Ed Andrieski, Associated Press
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Out with the old option. In with the new no-huddle.
The Denver Broncos are getting their first taste of the hurry-up-at-altitude offense that Peyton Manning will unleash on the NFL this fall if everything keeps going well with his surgically repaired neck.
Although the installation of the Broncos' new offense won't happen until summertime, Manning and his receivers are getting to know each other during the team's voluntary workouts this month.
When they signed Manning to a $96 million deal and dealt Tim Tebow to the New York Jets, the Broncos scrapped the option-style offense they had dusted off last season to fit the scrambling southpaw's unique skill set.
Now, it's all about the fast-paced switcheroo style, including healthy doses of the no-huddle, that's the basis of Manning's maniacal motions at the line of scrimmage as he deciphers defenses.
Coach John Fox spoke at Manning's introductory news conference last month about how excited he was to have such an accomplished and cerebral quarterback running the no-huddle at Mile High.
"I've said all along, from having had to compete here, it might be the best home-field advantage in the NFL," Fox said, "because, on an NFL travel schedule, you don't have time to acclimate to altitude."
Not only do Manning's receivers, running backs and tight ends have to get used to a new offense, but they have to get ready to fast-forward, too.
Andre Caldwell, a free agent who spent the last four seasons in Cincinnati, said he's still getting his wind but he's eager to see defenses get gassed in September.
"It's going to be great, because I played here last year. I ran the no-huddle offense at Cincinnati, and I was dead tired," Caldwell said. "So, I've got a feel for how the defense will react to it and how they will be feeling."
Linebacker Joe Mays said the only defense that will appreciate the turbocharged no-huddle is Denver's, which will have to keep pace with Manning every day in practice and be better for it.
"We're all excited," Mays said. "We're looking forward to working with him on the field, looking forward to those no-huddle practices. But it's going to be fun. You're going up against the best quarterback who ever played the game — in practice. So, it should definitely help the defense out during the game."
He can just imagine how opponents are going to feel sucking air in the fourth quarter after running up and down the field, often unable to switch personnel because of the Broncos' pace.
"Oh yeah, we're going to be in great shape. Peyton, he's got those guys working hard right now, just preparing themselves for the season," Mays said. "He's going to have those guys ready to work, ready to get going and I'm just looking forward to standing on the sideline and watching."
With Manning running the show in Denver, the Broncos' tight ends will get a lot more action. Last year, Denver's tight ends accounted for just 30 receptions and three touchdowns.
The Broncos brought in free agent tight ends Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme, who played with Manning in Indy, to go with promising second-year pros Julius Thomas and Virgil Green.
Tamme has 92 career receptions for 855 yards and five touchdowns. His best season was 2010, when he started eight games and set career highs with 67 catches for 631 yards with four touchdowns.
"In Indianapolis, the tight end has been a focal point," Tamme said. "We've got a lot of guys around here that can catch the football. I think it should be a lot of fun. We'll be able to do a lot of different things offensively."
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