Our interview series continues as we lead up to training camp. During the recently-completed OTAs (organized team activities)and mini-camp, 850 KOA spoke with Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley (BS), who is back with the team this year.
850 KOA: You’re going to get this question about 500 times in training camp but after OTAs, how do you feel?
BS: I feel great. I feel as good as I’ve felt in five or six years. Everything is feeling good. That could change but right now I feel really good.
850 KOA: You suffered a pretty serious quad injury with the Giants last year and took the season off to rehab it. That seems to have been a good decision for you.
BS: Yeah. It wasn’t like I had any offers to go play anywhere any way. (Chuckling) I wasn’t in any rush. It feels great right now. I took the time off and it healed up fine and has given me no problems.
850 KOA: You are familiar with Peyton Manning from your time playing with him in Indianapolis. Does that familiarity help you at all?
BS: I think so. Being with him for four years, you know what he expects. As far as that’s concerned, I do have a little bit of a head start and I can help the other guys. That’s what I’m trying to do, help those guys to know what to expect from him (and) know what he wants. Whatever I can do to try to help those guys understand and get better quicker and learn what he wants quicker, the better we’ll be off as a team.
850 KOA: 2006 was your last in Indianapolis with Peyton. How much change is there over the course of that time?
BS: It feels like back in the Indy days for me. It’s like it was last week. It’s great and brings back a lot of good memories. It feels good to be in the slot and look to the left or right and you see Peyton back there giving you signals and barking orders. It’s awesome. It couldn’t come from a better quarterback. It’s really nice to have that chance again to play with him.
850 KOA: What are some things that you know Peyton likes or demands from his wide receivers?
BS: He wants things to be as they’re written on the paper. If a route’s drawn up a certain way, he wants it run like that. He wants things (done) to perfection. There’s not any room for grey area or two or three yards short or two or three yards deep on certain routes. Be precise. Be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there. If you are, he’s made a lot of people some very good careers.
850 KOA: When Peyton is at the line, he looks like he is calling the play from there. Do you have to be more attentive to last-second changes as a receiver when Peyton is the quarterback?
BS: Oh absolutely. You always have to be in tune with what he’s doing back there. It’s a lot of practice. We’re all trying to get on the same page so when we go into training camp and go into the season it’s second nature. You have to be a lot more attentive when Peyton is back there than any other quarterback I’ve been around.
850 KOA: Are there certain types of players that a Peyton Manning-led offense would look for? If yes, do you see any of those types of players with the Broncos?
BS: A Peyton receiver would be someone that works hard, is willing to get the extra mile, very attentive to detail, likes to be precise because that’s what he expects. I think we have those receivers and we have the running backs and the tight ends that are like that. With that mix, it makes for the opportunity to have a very good offense.
850 KOA: Back in March when we spoke with you, you told the story of Peyton coming out for his visit with the Broncos and coming down to see you in Castle Rock (Colorado). You guys threw a football in a park. Since he signed here, have you thought about inviting him back down to Castle Rock to throw the ball around a little bit?
BS: That’s funny because he actually mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he drove by that park. He was going somewhere over there in the neighborhood and drove by the park again and had a laugh about it. We might have to have a one-year reunion of that.
850 KOA: You come back to the Broncos this year and you are the veteran of the wide receiving corps. What do you expect to accomplish this year?
BS: I expect to go out and play good football and contribute. That’s why I’ve come back and put in a lot of work so far. I’m going to continue to put in a lot more work going into camp. I expect to go into camp and contribute and make this team and hopefully make a lot of plays and help the Broncos win some football games.
850 KOA: In practice, as you have worked against this veteran defensive secondary the Broncos have put together, what does it look like to you?
BS: It’s great. That’s what you want and what you need in practice. That’s only going to make you better. For us, it’s been a lot of fun and a lot of great competition.
Training camp is just around the corner. How excited are you about the prospects for this Broncos’ offense this season?
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