CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Peyton Manning pops into your living room every day. Life as a commercial star keeps him visible. He's not, however, walking back into the Broncos' refurbished Dove Valley locker room. He retired, and the Broncos began their season officially without him Sunday by naming their team captains.
The Broncos players selected wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (offense, second time), DeMarcus Ware (defense, third time) and Kayvon Webster (special teams, first) as this season's captains.
Thomas leads by example. Coaches and teammates said he enjoyed the best training camp of his career. He weighs 222 pounds, his lightest since high school. He told Denver7 he wants opponents to have to game plan for him again after enduring a difficult season of drops. Thomas last served as an offensive co-captain in 2014. Webster earned teammates' respect with his play down the stretch a year ago. He became a missile on punt and kick coverage.
"I am happy about it," Webster said of the honor.
At 34, Ware represents the team's oldest and most accomplished player. He's attempting to put the final touches on a potential Hall of Fame career, scheduled to play roughly 30-to-35 snaps a game as a third-down force. With 7.5 sacks, Ware, a nine-time Pro Bowler, will move into fifth place all-time.
"He has a presence," said safety T.J. Ward of Ware, who has been a captain every season with the Broncos. "If you don't model yourself after DeMarcus and learn from him, then you are dumb."