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In selecting captains, the Broncos show who they believe will lead the way

The Broncos will look to Von Miller to set the tone for the defense. Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos took another step in the post-Peyton Manning and post-DeMarcus Ware era with their choice of team captains. The team's decision reflects an attempt to recapture the sense of unity that prevailed in 2015 in the midst of a changing roster.

The Broncos voted on Wednesday and quarterback Trevor Siemian and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas were elected captains on offense. Linebacker Von Miller and cornerback Aqib Talib were elected on defense while kicker Brandon McManus was elected as the special teams captain.

For Miller, Talib and McManus it was the first time they were selected as captains with the Broncos. Siemian and Thomas were captains on offense last season.

"To be captain is a lot of responsibility," said Broncos coach Vance Joseph. " ... I want those guys to be on every day."

"I think, as I've kind of grown and developed, my role has kind of evolved ... " Siemian said. "From Day 1 I've just tried to be a good teammate."

The core of the Super Bowl roster remains, with players such as Miller, Talib, cornerback Chris Harris Jr., running back C.J. Anderson and safety Darian Stewart still in leading roles. But when Manning retired after the 2015 season, it removed an enormous presence from the team's locker room and day-to-day football life. Then Ware, who was a captain last season even as he battled back troubles, retired after 2016.

Miller said in training camp how the Broncos dealt with those departures, beyond the basic Xs and Os of a game plan, would determine how well the Broncos will cope with the inevitable ebb and flow of a season.

"Without DeMarcus and Peyton in back-to-back years means a lot of us have to be leaders," Miller said. "No one player can replace those two guys, no two players. You can't replace Peyton, you can't replace DeMarcus, but we can all do everything we can to fill that space in."

Wednesday's vote shows Miller's teammates believe that he is now one of those players to show the way.

"Since my time here Von has been a great leader," Joseph said. "As far as how he's worked, how's he helped the young guys. He's a different guy according to coaches who have been here. I'm not surprised."

Siemian's selection, his teammates say, shows where he fits in the team's locker room beyond having won a quarterback competition for the second season in a row. Miller, in making the rounds on some promotional interviews Tuesday, had gone as far as the say that Siemian had "some of the same vibe" as Manning.

"Our team, our coaches, our building here, we all know how special Trevor is," Joseph said. "It happened organically."

Miller expounded on his Siemian-Manning comparisons after Wednesday's practice. Siemian spent his rookie season on the roster when Manning was in his final season.

"As far as their vibe, the energy that Peyton had, that's what Trevor has," Miller said. "You can never replicate Peyton Manning or who he was on the football field ... but there's kind of like a vibe that Trevor about him that's similar. You get the vibe when you talk to him, the way he handles conversations, the way he handles people."