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Bronco Rob
04-06-2010, 04:24 AM
'We'll Be Ready'


By Gray Caldwell
DenverBroncos.com

Monday, April 5, 2010



ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- For Robert Ayers and the rest of the 2009 draft class, the time is now.

Gone are the days of training camp haircuts and soaking wet drills. No more rookie hotel and extra meetings.

No longer rookies, they face higher expectations, and their first full offseason in the NFL is a critical period.

"You take a rookie and transform him from being the low guy on the totem pole and raise the expectations," Head Coach Josh McDaniels said. "You tell them, 'We expect more out of you. What you did was OK, you helped contribute to some of the success we had last year, but you've got to do more.' The offseason program is a great place for them to start."

Ayers said he and his teammates are taking that transition seriously. He has been hard at work in the team's voluntary offseason conditioning program, working with strength and conditioning coach Rich Tuten and getting to know new teammates.

This time last year, Ayers and fellow draft prospects were focused on workouts centered around the scouting combine -- 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump and the like. Now, workouts at Dove Valley have, as Ayers says, have "more intensity and real football things."

Correll Buckhalter said that will help the second-year players when the season rolls around.

"For them to be able to go through an offseason, that will kind of prepare their minds and bodies for the upcoming season, because they know what they're facing," the 10-year veteran said.

Ayers played in 15 games in his rookie season, starting one, and picked up 18 tackles, two pass breakups and two fumble recoveries.

Against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football in INVESCO Field at Mile High, Ayers picked up a fumble and returned it 54 yards for a touchdown for the longest fumble return score by a rookie in franchise history. He notched his second fumble recovery on special teams against the Philadelphia Eagles after Darrell Reid jarred the ball loose. He picked it up and set up what two plays later resulted in a touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Knowshon Moreno.

Though his stats weren't spectacular, defensive coordinator Don Martindale spoke highly of Ayers' progress midway through last season, explaining that numbers don't define a football player.

"That's what fantasy football has done -- everybody's looking at tackles, assists and sacks and all that instead of actually watching the game and seeing some of the things that he does," Martindale said. "I think every snap, every play, he gets better."

Ayers intends to ensure that improvement continues into his second season.

"On the field I took some bumps, and I gave some bumps, too," he said of his rookie campaign. "I look at it as just a learning experience. I know what to expect going into this season -- I know what it's going to be like, I know what's expected of me and I know what to expect of myself. I know what I can do, and I know what I will do."

McDaniels said he expects the draft class of 2009 to get better at watching film, get stronger in the weight room, get smarter in the system and become better leaders.

Ayers has no doubt he and his teammates will pass those tests with flying colors.

"I think when the opportunity comes, I have a lot of faith in myself and I have a lot of faith in the guys, too, that we'll be ready to step up," he said.




http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.php?id=334&storyID=10005

barryr
04-06-2010, 07:18 AM
Ayers has to produce this year, no question. It would be nice having 2 guys from either side, Dumervil the other, who can get pressure on the QB.

chex
04-06-2010, 07:39 AM
Talk is cheap, but I am expecting marked improvement from the key players, and I use expecting in every sense of the word. I think they'll show enough this year to put everyone's mind at ease.

Rabb
04-06-2010, 07:43 AM
I am excited about Ayers actually, seems like he is pretty driven and has a golden opportunity here

good pick for us

(countdown to someone bashing the other pick in 3...2...)

mr007
04-06-2010, 08:14 AM
I am excited about Ayers actually, seems like he is pretty driven and has a golden opportunity here

good pick for us

(countdown to someone bashing the other pick in 3...2...)

1, A Smith sucks =).

Chris
04-06-2010, 09:40 AM
Talk is cheap, but I am expecting marked improvement from the key players, and I use expecting in every sense of the word. I think they'll show enough this year to put everyone's mind at ease.

in every sense? like you're having a baby?

Doggcow
04-06-2010, 10:08 AM
Ayers showed flashes last year, I fully expect him to turn into a solid role player for us.

Tombstone RJ
04-06-2010, 10:29 AM
This is where coaching really comes into play. Ayers is saying all the right things and so is Martindale. If Ayers is serious about getting better then he will get better. If it's just lip service then he'll be exposed this coming year as a potential bust.

bowtown
04-06-2010, 10:32 AM
I just want to know when we are making a play for Morrison. I can't believe no one has jumped at a 3rd round tender for that guy yet.

chex
04-06-2010, 10:33 AM
in every sense? like you're having a baby?

I'll have one if they don't pan out, so yes.

baja
04-06-2010, 10:40 AM
Ayers showed flashes last year, I fully expect him to turn into a solid role player for us.

Not me, I expect him to develop into a star pass rusher.

Rabb
04-06-2010, 10:52 AM
I just want to know when we are making a play for Morrison. I can't believe no one has jumped at a 3rd round tender for that guy yet.

I was wondering that as well

Doggcow
04-06-2010, 10:54 AM
I just want to know when we are making a play for Morrison. I can't believe no one has jumped at a 3rd round tender for that guy yet.

That'd be awesome.

How many overall points does everyone expect Morrison to drop in Madden when he dons the Orange and Blue? Dawkins lost 12 (yes 12- 99 to 87 in one offseason!) overall points when changing from Philly to Denver last year... lol.

Bigdawg26
04-06-2010, 11:47 AM
Alphonso Smith and Richard Quinn suck!

KCStud
04-06-2010, 11:55 AM
The only thing Ayers did was bodyslam JC like a baby after he already ran 15 yards downfield.

baja
04-06-2010, 12:08 PM
Alphonso Smith and Richard Quinn suck!

too early to tell

baja
04-06-2010, 12:08 PM
The only thing Ayers did was bodyslam JC like a baby after he already ran 15 yards downfield.

thanks for declaring your trollness.

Los Broncos
04-06-2010, 12:11 PM
If Ayers steps up this year we could have a pretty good pass rush, him and Doom would be pretty sick.

I just hope they show up in big games.

FADERPROOF
04-06-2010, 12:34 PM
Ayers showed flashes last year, I fully expect him to turn into a solid role player for us.

Need 1st round picks to become more than role players.

epicSocialism4tw
04-06-2010, 12:55 PM
Ayers grew alot over the year, and I would expect him to be much improved this year. He could be a real contributor here starting next season.

As for Alphonso Smith, I'm less hopeful, but he doesnt have to be a starter next year. All he has to do is make some plays as the 3rd corner on the depth chart and step in when Bailey or Goodman inevitably get injured. I still hate that pick though...terrible.

Knowshon Moreno was an average player last year. Hopefully he'll make better choices and see the lanes better this year.

baja
04-06-2010, 02:21 PM
Ayers grew alot over the year, and I would expect him to be much improved this year. He could be a real contributor here starting next season.

As for Alphonso Smith, I'm less hopeful, but he doesnt have to be a starter next year. All he has to do is make some plays as the 3rd corner on the depth chart and step in when Bailey or Goodman inevitably get injured. I still hate that pick though...terrible.

Knowshon Moreno was an average player last year. Hopefully he'll make better choices and see the lanes better this year.

The only lanes available to him last season was when he went bowling.

BlaK-Argentina
04-06-2010, 03:20 PM
The only lanes available to him last season was when he went bowling.

True, and he did very well after contact. He will be great this year, just wait.

Doggcow
04-06-2010, 03:36 PM
Need 1st round picks to become more than role players.

I disagree, if we got solid roleplayers out of every first rounder I would be stoked. Then just load up on Brandon Marshall's and Elvis Dumervil's

KipCorrington25
04-06-2010, 07:43 PM
He can't be much more invisable..

chaz
04-06-2010, 09:09 PM
I expect big strides, but I still go back to what Mayock said after the '09 draft: Ayers and Moreno will be two of the three best players of the draft BY YEAR THREE.

2 of the best 3? Not sure that will pan out, but I think he was right on in saying both will come into their own over time.