A day-by-day Broncos player breakdown is something we've been doing since our days at BroncoTalk nearly a decade ago. This year the tradition continues as we look at the Denver Broncos roster heading into the 2015 season in our 90-in-90 series.
Name: Danny Trevathan
Position: Inside Linebacker
Height: 6-1 Weight: 240
Age: 25 Experience: 4
Fourth-year linebacker Danny Trevathan has something he wants you to know:
He - and fellow inside linebacker Brandon Marshall - are among the best in the NFL...and you should just prepare yourself for that fact.
"We came in with kind of a chip on our shoulders," Trevathan said of him and Marshall. "We both know we have the ability to play and be the best out there. It's time for us to make a name for ourselves."
That's exactly what No. 59 plans on doing this year to make up for spending most of last season in the training room.
But with a new kneecap and a new attitude, Trevathan wants to build on the success he had at the position in 2013.
"Anything can happen on any given Sunday and all you can do is lay it all out there, have no fear, take everything seriously and have fun," said the 25-year-old. "Just keep getting better at something you were down about. You have a chance to make it better and go out there and show that you can still be one of the best in this league."
Trevathan is not just looking forward to being among the best for his own accolades but because he can't wait to play in the promised more aggressive Broncos' D.
"It makes it so much easier," Trevathan said of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' new scheme. "We don't have to make too many checks. Basically we just play with the look and just do what we do. We're just focusing on getting into the defense, lining up, being physical and just making the plays that we need to make."
The Ohio native led the 2013 Broncos in tackles with 124 solo takedowns. The next best tackler that year was Duke Ihenacho at 77. Trevathan also had two sacks, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 10 passes knocked down.
As an inside linebacker in Wade Phillips' new 3-4, Trevathan could be blitzing, spying the quarterback, covering receivers ... the opportunities to stop the play are endless.
And for a not-so-big but absolutely fierce linebacker, a defense predicated on fast, aggressive play is perfect for Trevathan.
"I've got a lot of attitude," Trevathan admitted. "Off the field, I have a good heart, but on the field, I just want to put the hammer down on someone. It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog."
The biggest question mark for Trevathan will be injuries. He didn't just endure one injury last season. The former Kentucky Wildcat had three different major injuries to his left leg.
Suffering a broken left tibia during 11-on-11 drills in August, the linebacker missed the start of the season but came back in Week 5 after the team's early bye, only to injure his left kneecap on the second play of the game against the Jets in Week 6. Then in Week 15 against the Chargers, Trevathan's left kneecap completely gave out. That last straw placed him on Injured Reserve for the final two games of the season plus the divisional playoff game.
If he can get back to full health and stay that way, Trevathan will be a game-changer in this defense.
Quotable: Speaking to MHR's Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann in an exclusive interview this spring, Trevathan could barely contain his excitement for getting back out on the field - and doing so with a new defensive scheme.
"Man, I am READY!" said the 6-foot-1, 240-pound inside linebacker who was sidelined most of last season with injuries. "I'm going to play with emotion, I'm going to play smart, I'm going full speed. Everyone is going to have to bring their best game."
And for good measure, Trevathan points out that he and Marshall don't have plans just to be the best linebackers, but also the best-looking ones.
Status: Still rehabbing after kneecap reconstruction surgery in January, Trevathan is aiming to be ready for the start of Training Camp July 31, but he's also not planning to push his recovery and set himself back.
"I think I'll be ready [for Training Camp], but I'm just going to take it one day at a time. That's all I can do," Trevathan said after the June 17 OTA workout. "I want this leg to be stronger than it's ever been since I've been playing. I have to take that every day, attack my workout and therapy, and I won't have any problems this year."