What’s the next step for Peyton Manning and the Broncos?

In many ways, starting over.

“You have to kind of reestablish your identity as the 2014 team,” Manning said this morning in his first conversation with media since Super Bowl XLVIII in early February. “2013 was a good season in a lot of ways, there’s no question. It did not end the way we wanted it to, but we have to build off that and try to take it a step further, try to finish. There’s no question, we kind of have to start over and reestablish the chemistry on this team with all the new players. That’s important, and that really starts on Monday.”

After reflecting on a banner season that was stopped one step short of the ultimate goal, the Broncos must lick their wounds and wipe the blood from their jerseys.

The Broncos open their offseason program Monday at Dove Valley. Manning, who served as the keynote speaker for a Boy Scouts breakfast at Pepsi Center today, suggested a proper introduction to their new teammates is in order. The quarterback also tipped his cap to the Broncos who are no longer Broncos. 

“Well, first off, we lost some great players and some great friends. It’s been a real pleasure to play the last two years with Champ and Knowshon, Eric (Decker), Wesley Woodyard, Chris Kuper retiring, Zane Beadles has been great,” Manning said. “I might be leaving a name or two out, but that’s the worst part about football, when you form some friendships with these guys and really put a lot of hard work in, and just the business side comes into play.

“But we added some great players, I’m excited about working with them starting on monday. I’ve communicated with them all, had a chance to throw with (Emmanuel) Sanders down there in North Carolina and am excited about playing with him.”

The Broncos won’t look the same as they did in 2013. But the NFL MVP returns for another run and brought one of his zingers with him.

“I know Eli told me he’s excited DeMarcus Ware was leaving his division,” Peyton said. “He could no longer hit him and I’m glad he’s on my team.”

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette