They were just as helpful for Decker, who was recovering from a sprained left knee he sustained in the playoffs.
All those hours together paid off. Decker led the Broncos with 13 TDs this season, and, like Thomas (1,434) had his first 1,000-yard season (1,064).
Decker also benefited from his first full training camp last summer. There was the lockout in 2011 and he was on the mend in 2010 after missing the last half of his senior season at Minnesota with a foot injury.
Stokley said Thomas and Decker have just the right attitude to mesh with Manning.
‘‘Neither one is a prima donna receiver,’’ Stokley said. ‘‘These days that’s nice to have guys that don’t think they know it all, are willing to work, willing to listen.’’