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Drawing from Postseason Experience

Posted Jan 7, 2013

The Broncos have 36 players with postseason experience on the roster.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Entering the 2011 postseason, the Broncos had just 14 players with playoff experience.

This year, that number has more than doubled. Thirty-six Broncos have a combined 140 playoff games under their belt.

“We definitely know what to expect,” linebacker Wesley Woodyard said. “Last year, my first time and a lot of guys’ first time to get in the playoffs last year, to see what it feels like and know what you have to do to win. You can’t be, ‘Oh, I should have made that play.’ You have to be at your game every single snap. That’s something that a lot of guys on this team have experience with going into the playoffs.”

Cornerback Chris Harris appeared in his first two playoff games last season as well.

“Last year, playing two games in the playoffs will definitely help out a lot with the experience,” he said. “I know I can just go out and play my game. It’s not a big difference from regular season other than teams are a little bit more desperate just because it’s win or go home.”

Harris tied for third on the team with five tackles in Denver’s Wild Card win against Pittsburgh and ranked second with eight stops in the team’s Divisional matchup at New England. He said the experience of going against top competition in the playoffs will help this year.

“That experience last year, going against (Steelers quarterback) Big Ben (Roethlisberger) and (Patriots quarterback) Tom Brady, you can’t get any better experience as a rookie,” Harris said. “That definitely helped me out.”

A total of 22 Broncos played in their first career postseasons a year ago, while the Broncos signed free agents Peyton Manning, Dan Koppen, Brandon Stokley and Keith Brooking, who have combined for 57 games of postseason experience.

In fact, eight of the 10 Broncos with the most playoff experience were signed by Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway in 2012. Those eight players account for more than half of the roster’s career playoff games.

Having been there before can only help the Broncos as they begin their postseason run on Saturday against the Ravens.

"I think there’s no substitute for experience," Fox said. "I think you draw from it and what you do with it’s critical and so time will tell.”