Continued from page 1

Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas and the other young receivers have all been refining their route-running so as not to endure Manning’s famous wrath.

“Well, I think they’re on their way,” Bailey said. “Obviously, I want to help them as much as possible, try to sharpen their routes up and things like that, but one thing about them is they get open a little bit, they’re open a lot to him. That’s one thing that’s a big difference this year.”

Manning wouldn’t gauge the progress he’s made in his two months in Denver, first during private workouts at local high schools and then at the team’s training facility.

“It’s hard to say. I try to get better every day, you know, that’s my goal and I really need to use this time,” he said. “I do think there’s a difference when you are on the field in helmets going up against a defense. Up until now, we hadn’t been able to go against a defense. So, this will be great work for me going against Champ Bailey and Von Miller and Elvis (Dumervil) and (Tracy) Porter, Drayton Florence.

“We’ve got three great cover corners to work against. So, until now we’ve been kind of throwing passes versus air, and you can work on your timing with receivers but it’s a great test to go against these corners.”

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.”

Monday marked one signpost. Up ahead is putting on the shoulder pads, training camp, taking that first hit in the preseason.

“There’s no question it’s a different mentality for me in these OTAs than it has been in other years because of all the changes,” Manning said. “But I look forward to the challenge and I just can’t tell you how important these OTAs are. I think they’re important for everybody. But when you’re a new player, on a new team, certainly coming off an injury, I think they certainly take added importance, and I thought today was an excellent start.”

Notes: Among the no-shows for the voluntary workout was DT Ty Warren, whom the Broncos are hoping takes a pay cut, and LB D.J. Williams, whose DUI case ended in a mistrial Monday.

___

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton