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Gameday Online: Ayers Q&A

Posted Sep 29, 2011

Today's player Q&A comes from the Aug, 27 issue of the Gameday magazine, in which Robert Ayers talks about his move back to the defensive line and his new teammates.

Robert Ayers is back on the defensive line - his position group in college - and he's confident the Broncos' defensive mindset is back where it needs to be under new Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen.

How important is it to keep the game fun during the long days of training camp?

"When it's your job, you have got to keep it fun so you can go out and put everything into it. We have fun, but we keep it competitive while we get some extra work in."

With so many new faces, what has the chemistry been like on the defensive line?

"It's been going really well. Bunk (Brodrick Bunkley), (Derrick) Harvey and all the new guys - it's like they've been here the whole time. We know they are going to help us get better and that is all that matters."

How important is it to have a reliable rotation of players along the D-line?

"It's very important. And last year, our lack of depth showed. With the starters playing 65-70 plays - that's not a good situation. You can't be as productive. If the starters can give 40 plays all out and the other guys can give 30, then it's a big help. This year we definitely feel like we've added some guys that can help."

Has the transition from linebacker where you played last year to the D-line this year been a seamless one for you?

"There are always going to be some growing pains switching positions. But I feel good. I trained very hard and I'm ready. I feel like I'm getting back to where I was."

What's it like playing for Defensive Line Coach Wayne Nunnely?

"It's been real good. Coach Nunnely is a guy that you can talk to. He gets on you and coaches you hard. He emphasizes technique and when you play the right way consistently, your talent takes over, and that's what he believes in."

What are your initial impressions of rookie tackle Orlando Franklin?

"I've been very impressed. He's been aggressive. He's still learning and of course as a rookie you take your bumps, but he has been able to bounce back. When he has a bad day he always comes back the next day strong and puts the past in the past. He's a very confident player."

How important is it for this defense to develop a swagger?

"That's something we need. It's something we have to have. There is no way around it. We have to have that swagger and that image of ourselves. Defense is a violent thing and that's what it takes. The best defenses are the ones that are feared. That's what we want to do, nothing less."

How does a defense play nasty, effective defense?

"Whoever lines up in front of you - you whoop him. We need 11 guys doing that - whether you are a DB or a nose tackle. That's what being nasty is. When the guy across from you knows he can't win. That's what we want."

Is it good to see the No. 91 jersey in your locker?

"Yeah I'm just getting back to my roots, back on the defensive line. I love No. 56 (old number) but No. 91 symbolizes a lot for me. It is where I started in college and built my legacy, and I want to play the way I played in college. I just wanted to put the 56 era behind because I didn't do what I wanted to do."