It may still be July, but that isn’t keeping the Denver Broncos from feeling the anticipation and expectation levels rise around Denver as they gear up for training camp. Receiver Eric Decker says he doesn’t think anyone is outworking him this offseason as he gears up to potentially be the primary target of quarterback Peyton Manning.
But while many fans are dreaming of a Super Bowl run, the excitement continues to take a bit of a beating thanks to off-the-field issues. Linebacker D.J. Williams is facing a possible six-game suspension for a second failed drug test, while defensive lineman Elvis Dumervil was arrested in Miami and charged with aggravated assault. Eric Decker joined 102.3 The Fan in Denver with Les and JoJo to discuss the anticipation of getting back to work, the workout level this offseason, how everybody is reacting to a new system and pieces in the offense, the excitement level of Broncos fans, coming back from an injury and the Broncos’ off-the-field issues that have surfaced in recent weeks.
Are you eager to get back to work and get training camp started?:
“I enjoyed my break after minicamp and now, with a week to go, I am champing on the bit.”
How hard have you guys been working in the offseason compared to past years?:
“I’d say about the same. Last offseason, obviously we didn’t have minicamp or OTAs and I was in Minnesota and Arizona. This year, I went back to Minnesota with Larry Fitzgerald and got some good work in. I honestly don’t think anyone is working as hard as we are.”
Every offseason has been different for you, from your rookie year to the lockout last year to now working and getting ready to play with Peyton Manning. What’s that been like?:
“I would say that the expectations are at an all-time high, there’s no question. But, again, to have my first offseason with Denver, to have the OTA practices, minicamp and really get some good work in — especially when we have a new system, new quarterback, some different pieces brought in — it just gives you a chance to compete and get better.”
How’s everybody reacting to the new system and pieces you mentioned?:
“I think we did a good job of progressing through OTAs and minicamp. When we hit training camp next week, we’ll be hitting the ground running. Peyton’s one of those guys that’s coaching on the field. So you learn in the film room and you learn on the field and that just helps you progress so much faster.”
What kind of expectation level and intensity are you feeling from the fans?:
“Definitely [feeling more]. Whether it’s through Twitter, Facebook or even just going around town, the excitement level is at an all-time high. It’s crazy; I love it though. That’s what football is all about. The camaraderie, I think Denver really has that, of getting behind their team and supporting them all the way through.”
You had an injury late last year. How are you feeling physically?:
“I feel great. It took me probably about a month after the MCL sprain to get back and then it was just conditioning, getting in the weight room and then really taking care of my body with massage therapy and everything else that’s out there nowadays. This is the best I’ve felt going into training camp and I think I’m looking forward to having a big year.”
What is the attitude on the team like in terms of off-the-field issues with D.J. Williams and Elvis Dumervil?:
“It’s tough. Knowing the guys and really getting to know them in the locker room, I’ve got a lot of respect for them and they’re just kind of in a bad situation — wrong time, wrong place. Obviously there is always consequences for everybody’s actions and they’ve got to be responsible for that, but they’re mature men, they’ll handle their business and they’ll be back on the field helping us out.”