The fastball of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is getting, well, faster, according to the guys catching his passes during the team's organized team activities this offseason.
In particular, Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker said on Wednesday that he "definitely felt like he (Manning) had more zip on the ball" during workouts in March and April, according to DenverBroncos.com's Andrew Mason.
"I think (the ball) coming to you quicker can be the reads and comfort level with the receivers, too. But I think some of those throws that he fits in the holes, you feel a little more zip on it and he is getting it to you quicker."
Since returning to the NFL with Denver last season after various neck surgeries, Manning's arm strength -- where it is versus where it was in the past -- has been a consistent topic of conversation. Manning says in Mason's report that while he doesn't know if he'll ever return to his Indianapolis Colts days, arm strength-wise, he does think he's making good progress.
Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas also thinks Manning is getting closer to 100 percent, but hey, he's just happy to have passes delivered on time:
"I think he's gotten a little stronger, but I can't really say, because it's my first time playing with a quarterback like Peyton," said Thomas. "It was fun this past year, because I'd never had balls come at me like that -- on time and stuff like that."
Thomas and Decker were first and second (94 and 85, respectively) on the team in receptions last season, and accounted for 23 of the Broncos' 37 total receiving touchdowns.
For all the talk about what's missing in his throwing arm, Manning did okay in 2012. Manning's passer rating of 105.8 was second in the NFL, and he threw for 4,659 yards -- completing 68.6 percent of his throws -- with 37 touchdowns (good for third in the league) and 11 interceptions. He was named the 2012 NFL Comeback Player of the Year and finished second in the league's Most Valuable Player award voting behind Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.