Peyton Manning looks sharp in first Broncos workout
His passes were hitting receivers in stride and right between the numbers, not skipping off the ground or whizzing behind their heads like...
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — His passes were hitting receivers in stride and right between the numbers, not skipping off the ground or whizzing behind their heads like so many of Tim Tebow's.
The Denver Broncos got their first real taste of Peyton Manning on Monday with a spirited, fast-paced workout, the four-time MVP's first full practice in more than 16 months.
"It felt good to be out there. It's been a while for me," Manning said. "It's been about a year and a-half since I've been in uniform, been in an organized practice. So, it felt good to be out there. And it will be a good film to study."
Monday also was the first chance for the media to get a look at the progress Manning has made since a series of neck operations sidelined him all of last season and led to his release from the Indianapolis Colts.
And Manning looked great, showing zip and accuracy on his passes, comfort under center, complete command of his offense and no ill effects from the nerve injury that caused weakness in his throwing arm.
"Man, it feels good to know he's going to be on my side because what I saw today, he's going to give us some good work," star cornerback Champ Bailey said. "And we might not see a quarterback like that all year."
Manning became the most prized free agent in NFL history following his release from the Colts after 14 seasons. His signing in Denver led to Tebow's trade to the New York Jets, despite a thrilling run to the playoffs guided by the younger QB.
Manning is clearly more concerned about ironing out the wrinkles in his new offense than what fans seem to be harping on: his health status.
"I've always believed you develop your timing for your passing game in the offseason, I don't think you can just show up in September and expect to be on the same page," Manning said. "So, what a great opportunity for these receivers going against these corners. I mean, if you can't get better going against some of these top cover corners, then it's just not meant to be. So, it's a great challenge for everybody."
Owners will talk
about player safety
With the Saints bounty case moving to grievance hearings and court, NFL owners will talk about player safety when they meet on Tuesday.
The issue is on the agenda for the owners' session in Atlanta, where Commissioner Roger Goodell is certain to be asked about Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against him. Meanwhile, Goodell's authority for administering discipline is being challenged by the players' union, Vilma and three other players suspended for their roles in the pay-for-hits system.
That's the hot topic, but hardly the only topic. Owners also will discuss several bylaw changes that were tabled in March, including designating one player suffering a major injury before Week 2 of the season as eligible to return from injured reserve, and moving the trading deadline back two weeks to after Week 8.
Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay, chairman of the competition committee, expects both measures to pass.
• New York Jets defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis pleaded guilty to assault and battery stemming from a 2010 fight while attending college in Virginia.
In a brief hearing in Hampton, Ellis entered an Alford plea, meaning he doesn't admit guilt but acknowledges prosecutors could prove the case against him.
Ellis was sentenced to 179 days in jail, with 89 suspended. Attorney, Timothy Clancy, said Ellis likely would serve 45 days when and said that he shouldn't miss any of the NFL season.
• The Cleveland Browns will have a quarterback competition. They expect rookie Brandon Weeden to win it. Speaking before a banquet for Browns fans in Akron, general manager Tom Heckert said the team drafted Weeden out of Oklahoma State in the first round with the idea he would start in his first season. Heckert's comments came one day before the Browns hold their first organized training activities (OTAs), when Weeden and Colt McCoy will be on the field together for the first time.
• Houston star receiver Andre Johnson said that he will be out for three to four weeks after arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
• Denver linebacker D.J. Williams' trial on driving under the influence and traffic charges ended in a mistrial just hours after it began after his lawyer objected to how jurors were selected.
• Philadelphia agreed to terms with former Arizona quarterback Nick Foles on a four-year contract. Foles joins Mike Kafka, Trent Edwards and Michael Vick on the club's depth chart.