ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Matt Paradis can’t recall ever feeling this good heading into training camp.
The Denver Broncos’ star center who missed the offseason program following double hip surgery said Tuesday he’s ready to return to the football field although “I think they’re going to ease me back in.”
“My hips are feeling great,” Paradis told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “It’s been a long process but we jumped on it right after last season, got the surgeries done so that I’d be good to go by now. And here we are going into fall camp tomorrow and I’m feeling pretty great.
“I mean, there’s some soreness. But that just goes with the territory, and I’m ready to go for fall camp.”
Paradis didn’t miss a single snap for the second straight season last year, when he was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate. But his inability to practice during the week kept the O-line from attaining the kind of chemistry and cohesion they’re counting on in 2017.
“I’m just not sure when was the last time I played pain-free, at least in my hips,” Paradis said. “But I’m very excited to be feeling this good and being able to practice. Not only is it big for me to be able to play but as an O-line it’s the unit just practicing together.
“So, I think it’ll be good for the group to have me in there, as well. That way, they get used to me rather than just having me join them on Sundays and going, ‘Sorry guys, here I am.'”
The Broncos refurbished their O-line over the offseason, signing new O-line coach Jeff Davidson, luring free agents Ron Leary and Menelik Watson and drafting Utah left tackle Garett Bolles in the first round.
Even though he praised Connor McGovern for his work at center in Paradis’ absence this offseason, quarterback Trevor Siemian said a healthy Paradis gives the offense a big boost.
“Matt’s the glue up there, up front for us,” Siemian said. “So, I can’t wait to get him back and everybody in the locker room is just as excited as I am because he keeps everything running smooth up there.”
Paradis spoke with the AP while promoting his “Bronco Burger ” collaboration for BurgaBox, a meal kit service, with chef Paul Malvone and Gary Vaynerchuck of Vaynersports.
“I’m a big burger guy,” said Paradis, who grew up on a cattle ranch. “I wouldn’t call myself a foodie. I eat a lot of food and I know what tastes good.”
By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)