Well, we’re starting to see the look of our defense change a little bit, going a little bit towards what Coach Bates is used to — monsters for the d-line. I think it’s caused a little stress for our equipment managers, but they’ll figure it out sooner or later. Hopefully it takes a lot pressure off the linebackers. D.J. is a great athlete, really fast and talented guy, and if we can keep the offensive linemen off of him he could have a Pro Bowl-caliber year in my opinion. Athletically he’s as good as it gets as far as that position. So I look forward to see how he does in this defense now that we’ve added these huge guys that Coach Bates is famous for.
It should also make life a lot easier for us on the back end. I think defensive line and defensive backs are probably some of the more linked positions, as far as how well we do sometimes affects how well they do. And if they can get a pass rush it makes us look like the best secondary in the world, which we are.
I spoke to Sam Adams last week after he got here. He’s a man of few words, but he’s a really nice guy. He seems like he’s a really kind guy. Coach Shanahan said to me the day I was drafted I was the type of character guy that they wanted here, and I think that holds true. We’re one of the organizations who definitely filled our roster up with great talent first and foremost. But I think character comes into play a little more here than in other organizations. Which is something that I’m happy to be a part of and affiliated with — a team of such high character guys.
But even sometimes high-character guys lose their temper. Like the high-character guys we have on our Broncos hockey team. Everybody in the organization is of such high character, including the players on the hockey team. It’s made up of a lot of the faculty from the Broncos that are not coaches or players, and they play in a nice little old man hockey league. They’ve become extremely competitive recently, notching their first win of the franchise’s history Saturday night. Which is exciting, seeing as I’ve been to a year and a couple days’ worth of games. So it was exciting to see the first win — I think the final score was 8-4, which I love. It was the first win, it was a great celebration.
But as I was saying, they’re high-character guys but it got a little chippy. I think I saw some Broncos throwing some head butts and some forearm shivers. It almost escalated at the end. I had their back if they needed me to. I think I can take some old men on skates.
But it was a really awesome experience. It was impressive. I’ve been on this expansion team from day one when they were experiencing their expansion growth pains. But now everybody’s going to jump on the bandwagon and pretend like they were there from the beginning. But I’m the original Barrel Man of the Broncos hockey team. My barrel’s in the mail.
I did go to the KOA/CBS4 Highlight Film party last Thursday for their advertisers and partners of the Broncos. It was a decent event that I went to. I enjoyed myself — it was my second year there. There were a couple of other players there — Daniel Graham was there and Rod Smith showed up, and I was also there. It was a good time, a lot of fun. Coach Bates was there and spoke on behalf of the Denver Broncos.
There was a raffle at the end and the very last items were footballs. So Vic Lombardi came up with the idea that if your raffle number comes up that I threw to the football to them. If you caught it you got to keep it. If you dropped it, it had to come back and re-raffle.
So the first guy who won was about 20 yards away from me. He looked like a pretty athletic guy, so I threw it pretty hard. He crossed his arms and the ball ended up hitting him somewhere in the heart region and bounced back on the ground. The man’s in a suit. It was pretty funny. so then he wanted a re-do because he said I didn’t put it in the right spot. So I put it a little higher and he missed it again and it hit him in the throat. So he was done. I think the next lady who won was a pregnant lady, so I had to hand it to her.
Then Daniel threw a couple of balls, too. Everybody else was pretty athletic, but that first guy… There’s a reason why he’s a fan and he’s not on a hockey team somewhere. He’s a non-athlete, but still probably a high-character guy.