Vonnie Holliday, who signed with the Broncos on Saturday, met with members of the media Thursday morning from inside the Broncos’ locker room, and the 12-year veteran addressed a number of topics.
First, Holliday explained the lengthy process that ended with him arriving in Dove Valley.
“I’d been in touch throughout the whole offseason (with Denver), ever since I was let go down in Miami, I’ve been in contact,” Holliday said. “I had a surgery in my knee back in the early part of January. I got a knee clean-up, so it’s just been a long process, and they just wanted to make sure I was healthy before coming in here.”
Now healthy, the 33-year-old is busy playing catch-up at team headquarters. Holliday said it was unfortunate he had to miss training camp due to injury, but — after a few days of work at the high altitude — said he feels like he is in good football shape.
As for integrating himself into defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s system, Holliday said his familiarity with the scheme should lessen his learning curve, as he played in a 3-4 defensive scheme the past four seasons in Miami.
“For me it’s just a matter of getting the terminology down,” he said. “It’s a different language here — but the defenses are the same.”
Less than a week into his Broncos career, Holliday appears to be jelling well with his new team. On the field, he has been busy knocking rust off his game. In the locker room, he has quickly gotten aquainted with his new teammates. At the moment, he says the only thing holding him back is the team’s playbook.
“That’s my only restriction right now,” he said.
As for his status for Sunday’s season opener at Cincinnati? Holliday said he’ll leave that up to Head Coach Josh McDaniels.
“I’m not sure how that’s going to work,” he said. “I’ll just go out and compete, work hard in practice and spend a lot of time with Coach and in the playbook. I guess Coach will make that decision come Friday or Saturday.”
Holliday’s defensive counterpart, Ronald Fields, also spoke from within the team’s locker room at Dove Valley on Thursday morning.
Fields talked about the importance of the club’s front seven being able to get into the trenches and stop Cincinnati’s rushing attack, which led the NFL in preseason rushing yards.
In particular, Fields said the team needs to be ready for Bengals starting running back Cedric Benson.
“He’s a good down-hill runner,” Fields said. “He cuts it back from time to time, but he’s very good. He’s proven a lot since he’s been in Chicago. He’s like a totally different player now. “
-Zach Eisendrath, DenverBroncos.com
Here are a few more pictures from the onset of Thursday afternoon’s practice: