KUSA - The Broncos plan on being in Glendale, Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX. They do not get to pass go and automatically collect 16 wins though.
If Peyton Manning and company want to get back to the final game of the National Football League season – and hopefully win this time – they'll need to do all the work prior.
"Just because you were there last year in the game doesn't guarantee you anything. It does take a lot of hard work, sacrifice and forming that chemistry takes time," the Broncos quarterback said at the annual Denver Area Boy Scout breakfast where he was honored as their keynote speaker.
Manning was disappointed to see a few of his friends leave the team during free agency. Wide receiver Eric Decker, running back Knowshon Moreno, cornerback Champ Bailey and linebacker Wesley Woodyard have all departed for other teams.
With the addition of new players – and the return of those that were injured – the upcoming season will take on a completely new form.
"You have to move forward. You have to kind of re-establish your identity of the 2014 team. The 2013 team—it was a good season in a lot of ways," Manning said. He was a major part in the signing of defensive end DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Aqib Talib, safety T.J. Ward and wide receiver Emmanual Sanders as they confirmed that they wanted to be a part of what Manning was doing in Denver.
"We have to find a way to build off that and take a step further—try to finish," the quarterback continued.
Denver will initiate the first step in their return to the Super Bowl within the next week as offseason workouts begin Monday at Dove Valley.
But Manning has already begun trying to build a rapport with his new teammates including spending time running routes at his passing academy at Duke University. He believes that the work they put in some nines before those pressure-filled moments in the playoffs are critical to their success.
"It's not an overnight process, but I do think that's something we have done in the past. I think that's been a big part of some of the wins we've had in the past, some of our offseason work and how guys have spent time together," he asserted. "I think you have to keep doing it during the offseason."
The Super Bowl is long way around the board and the Broncos are still confident they'll be able to get there. But they won't be able to go directly to University of Phoenix Stadium – Manning knows that's not how it works and he kind of likes it that way.