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Old 06-27-2009, 07:03 PM   #1
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Default Taking a Break

By Zach Eisendrath

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Minicamps and organized team activities are in the rearview mirror. Team offseason conditioning drills have officially come to an end. Now, nothing stands between the Broncos and training camp. Nothing besides a little more than a month of rest and relaxation if so desired.

So, what will players do with their time away from Dove Valley? Well, the answer depends on which player you happen to stumble into as you make your way through the team's locker room. Many are heading back home to celebrate the Fourth of July with family and friends. Others are staying in Denver, where they will continue to vigorously train to be ready when training camp kicks off in late July.

Some players' plans are more exhilarating than others. But it's hard to argue that any player on the team will have a more invigorating break than D.J. Johnson. The rookie cornerback will spend the majority of his break in Jackson, Miss., as he awaits the birth of his first child - a baby boy.

Johnson's baby is due on July 5th, meaning there is a chance he could be delivered on Independence Day.

"He will add some fireworks to my life," Johnson said with a smile. "A child is one of the most exciting things you can have. It's a new challenge. Now I'm going to have the NFL and a child - I think those are going to be the two biggest things in my life. Between working out and having a baby, I think I'll be pretty busy."

The award for most exotic vacation plans during the team's prolonged layoff goes to Nick Greisen.

There isn't much Greisen won't be doing during the month-long break. He is taking not one, but two lengthy road trips during his time off.

The eight-year veteran linebacker rented an RV on Thursday night, and alongside his wife is currently in the early stages of a 17-day road trip through Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Greisen has quite the sightseeing experience lined up. A few of his prime destinations include Colorado Springs, Aspen and Telluride, Colo., as well Jackson Hole, Wyo. He also plans on getting a heavy dose of wildlife when he gets a first-hand experience at Yellowstone National Park.

"This is our time to get away and go on little vacations," Greisen said. "For my wife, this break lets her do some things she wants to do. She always has to follow me around with football, so now it was her time to plan what she wanted to do."

Once back from the first road trip, Greisen and his wife will stop back home, grab their 5-month-old baby -- and their dog -- and leave for another mile-packed road trip. Next on Greisen's odometer: his home state, Wisconsin, where fishing, whitewater rafting and zip-lining are all activities on the agenda.

"We're going to stay in a fifth-wheel trailer on our property in Wisconsin and just kind of do some camping out there," Greisen said. "We've got jet skis and a dock and a little fishing boat -- we're going to hit up a lot of different things. We are going to make the most of the time we have and being out here."

Greisen is hardly the only Bronco planning on spending his time away from the practice field relaxing on a boat, tackle box within reach and fishing pole in hand.

Brandon Lloyd will be doing plenty of fishing when he travels to Stillwater, N.J., to visit his wife's side of the family. While his wife catches up with her relatives, Lloyd plans on spending an abundance of time casting a line with his brother-in-law.

"We basically fish 24 hours a day," Lloyd said with a laugh. "We go out (into the water) all day, go to sleep and then wake up at midnight and go fishing again. We're always fishing."


When you're looking for all-around family fun, it's hard to find a better venue than Orlando, Fla. - Disney World in particular. Apparently Andra Davis agrees, as he will be taking his three children to the world-famous resort during his break.

Davis' 2-year-old daughter plans on meeting Minnie Mouse. His 5- and 8-year-old daughters are looking forward to visiting the most frightening amusements at the park, such as the Tower of Terror - a ride which features heavy drops that are sure to make even the strongest stomachs quiver. Wonder where his daughters get their daredevil traits from? Davis has always been fond of stimulating experiences and he may be just as excited as his children to ride the roller coasters.

Davis, however, might not be the bravest individual within his own family.

"I've always loved roller coasters, but my 8-year old daughter laughs at what others perceive to be scary situations," he said. "One time we were flying back to Cleveland in real bad weather and the turbulence was so bad, and she is on the plane laughing. Everybody is scared but she is laughing. She likes exciting stuff like that."


The Broncos' 2009 rookies will begin their vacation period by attending the NFL Rookie Symposium from June 28 to July 1 in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Knowshon Moreno, Robert Ayers, Alphonso Smith and the rest of the team's '09 draft picks will be given advice on NFL life during the four-day convention. Topics at the conference include responsibility and professionalism -- in fact, Eddie Royal will be a panelist, telling the rookies what to expect in their first season.

After appearing at the rookie symposium, the first-year players have a variety of activities planned.

Moreno plans on spending time with family back in Middletown, N.J., where he'll have two reasons to celebrate on the 4th of July, as Independence Day coincides with his grandmother's birthday.

David Bruton is heading home to Winchester, Ky., to be with his son and partake in a family reunion. With plenty of youngsters in the family tree, Bruton said his family is renting out a park for the Fourth of July.

Meanwhile, Richard Quinn is traveling back to North Carolina to see his 11-month-year-old daughter. While in Chapel Hill, Quinn said he also plans on working out with his old teammates before heading to Cleveland for a family reunion in mid July.

Although he is no longer enrolled in school, studying is still very much a part of Ayers' schedule. After taking a few days off to fully move out of his college apartment in Tennessee and attend the rookie symposium, he said his head will be deep in the playbook during the layoff as he tries to gain a further grasp on his assignments in defensive coordinator Mike Nolan's system in preparation for training camp.

During his downtime, Ayers said he plans to lay low. He admits he isn't much of a sightseer. Instead, he said he'll like spend much of his downtime playing video games against friends and strangers alike.

Throughout offseason activities, Ayers has been bonding with his rookie teammates by playing video games. Currently, he is seeking challengers in the new Ultimate Fighting Championship game. To Ayers, the platform doesn't make much difference. Playstation 3 or X-Box 360 alike, he is ready for his next opponent.

"I'm like 115-20 or something like that," Ayers said. "I play online a lot -- with teammates and with strangers."


For many players, despite the allotted vacation time, their schedules won't change much. Numerous players plan on working out at Dove Valley in an attempt to push themselves even further in preparation for training camp. Kyle Orton and Brandon Stokley are staying in Denver to gear up for what they hope to be a playoff-caliber season.

Chris Simms will likewise be roaming around the facility before training camp.

Since entering the league, Simms has used the team-layoff to improve his conditioning prior to camp. It's a routine he doesn't plan on breaking this offseason.

"I just like to keep in shape and keep going so then when you get to training camp it's not so hard making the adjustment," he said. "I don't like to break my routine right before camp."


Everette Pedescleaux -- a Plymouth, Minn., native -- is heading back to his home state to work out with Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Pat Williams.

Jack Williams will be back in Norfolk, Va., for much of his break. Although the location changes, Williams' training will not. He is making workouts a focal point of his trip.

"I'll be at home training," he said. "I call that a vacation, but I'll be training back in Virginia."

LaMont Jordan is spending most of his break in Denver gearing up for the upcoming season, but he hopes to sneak in a short vacation. He said he plans on flying out to New York for a bit just to "get that New York feel for a couple of days."

Wesley Woodyard will head to Louisville, Ky., to help his old college teammate Keenan Burton, now a wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams, with a camp for middle school students. Meanwhile, Colorado native Daniel Graham will start his break by hosting consecutive camps on Friday and Saturday. Friday's camp is for high school students while Saturday's is for younger participants.

at least they are going to workout together to get some continuity
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