"I think it's time for Brock to take a big step as a player," Kubiak said, per NFL.com. "A lot of times in this league, the young quarterbacks don't get the opportunity to be behind a player of Peyton's status and learn before they get the opportunity in this league ... I think Brock needs to take advantage of this. But he's going to be very competitive. I'm very impressed with his skills. I'm very impressed with how hard he works in the classroom. I know he's got all of the ability."
Kubiak told reporters at the NFL meetings Tuesday that he has spoken with Manning about decreasing his reps, allowing him to rest up and stay fresh heading into the postseason.
"I want to do what's best for him," Kubiak explained, via The Denver Post. "I went through the same process with John (Elway) late in his career, and it was a battle for me and Mike (Shanahan) to do some things with him."
Osweiler, 24, has never started a game for the Broncos after being drafted in 2012. Though he is not a threat to start over Manning, he will see more time on the practice field, in meetings and during games in which the team has a big lead.
Sanders and the Broncos were eliminated by the Colts in the AFC divisional round. Since that loss, the Broncos' coaching staff has been overhauled, with coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase heading to Chicago.
"Well, Gase is definitely in Chicago right now," Sanders said. "And Peyton says he's going to come back, but I'm not really worried about it, I really just want to win a Super Bowl. So that is all that is on my mind."
Gary Kubiak was hired to take Fox's place in Denver, and Sanders said that if Manning doesn't return, backup
"Yeah, I think Brock is a quarterback that is on the rise, he's going to continuously get better and I feel like Kubiak's offense fits him really well," Sanders said.
Sanders signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Broncos last March. He earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl after totaling 101 catches for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns -- all career highs.
"I can tell you from sources inside the Broncos organization, this is a guy they feel very good about," Rapoport said. "The reviews internally on Brock Osweiler are high, so if Peyton Manning does not come back, they do feel confident that they have a quarterback who can step in and have some level of success in there after Peyton Manning, whenever he does decide to retire."
The Broncos drafted Osweiler in the 2012 draft and he has been used sparringly since then, throwing for 159 yards and one touchdown in 13 appearances for Denver.
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