Login  |   Register
On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., Oct. 02, 2016 2:05 PM - 5:00 PM MDT GAMEDAY: Broncos at Buccs
    Broncos at Buccaneers
    Sunday, October 2 • 2:05PM MDT • CBS
    Week 4

  • Sun., Oct. 02, 2016 2:05 PM - 5:00 PM MDT GAMEDAY: Falcons vs. Broncos
    Falcons vs. Broncos
    Sunday, October 9 • 2:05PM MDT • FOX
    Week 5 • A Crucial Catch • presented by U.S. Bank

  • Mon., Oct. 03, 2016 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM MDT Hometown Huddle Hometown Huddle
    Date: Monday 10/3 5-7 pm
    Location: UCHealth Training Facility
    Description: Annual celebration of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver kids participating in the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge.
  • Fri., Oct. 07, 2016 6:00 PM - 9:30 PM MDT Crush Night Out Crush Night Out
    October 7, 2016
    6PM - 9:30PM
    Sports Authority Field at Mile High

    Click here to purchase tickets

    Crush Night Out is our most popular event and one that most of our members look forward to attending every year. The event provides Crush members with photo and autograph opportunities from their favorite Broncos players as well as a fun night out with friends. This event is normally held in early fall at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

    Membership is free. Not a Crush Member? REGISTER HERE

  • Thu., Oct. 13, 2016 6:25 PM - 9:30 PM MDT GAMEDAY: Broncos at Chargers
    Broncos at Chargers
    Thursday, October 13 • 6:25PM MDT • CBS / NFLN
    Week 6

  • Sat., Oct. 15, 2016 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM MDT Trick-or-Treat Party

    Trick-or-Treat Party
    October 15 • 10AM - 2PM
    Sports Authority Field at Mile High

    For more information visit Broncosbunch.com

  • Mon., Oct. 24, 2016 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM MDT GAMEDAY: Texans vs. Broncos
    Texans vs. Broncos
    Monday, October 24 • 6:30PM MDT • ESPN
    Week 7 • NFL Homecoming • Ring of Fame Ceremony • presented by Bud Light

  • Sun., Oct. 30, 2016 2:05 PM - 5:00 PM MDT GAMEDAY: Chargers vs. Broncos
    Chargers vs. Broncos
    Sunday, October 30 • 2:05PM MDT • CBS
    Week 8 • Halloween Extravaganza • presented by Nationwide

  • Tue., Nov. 01, 2016 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM MDT Drive for Life Drive for Life
    Date: Tuesday 11/1, 8 am – 5 pm
    Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    Description: 19th annual community blood drive in partnership with Bonfils Blood Center. Appointments are not needed, for more information please visit: www.bonfils.org
  • Sun., Nov. 06, 2016 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM MST GAMEDAY: Broncos at Raiders
    Broncos at Raiders
    Sunday, November 6 • 6:30PM MST • NBC
    Week 9


Gameday Online: Blood, Sweat and Tears

Posted Oct 14, 2011

From the Chargers Gameday program: In 2008, Wesley Woodyard put everything he had into making the Broncos as an undrafted free agent. He is now a three-time captain and a leader on the football field.

Four years ago, Wesley Woodyard’s football career was in jeopardy.

Undrafted, the linebacker boarded a flight to Denver on a “dark, gloomy day,” as he remembers it, believing his chances of making the team as a college free agent were “slim to none.” But he was going to give it everything he had.

Fast forward to 2011. Woodyard has been voted a captain three times. He leads the team in special-teams stops since his rookie campaign, and has contributed more than 100 tackles on defense.

Not to mention he already serves as inspiration to younger teammates looking to follow in his footsteps.

“I'm trying to go out there and be just like him,” said Cassius Vaughn, a fellow undrafted Bronco. “You would want to be a captain because he's a captain and you know it's not impossible.”

This season, Woodyard stepped in as a starter when D.J. Williams was injured, and proceeded to lead the team in tackles in the first three games of the season, helping to cement a win against the Bengals with a diving pass breakup on the final drive of the game.

But Woodyard isn’t happy with where he is -- he strives to get better on a daily basis.

“I never try to remember the good plays, I always remember the bad plays and what I can do to get better,” he said. “To me, that’s what keeps us growing. Whenever you stop learning from your mistakes, that’s when you’re going to decline in your game. It’s an uphill battle every day to get better, and that’s something that I take pride in, trying to get better every day.”


Entering his senior season at Kentucky, Woodyard was confident.

He was fresh off a junior campaign that earned him first-team All-SEC honors, and he was watching players he dominated in college head to the NFL and find success, giving him hope he could follow in their footsteps.

“You build that momentum as the years go on,” Woodyard said. “My senior year I just knew that I could play in the NFL.”

That season, Woodyard put together his third straight 100-tackle season en route to first-team All-SEC honors again.

He left Kentucky ranked eighth in school history with 395 tackles, and was anxious for the 2008 NFL Draft.

He played in the Senior Bowl, went through the NFL Scouting Combine and held a Pro Day at Kentucky. So when draft day came, Woodyard gathered his family and they watched as the rounds went by.

Woodyard, who thought he would be taken no later than the fourth or fifth round, never heard his name called.

“Seeing guys that I worked out with, guys that I thought I was better than get taken before me, it was painful,” Woodyard said. “But I give credit to that. I felt like it was about to be taken from me. So I came out here and I just wanted to fight and leave it all on the field.”

Woodyard said he took the advice of Assistant Director of Pro Personnel Anthony “Champ” Kelly, a fellow Kentucky alum, and headed to Denver to try to make the team as a college free agent.

Jump to the final preseason game of 2008 against the Houston Texans. Due to injuries, Woodyard got the first start of his career, and he didn’t waste the opportunity.

He led the team with six solo tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.

“At the end of the game I actually cried,” Woodyard recalled. “I had been thinking that I couldn’t play this game. I called my brother, and I said ‘I can play this game.’ He said, ‘Man, we believed in you.’”

He made the final 53-man roster, and called it “an experience I’ll never forget.” From that day forward he had confidence that he could make it in the NFL.

“It’s something that from time to time I reminisce on,” Woodyard said. “It’s a chip on my shoulder that I’m glad I have.”


Four years into his NFL career, Woodyard has made a name for himself both on the field and in the locker room.

On special teams, Woodyard has shined – he leads the Broncos in special-teams stops since his rookie season, and has already made two this year.

On defense, the linebacker has made 148 tackles, starting 12 of his 47 career games. He has also chipped in a sack, an interception, a forced fumble and four passes defensed.

This season, Head Coach John Fox was impressed with the way Woodyard stepped in for the injured Williams, part of the club’s “next man up” mantra.

“He stepped in and has done a terrific job,” Head Coach John Fox said. “He made the most of that opportunity.”

As a reserve against Green Bay, he was second on the club in tackles and made a special-teams stop.

“Any time I’m on that field, I’m going to give it my all,” Woodyard said. “I love my teammates and I love the game of football. It’s not my duty to worry about when or how I get on the field. My job is to go out there and give it all I’ve got for that play or however long it is I’m in there. That’s the only thing that matters – my teammates.”

That passion for the game has not been lost on his teammates, who have voted Woodyard a captain for three straight seasons.

“Just from him being a captain for three years and only being in the league four, it shows the type of person and the type of player that he is,” fellow linebacker Joe Mays said.

“He's the ultimate team player; he goes out and plays hard every play,” Vaughn chimed in. “Not one single play have I ever seen him not go hard.”


Fox described Woodyard as a “well-thought-of guy” in the locker room, and his teammates echoed that sentiment.

But it’s not just his leadership on the field that earned him his teammate’s respect -- one of the reasons is his sense of humor.

“He’s a jokester – having him in the equation, it just makes the whole team jell,” Mays said.

If there’s a lot of laughter in the locker room, chances are Woodyard is somehow involved. Whether he’s pranking teammates or just telling a good joke in the huddle to keep guys loose, it’s a trait that the linebacker and his teammates have come to appreciate.

In fact, when news got out that Woodyard would be featured on the cover of a Gameday program, no less than eight players made sure to rib the linebacker and return the favor to the team’s main source of comic relief.

Woodyard wouldn’t have it any other way.

“God gave me the gift to make people laugh and enjoy situations that we’re in,” Woodyard said, prompting a loud laugh from Ryan McBean in the background. “Everybody messes with me because I always mess with them. But that’s a good blessing. I’ve always been the kind of guy that keeps guys loose and makes sure guys are having a good day. That means a lot to me.”

But being a captain is more than just making people laugh for Woodyard. He makes sure his passion for the game “pours out of (his) pores” every single play, and he’s thankful his teammates have seen that in him.

He credits that leadership to his upbringing.

“I can remember my mom always telling me, ‘There are no quitters in this family. Stick in there when times get rough. You never give up,’” Woodyard said. “From time to time you have to look back on that. My family brought me up to always be a strong-minded person and just give your best at whatever you’re going to do.”

Facebook Comments

Let us know your thoughts. Comment below through Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts.