"A lot was made of the neck, the surgeries and all those things," Fox told reporters. "The reality is it's a nerve situation and it takes time for nerves to grow. He's getting better every day, so I think, health-wise, he'd be better than this year."
Manning, the 2012 Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year, is coming off a league-high 68.6 completion percentage to go with a 105.8 passer rating and 37 touchdown tosses versus 11 interceptions in his first season with the Broncos. It's fair to assume Manning will remain one of the NFL's elite signal-callers while leading an early Super Bowl favorite in 2013.
Fox offered several other nuggets during his session with reporters:
» Right tackle Orlando Franklin is undergoing toe surgery, which means four of five offensive line starters will be rehabbing from in-season or offseason procedures this year. The Broncos are expected to consider moving Franklin inside to guard, which shows concern for Chris Kuper's health coming off ankle surgery.
» Although the Broncos reportedly are in the market for a physical tailback, Fox expects Ronnie Hillman to be "much improved" and ready to "play more extended time" in 2013. Fox was pleased with Hillman's performance in the playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens and expects the change-of-pace back to spend the offseason "developing a pro body."