ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos know that last season's 13-3 campaign, which earned the AFC's No. 1 seed in the playoffs, wasn't good enough.
As Head Coach John Fox always says, there's only one team that's happy at the end of the season. And in 2012, it wasn't Denver.
That's why the team has strived for an in-season attitude during offseason workouts.
"It takes great focus -- that’s why they call them professionals," Fox said Thursday. "These guys work hard and I’ve been very, very pleased with their work ethic and their focus to get better. I’m seeing that. Our expectations are high, but nobody’s expectations are higher than ours.”
Newly elected Broncos Ring of Famer Tom Nalen recently recalled the way the team attacked the offseason prior to the 1997 campaign after a devastating playoff loss to end the 1996 season.
He said he's seen that same attitude in this year's Broncos.
"Definitely when you came back for those minicamps, it was serious," Nalen said. "We were pretty embarrassed as a team from 1996. So when you came back, you weren’t really feeling great about yourself. You were 13-3, had the No. 1 seed and what did it get you? You kind of had to go back to the drawing board and maybe reassess how you worked out in the offseason prior to it, how you approached every game. There were a lot of things that went into it."
"I think you can see that here. Guys are excited to come back."
The team understands just how much work is ahead of it to end the season on a high note.
But it hasn't shied away from stating its goals.
"Obviously one of our goals is to win the division -- when you win your division, you’re guaranteed a spot in the playoffs," Fox said. "Then once you get into the playoffs, it’s another season. I think we got a taste of that a year ago and the year before that. Hopefully we’ll learn from those experiences and we’ll just take it a game at a time.
"But this time of year, I think everybody’s goal is to win the Super Bowl.”