After practice on Wednesday, Derek Wolfe said some things that made me want to paint myself orange and blue and roar IN-COM-PLETE or something. Whatever it was, it made me go all Broncomaniac. Wolfe is reppin' the Denver Broncos exactly as you would hope a player would and as a fan I love it.
First of all, he had little care for free agency. He wanted to stay in Denver and negotiated a deal during the season to remove all question of his intention.
"Absolutely not. I did what I felt what was right," Wolfe said of not testing free agency. "I'm happy for Malik. He deserves it. I’m where I wanted to be. You can’t put a price on happiness. I’m happy and that’s all that really matters."
I'm happy, you're happy, Derek, because you just said what ever fan loves to hear from players when they re-sign to stay with their team. Again, I love it!
Derek Wolfe says, "Absolutely not," when asked whether he has regrets about not testing the market. "I'm where I want to be."— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) May 25, 2016
The Afternoon Drive talked about Wolfe's decision to avoid free agency with former NFL player Chad Brown. The fact is, Wolfe didn't need to wait. He was getting paid regardless.
The fact is, Wolfe love Denver and wants to finish out his career here. That should continue to make fans like me love him even more.
"I love the city, the fans. The people here are great," Wolfe said of playing for the Broncos. "I couldn’t imagine playing in another city. I don’t really want to ever have to play in another city. I’ll probably just play here until I decided to just be done. That’s my plan."
For 2016, it's all about getting better for Wolfe. Both personally and as a unit.
"I just think there is always room for improvement," Wolfe said of how he can improve. "You go back and watch the film, and there are a lot of things that we could’ve done a lot better. I think we can be even better than we were last year."
"Cleaning up mistakes," Wolfe said of the unit as a whole. "There are a couple of run plays that got broken on us. We want to be No. 1 in everything—not just 14. We were No. 1 in 14 different categories on defense. We want to be No. 1 on all of them."
How could the NFL's top ranked defense improve when they lost Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan, along with key backups in David Bruton and Omar Bolden? Easy, there are still 10 stars playing on that side of the ball and they put forth maximum effort.
"Ultimately defense is about effort," Wolfe said of how the defense can continue to improve. "Our defense plays with a ton of effort. It doesn’t matter what adjustments people will make. We’re going to play hard. That’s what it comes down to. I think a lot of defense lose it not just because of people adjusting to what they do, but it’s because they lose guys to free agency. You lose that chemistry. You’ve got to keep that chemistry. That’s why we’re such a great defense. We care about each other. That’s why we’re such a good team because we all have each other’s back. The offense has the defense’s back. The defense has the offense’s back. As far as team chemistry, we’re not going to lose anything."
There is a culture in Denver on the defensive side of the ball. Wade Phillips has a system that you either buy into or you get the hell on the bench.
"We have a standard here, and they either buy in or they don’t," Wolfe said of integrating new players on defense. "They’re either going to buy into that standard or they’re going to get the hell out."
Like wow. Yep, Wolfe is only going to be more beloved by Broncos Country now.
And if you think his long-term deal is going to slow him down, think again. The money will only motivate him to prove to everyone that he was worth every dime.
"To me, I have to prove my worth, prove that I was worth that much money," Wolfe said of his big contract. "I have to go out there and prove to the fans, to the team, to the organization, to my teammates and to everybody that I’m worth that much money. To me, it puts a little bit more pressure on me actually."