DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Broncos offensive lineman Zane Beadles said the sting of losing to the Baltimore Ravens is still lingering and he had a hard time watching the championship games on Sunday.
“It was tough, especially that second game; no question about that,” Beadles said, referring to the AFC Championship Game between the Ravens and the Patriots.
Beadles said he doesn’t take any solace in the fact the Ravens beat the Pats and are going to the Super Bowl.
“I thought I was going to; watching the game I was kind of cheering for them,” he said. “Now that the game is over I don’t know how to feel right now.”
Beadles said he’s not sure how long it will take to get over the Ravens game.
“I’ve never been through something like this, so we’ll kind of have to wait and see, but it’s definitely a tough thing.”
He does believe the heartbreaking loss is a motivator for next season.
“We had a very good season this year and had high expectations for ourselves, but we didn’t live up to what we thought we could achieve. So there’s definitely some motivation to come back and improve on that next year.”
The offensive line might be an issue next year because they are a little banged up. Chris Kuper has to have surgery again and Ryan Clady isn’t going to the Pro Bowl because of an injured shoulder.
“You know, J.D. (Walton) went down early in the season and Dan (Koppen) stepped in and did a great job. Things like that; you’re always going to be banged up a little bit, you’re never going to be playing at 100 percent. If you are, it means you haven’t been playing at all. So that’s something that we always have to battle through.”
One facet of the offense Beadles thinks can get better is scoring in the red zone.
“Just finishing drives with touchdowns and really putting the pedal down on teams.”
He said he was a little surprised the Ravens were able to beat the Pats like they did in the championship game.
“I didn’t know that they would beat them, I thought they had a chance. New England is a tough place to play, but I definitely thought they had a chance. I didn’t expect it like that.”
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh will face his brother John Harbaugh, head coach of the Ravens, in the Super Bowl. Beadles was reluctant to predict the winner.
“Man, I don’t know. I would say the 49ers, but the way that Baltimore has been playing and things like that, it could very well be them as well.”
– By Matthew J. Buettner, CBSDenver.com