ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Von Miller and the rest of the Super Bowl champs report to training camp on Wednesday. The rookies got a 48-hour head start to begin making their mark.
Denver’s draft class and college free agents reported to the UC Health Center on Monday and went through their first workouts.
“It’s definitely nice to refresh,” said Connor McGovern, a fifth-round guard from Missouri known already for his monster weight room workouts.
“You can watch as much film, do as many steps, work out as much as you can in the offseason. But there’s nothing like being in the building kind of getting your feet wet, hearing the quarterback say the plays, hear the cadence. So, it’ll definitely be nice to get a couple days back in the swing of that.
“I think it’ll definitely help and I’m definitely happy for that.”
McGovern said he’ll be glad to finally put the pads on this weekend because it’s easier to fend off defensive linemen when there’s something to grab other than the defenders’ shirts.
Putting on the pads is something veterans often dread, knowing their bodies won’t feel as good as they do now until after the season is over.
For rookies, it represents the first real chance to make a good impression.
“I’m excited to get started, to finally put the pads on and showcase what I can do and showcase that I can help this team,” said safety Will Parks, a sixth-round pick from Arizona. “I’m just ready to get out there and get after it.”
Wearing pads is one thing, lugging them around is quite another.
Fourth-round pick Devontae Booker raised eyebrows in the offseason when the former Utah running back said he wasn’t here to carry veterans’ pads but to take one of their roster spots.
Safety Justin Simmons of Boston College who was selected a round ahead of Booker, said he respects the veterans and the tradition of rookies carrying their pads off the field but he does see Booker’s point.
“You’re a rookie. You do what every rookie had to do in the past, that’s the way I look at it,” Simmons said. “In the grand scheme of things, though, you are here to take someone’s job.”
The rookies all say they’re blessed to join a Super Bowl champion, but they also had to watch as their colleagues visited the White House last month and then received their diamond-encrusted rings.
Simmons called it great motivation.
“It was awesome to (watch), but in the back of my mind, it’s like wow, what an opportunity we have to be able to repeat that and for not only myself, but the rest of the rookies to be in that spot next year,” Simmons said.
The Broncos’ first full-squad workout is Thursday, which will mark Miller’s first practice since he led Denver’s 24-10 win over Carolina on Feb. 8. Miller skipped the entire offseason program while his agent and the Broncos haggled over a long-term contract he signed last week.
– By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Sports Writer
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