Peyton Manning was still property of the Indianapolis Colts one year ago, facing questions about his future on and off the field.
Many of the answers were produced emphatically in Manning's first season in Denver. He led the Broncos to the AFC West division title and was a contender for MVP.
There are still unknowns about his health -- and where Manning is physically relative to his pre-surgery form -- but coach John Fox expects 2013 to bring more answers.
"Even as far back as almost this time a year ago, his type of injury -- a lot was made of the neck and the surgeries and all those things," Fox said. "The reality is that it is kind of a nerve situation and it takes a while for nerves to grow. He's getting better every day. I think he'll be health-wise, even better this year."
Critical to Manning's health is the ability of his offensive line to keep him upright. Manning was sacked 21 times in 2012.
The team's top blocker, left tackle Ryan Clady, couldn't come to terms on a long-term contract but will enter the offseason as Denver's franchise player.
"We'd like to work something out, like we did last year," Broncos president John Elway said last week. "Things have changed with him a little bit because he's coming off of shoulder surgery."
The two sides negotiated toward an extension that could have netted Clady a reported $50 million over five years before talks fell apart in August.
"There are two parts of the NFL: there's business and there's football," Fox said. "That's the business side; I don't really get too much involved with that. I know we want Ryan, and that Ryan wants to be a Denver Bronco. The business part will work itself out one way or another, and we'll see where that goes moving forward."
Clady will likely be limited throughout the offseason and resume football activities in training camp, Fox said.