As the Denver Broncos kick off OTAs in hopes of returning to contention in 2015, all eyes are on the health of Peyton Manning and the new personnel on offense. The Broncos underwent more changes in the offseason than they were originally expecting as the team fired head coach John Fox and hired Gary Kubiak to take over. With Manning signed to a new contract, the quarterback is aiming for a ring. However, Emmanuel Sanders believes that will not come because of the passing game.
The Broncos have OTAs underway without Demaryius Thomas who continues to be a hold out due to contract issues. However, that is not the reason Sanders believes the passing game will be a smaller part of the offense this upcoming season. The aging of Manning has nothing to do with it either. According to Sanders, the type of offense Kubiak plans to run is less focused on passing and more focused on the run game. That could cause small numbers for the Big Three of Manning, Thomas and Sanders.
"Of course obviously it's not going to be one of those offenses, well I'm praying that it is, but obviously it's not going to be one of those offenses where you catch it and you're going to have two receivers catching over 100 passes," said Sanders, via the Denver Post. "Hopefully, my goal is really to try to get 1,000 yards to just help this team win ball games. You talk about going from a no-huddle offense to an offense that's huddling up, to an offense that is predicated off running a football and then throwing it. It's different."
Manning told the media that he would love it if Thomas were to come to OTAs as the Broncos are busy learning a new system for the season. Team president John Elway told the media that a deal for Thomas is unlikely until the market sets itself with players like Dez Bryant, Julio Jones and AJ Green all expecting new contracts in the coming year. Manning said that he has spoken with Thomas and understands the wide receiver needs to make the best business move at the moment.
"I keep up with Demaryius. He's my buddy," Manning said. "They got that business side of it to work out, but he's been a great teammate to me, been a great friend to me since I've been here in Denver, so I keep up with him. Obviously want him to get back here as soon as possible, but we want what's best for him, and he certainly deserves what's best for him."
Kubiak's offense will put pressure on CJ Anderson, Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. The Denver Post reports that Anderson is the favorite for the starting job after a breakout year last year, but the three running backs will battle it out in camp. They can each be expected to get a lot of carries in the coming year.