Manning misses fans
The atmosphere at training camp was noticeably different without the usual crowds of cheering fans. The clanging noises of loud construction banging replaced the usual symphony of claps and cheers. Because of heavy construction at the Bronco's Dove Valley headquarters, fans are limited to just three practices, all at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Without the energizing fan presence, opening day felt empty and the only shouting was Manning's standard cries of Omaha.
"We've had some offensive fans and defensive fans too, and that's kind of part of camp, feeding off that competition" Manning said. "It was different today ... we missed them today and will miss them all of training camp."
Manning said he looks forward to the practices at Mile High because he craves the electric environment. "Hopefully the practices we have at the stadium will be well attended and we can get that energy at those practices.
Thomas misses training camp opener
Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas was not present at Dove Valley on Thursday for the opening training camp. Thomas was excused by the Broncos to be present for his grandmother's funeral service in Georgia.
In 2013, Thomas led Denver in receiving yards (1,430), receptions (92), touchdowns (14) and yards per game (89.4). The team has clarified that there are no conflicts with Thomas' contract as well as no injury concerns. He is expected to return to practice early next week.
Rookie Roby agrees he was a steal
When Denver drafted Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby with a first-round pick many experts called it a steal. Roby wasn't expected to stay on the board until the 31st pick, and the draft experts aren't the only ones who were surprised he lasted so long.
"I don't think I should have been around at that point in the draft," Roby said Thursday after his first practice of training camp. "But this season I am going to go out and prove that and show why I should have been higher."
Roby, who intercepted Peyton in mini-camp in June, said although he was a steal, he's perfectly happy being a Bronco.
"I ended up here on purpose, it's not a mistake," Roby said. "I love it, I'm grateful. I could be somewhere else at a worse team, I'm not going to name a team or anything, but I'm glad I'm here."
CSU players trying to make the cut
On Tuesday, the Broncos announced their release of tight end Joel Dreessen, the last player out of Colorado State remaining on the squad. Now, former Rams Kapri Bibbs (running back) and Shaquil Barrett (linebacker) are trying to make the cut for the final 53-man roster, which will be finalized near the end of August.
"We definitely want to represent CSU well and just go out there and make a good name for it," Bibbs said. "The pride's on the line for us to make our first team, our first NFL/professional team, that's the main goal of it all."
Bibbs carried the ball for 1,741 yards and 31 touchdowns in his only season with the Rams last fall. Barrett tallied 80 total tackles (38 solo), 20 of which for loss. He also had 12 sacks, forced four fumbles and grabbed an interception through 14 games of Colorado State's 2013 campaign. Both went undrafted.