During the first day of the Denver Broncos’ organized team activities, Peyton Manning was spotted carrying around a football covered in green Lycra. But Manning didn’t want to talk about it, according to a report from USA Today.
“That’s Denver Broncos offensive business,” Manning said during a press conference.
Both Peyton Manning and his number one receiver, Demaryius Thomas, were seen carrying a green football during the team’s 90-minute practice.
Manning was asked about the ball again at the press conference. And, again, he didn’t want to say anything.
“Like I said, that’s official Denver Broncos offensive business, right? It’s kind of an A and B conversation and you can C your way out of it,” Manning said.
However, unlike Peyton Manning, Broncos head coach John Fox was kind enough to share the reason behind the green ball. According to a report from The Denver Post, Fox said the team is “making an emphasis from Day One on ball security.”
“We started with two of our better players in Demaryius and Peyton. What better guys to start with?” Fox added.
Of the 27 times the Broncos fumbled the ball last year, 16 of them were lost, which was the most by a team last year. Peyton Manning accounted for six of the lost fumbles and one that occurred during the Super Bowl. That was a career first for Peyton, who had never lost more than three fumbles during a regular season.
Offensive coordinator Adam Gase said the team has to “do a better job as a group,” when it comes to ball control.
“That was a big downfall for us early, where the ball was on the ground way too much,” Gase said. “It’s almost two seasons in a row and we have to address that right away.”
Wednesday’s OTA saw Peyton Manning and the rest of the team going through plays and drills in preparation for the next season, according to a separate report from The Denver Post. It also saw left tackle Ryan Clady return to the lineup, after missing last season due to injury. Peyton said Clady’s return to the team is “like signing a free agent or a top pick in the draft.”
“He is the top left tackle out there,” Manning said. “Not playing with him last year, I thought our team did a great job stepping up. But it’s certainly nice to have him back.”
In a related report from The Inquisitr, many have questioned when Peyton Manning will retire. He’ll be 38 this year, an age at which most of the professional quarterbacks have been retired for some time.
But 2013 was a record-shattering season for Manning, who threw for 300 yards or more in 12 regular season games, attempted 659 passes, and set a new NFL record with 55 touchdown passes. After their disappointing performance against the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, Peyton said he has been “dealing with” questions about his retirement.
“This doesn’t change anything as far as what I want to do,” Manning added.
Peyton mentioned that he believes the Broncos’ 2013 playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens was used “to kind of fuel us, and it made us a better team this year.” He has a feeling that the Super Bowl loss might help the team improve and be prepared for the 2014 season.
“Hopefully, we can use this to fuel us this offseason into next season as well,” Manning said.
[Image via FanSided]