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Peyton watch in Denver headlines preseason
Question of the Day
Peyton Manning has changed his ride, from a Colt to a Bronco.
Tebowmania has moved from the Rocky Mountains to the Meadowlands.
Al Davis is gone.
As NFL training camps open from Mankato to Metairie, from Flagstaff to Flowery Branch, the spotlight will shine most brightly on Denver, and a certain No. 18 at quarterback.
The indestructible Manning proved very human last year, missing the entire season after neck surgery. Not only did his consecutive starts string end at 227 _ merely every game he’s been a pro _ but the Colts collapsed without the four-time MVP.
Soon after, as Indianapolis was preparing to take Andrew Luck at the top of the draft to succeed Manning, the Peyton Tour of America began. Following layovers in Miami, Nashville and Phoenix, he landed with the Broncos.
But is he the same player at age 36 and coming off the first major injury of his sensational career?
That’s the juiciest topic as the sweatboxes that are training camps get under way.
“We’re going full speed ahead. We’re being aggressive with everything we’re doing,” Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said. “He’s fine. We have no concerns right now. We’re not worrying about it. We’re moving forward.”
Actually, the Broncos began moving forward immediately after signing Manning to a five-year, $96 million deal in March. They sent Tim Tebow, one of the heroes of their AFC West title run and first-round playoff victory over Pittsburgh, to the Jets to make sure there was no clutter _ and no controversy _ in Denver.
Don’t look for the same from Tebow, no matter how loudly his legion of followers protests that he should be on the field ahead of incumbent Mark Sanchez. The Jets are adamant that Tebow is a backup, an option for the wildcat, not to mention the protector on punts.
That won’t stop a mass of media from descending on the central New York college town of Cortland to chronicle the QB competition and controversy the Jets say doesn’t and won’t exist.
By John McAfee
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