There’s a laundry list of “what went wrong” last year for the Broncos to finish the season sitting out the playoffs with just a 9-7 record to show for their post-Super Bowl year.
But the main thing that went wrong, says Derek Wolfe, is the Broncos just plain didn’t get it done.
It’s a cliché, but it’s also the truth.
“I can sit here and make all the excuses I want, but at the end of the day, we just didn’t get it done,” Wolfe said, pointing specifically to how the team overcame its Hall-of-Fame QB plus defensive captain sitting out with injuries for several weeks during their Super Bowl run. “We got put in a lot of bad situations, we just made it happen.”
But last season, the Broncos didn’t make it happen - and Wolfe will not stand for that again.
“There’s no excuse for that. It’s just poor focus, bad football, guys were banged up, whatever. It doesn’t matter. You just have to get it done,” he said. “And that’s what we’re going to do this year, get that shit done.”
And Mr. DEFWU is going to make sure of it.
There’s always a lot of talk about leadership during an offseason - usually by reporters asking every player if they consider themselves to be leaders. And just about every player says yes when put on the spot.
Not every player is really up to that task, but Wolfe believes his time to be a leader has come. He’s coming up on his sixth year in the league, and he’s been around a lot of great players to see what to do - and what not to do.
“Every season for me is just a learning session. ...You learn something new every season and last season I didn’t do enough,” he said. “I have to take more of a leadership role.”
"When I saw things, I didn't speak up and I didn't say things when I should have. I'm not letting that sh*t slide this year." https://t.co/H1W3jAKkXS— L.Lattimore-Volkmann (@docllv) May 16, 2017
Wolfe admitted to reporters on Tuesday after OTA workouts that they’d be hearing a lot more from him this season - “I have a lot to say.”
“I didn’t speak up enough. When I saw things, I didn’t speak up and I didn’t say things when I should have,” Wolfe acknowledged. “I’m not letting that shit slide this year.”
If you know Wolfe’s story, you know he’s not joking because he doesn’t take this charmed life for granted. He considers this team his family, and that means he will do whatever he can to keep it together and keep it improving.
For his own accountability, Wolfe - looking like a badass samurai at his presser - has put on 20 pounds and says his neck feels great.
The defensive end is ready to get to work.
“I love to win,” he added. “I love the relationship - football has always been my family. I built such a relationship with these guys that I’m around. ...I’m just so close with those guys. I just couldn’t imagine playing with another group of guys.”
Which is another thing that leads Wolfe to believe the Broncos will be a lot better than a lot of the prognosticators are predicting.
“They can talk about numbers and all that shit, but they can’t measure heart,” Wolfe said. “I think this team has more heart than anybody, and we’re going to prove that this year.”