NFL Films: The Power and the Glory

It's only August 2, and we still have a week until preseason and five-and-change until the opener, but I happened upon this and had to share. Are you ready?

John Elway in Zubaz, oh my Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Yesterday's practice (video, John Fox, photos, more photos) was held a bit earlier than originally scheduled due to expectations of severe weather.

Unfortunately for fans who'd planned to attend, they apparently missed out on Peyton Manning & Co. running a successful two-minute drill (60 yards in 70 seconds with one timeout). Caleb Hanie and Adam Weber didn't fare as well, with their attempts ending with interceptions.

As mentioned last night, three receivers, including Eric Decker, suffered minor injuries; Ronnie Hillman also tweaked a hamstring. Orlando Franklin (concussion), Quinton Carter (hamstring, and now knee, too), and Joshua Moore (hamstring) remained sidelined.

Justin Bannan (calf) returned to practice on a limited basis, while Ryan Harris continues to work as a backup tackle. According to Andrew Mason's report, Harris isn't considered to be competing for a starting job.

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Broncos claim Kenney off waivers after three wideouts injured

The Broncos claimed WR Cameron Kenney (6-1, 199) off waivers from the Seahawks today; the move follows a training camp session that saw three receivers depart with minor injuries.

Starter Eric Decker suffered a groin strain Wednesday, while reserves Greg Orton and D'Andre Goodwin each hurt an ankle.

Denver is now back to the 90-man roster limit for the first time since camp began. WR Eric Page and CB Coryell Judie had failed their team physicals a week ago and were subsequently released, and a hamstring injury to second-year safety Quinton Carter had prompted the signing of ex-Buff Kendrick Perkins on Saturday.

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Broncos camp notes through Day 5: Defense

Brian Dawkins visited Dove Valley on Sunday to talk with Rahim Moore, among others. He told him:

Rahim, you’re not a scary guy. You like to hit, but sometimes, you've got to know when to make the big hit.

It’s sage advice. If there’s anyone who knows about creating intimidation, it was ‘Wolverine’. With Quinton Carter’s hamstring injury holding him out, Moore has an excellent opportunity to up his game and nail down one of the safety slots. It’s nice to see Rahim coming back into his own. He was tossed into the fire too quickly last year, and it shook his confidence. The team did a nice job of helping him rebuild it in the offseason.

Mitch Unrein was characterized by Neil Hornsby of Pro Football Focus as getting more and more snaps and moving up in the rotation by the quality of his play. Unrein has apparently been putting an ‘Eaton beatin’ on the players they put in front of him. I love seeing a guy come from a humble start in the league and develop the way Mitch seems to be doing. Unrein’s another lunchpail, bluecollar guy who can improve your DT rotation.

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Broncos camp notes through Day 5: Offense

Of training camp performance evaluations, Denver's new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has said,

Really...right now you can't put too much stock in the depth chart.

Offense or defense, he’s right. You can’t write a camp update without talking about how the players are doing, but in the first week of camp, it’s good to remember that many of the updates are describing what will not be permanent moves.

There’s a long way to go, and the team is going to try plenty of different looks; several won’t mean much over time. Some guys are getting looked at for positions that they will take over as the preseason unwinds, but many of the changes are just ways of exploring options. What’s more important right now is watching to see what the players have as their strengths and weaknesses when going up against each other, to decide who fits where. Next Thursday, the players will get to show how far they’ve come in Chicago against the Bears, who have improved their team since the 2011 season.

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Back to the grind Lard

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Healthy players got the day off yesterday (those nursing injuries had to come in for treatment) and return to practice this afternoon morning. Camp only began last Thursday, but Saturday already brings the team's annual scrimmage at SAF@MH, and the team heads to Chicago next Wednesday, and will open their preseason against the Bears a night later.

Roster decisions are still about four weeks away though, as first cuts (down to 80 from 90) don't arrive until August 28. So players still have plenty of time to prove their worth.

So far, rookies Brock Osweiler and Danny Trevathan have stood out to both Andrew Mason and Jeff Legwold. Mason has also been impressed by Mitch Unrein, but he says Caleb Hanie and Nate Irving have struggled, while Matt Willis may be relegated to trying to make the team primarly as a kick returner. Legwold metes praise out to rookies Derek Wolfe and Ronnie Hillman, and he says guards Austin Wuebbels and Wayne Tribue each appear to have a chance to stick around.

Updated 9:44am ET

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