Today is National Draft Day:

Super Bowl XLVIII: Broncos focused in calm before storm

The SportsXchange

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- For the moment, the Denver Broncos can convince themselves that it's business as usual. They reconvened for practice Thursday after two days off, days that players mostly spent working on the logistics of getting family and close friends to New Jersey, dispersing tickets and ensuring all wants were met.

"We're treating this like it's a work week for us," said running back Montee Ball. "We got some great work out there (Thursday). We were physical. We did some great things out there. It's time to really, really start cracking down, and narrowing down to our ultimate focus."

By next week, that might change a bit, as the Broncos take their turn under the blinding spotlight. It promises to be a bit harsher than for a usual Super Bowl, given that it will be played just a long pass from the media capital of the western world.

But for now, and the practices on Friday and Saturday before departing on Sunday, the Broncos' focus is within.

"We're mostly working on ourselves, getting that fine tuning down, getting our timing down and continuing to get better on offense," said wide receiver Andre Caldwell. "You also get to see some of the things that they did well throughout the season, what to expect and know their personnel, as well."

That inward focus has also led to the few players and coaches with Super Bowl experience counseling everyone else on the experience. Broncos head coach John Fox was there with the Carolina Panthers 10 years ago, but just four players have first-hand knowledge of the Super Bowl: Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, Jacob Tamme and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Like Fox, all have lost a Super Bowl at least once, an experience that permeates the primary piece of advice: don't be satisfied by just getting there.

"They said, 'It's a great feeling being there, but the times they lost, it was miserable,' just because you went through all that work," said Ball. "That's our mindset: we're there for business, we're there to work, we're there to come back with the trophy."

That's part of the reason why the Broncos took the two days at midweek to settle the logistical and transportation matters. Some had to handle such details themselves. Others had family step in.

Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton didn't even have to ask anyone for help; his mother simply told him she'd take care of everything.

"That's exactly what she said: 'I got it,'" Knighton said. "She knew it was coming and she has always been that way. She is overprotective of us. I'm the oldest of four boys and I'm a mama's boy. She can just look at me and know I need her help. So, she definitely took the onus on herself to handle it."

Knighton's family is centered in Windsor, Conn., just 125 miles northeast of MetLife Stadium, so the requests for tickets were going to be immense.

"A lot of requests, but the good thing is that my mom is my 'no' person. Once you tell people, 'My mom is handling all the ticket stuff,' they don't even ask. They don't even want to ask her," he said. "They try to put my back against the wall and ask me, 'Remember that time I did this; remember that time I did that?' I'm just like, 'Yeah, my mom is handling it.' They just stop asking after that."

And that leaves the focus on the Seahawks, which is exactly where Knighton and his teammates want it.

-- DT Mitch Unrein was held out of Thursday's practice because of a knee injury sustained in the AFC Championship Game. Unrein was on hand to take mental repetitions, standing near the defensive linemen as they went through their drills.

-- RB Knowshon Moreno was limited in practice Thursday after suffering a rib injury in the AFC Championship Game. X-rays on Moreno's ribs were negative, and while he is considered "day-to-day," he is expected to play against the Seahawks.

-- DT Terrance Knighton was listed on the injury report with a knee injury, but had a full practice of work Thursday. Knighton was the Broncos' dominant defensive player in the AFC Championship Game, finishing with a fourth-down sack and two tackles for losses.

-- K Matt Prater was held out of Thursday's practice because of an illness. He is expected to return later this week.

-- S Rahim Moore is eligible to return from recallable injured reserve, but has not practiced since suffering compartment syndrome in his leg on Nov. 18, hours after the Week 11 win over Kansas City.

Instantly join a new league.

League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 30 9:00 am
View Comments (9)