Login  |   Register
On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Aug. 06, 2016 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM MDT Broncos Carne Asada, presented by Bud Light Broncos Carne Asada, presented by Bud Light
    August 6, 2016 12-2 p.m.
    Lincoln Park in Greeley, Colorado
    First 500 fans will receive free food and drink
  • Sat., Aug. 13, 2016 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM MDT Broncos Bowl Broncos Bowl
    Date: Saturday 8/13, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    Description: Annual youth and NFL FLAG Football event at stadium
  • Sun., Aug. 21, 2016 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM MDT Broncos Carne Asada, presented by Bud Light Broncos Carne Asada, presented by Bud Light
    August 21, 2016 12-2 p.m.
    Mile High Flea Market in Henderson, Colorado
    First 500 fans will receive free food and drink
  • Sun., Sep. 04, 2016 8:00 AM MDT 2016 Back to Football 7k The 2016 Broncos Back to Football 7k date is Sunday, September 4, 2016! Click here for more information
  • Sun., Sep. 04, 2016 8:30 AM MDT Health & Wellness Expo Broncos 7K, followed by Health & Wellness Expo
  • Mon., Sep. 12, 2016 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM MDT PLAY 60 Kickoff PLAY 60 Kickoff
    Date: Monday 9/12 4-6 pm
    Location: Owen Boys & Girls Club
    Description: Annual kickoff for the Fall PLAY 60 Challenge
  • Mon., Sep. 12, 2016 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM MDT Mom’s Football Safety Clinic Mom’s Football Safety Clinic
    Date: Monday 9/12 6-9 pm
    Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    Description: Third annual Mom’s Football Safety Clinic.
  • Tue., Sep. 13, 2016 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM MDT PLAY 60 Kickoff PLAY 60 Kickoff
    Date: Tuesday 9/13 4-6 pm
    Location: Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club
    Description: Annual kickoff for the Fall PLAY 60 Challenge
  • Tue., Sep. 13, 2016 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM MDT Mom’s Football Safety Clinic Mom’s Football Safety Clinic
    Date: Tuesday 9/13 6-9 pm
    Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    Description: Third annual Mom’s Football Safety Clinic.
  • 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.
Print
RSS

Hard Work Pays Off

Posted Sep 6, 2011

After spending the season on the practice squad a year ago, Mitch Unrein worked tirelessly to improve and ultimately earned a spot on the 2011 active roster.


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- At times, he was at a loss for words. At others, he couldn’t keep from smiling.

As defensive tackle Mitch Unrein sat at his locker and talked about his spot on the 2011 Broncos 53-man roster, it was obvious the reality of his accomplishment was still setting in.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Unrein said. “I grew up here in Colorado and never thought that I’d be playing for the Broncos when I got older. When I came in that morning of cut day and I didn’t get called up, I realized I had made the team… it was just great.”

Few, if any, believed Unrein -- a self-proclaimed “underdog” – would ever have a locker to call his own in the National Football League.

College coaches overlooked him when he graduated from Eaton High School and eventually walked on at the University of Wyoming.

But once he arrived on campus, Unrein began to make a name for himself as a defensive end, earning a scholarship after his redshirt freshman season and finishing his collegiate career with 156 tackles and 10.5 sacks.

NFL coaches then overlooked him once he entered the NFL Draft as he eventually signed as a college free agent last year with the Houston Texans for the preseason. The Broncos later signed Unrein to their practice squad, where he would spend the entire 2010 season adjusting to the speed of the game and gaining strength.

Unrein entered the Broncos’ 2011 training camp hoping for a chance to prove himself worthy of a roster spot yet again.

And with the Broncos thin at defensive tackle to start camp, the coaching staff tried Unrein at nose guard. It was an opportunity Unrein knew he needed to take advantage of.

“I never thought I was going to be playing nose or anything like that, but when we were down in numbers at the beginning of camp I started doing pretty well at nose guard,” Unrein said. “So they kept me there and that just built confidence for me.”

Unrein began to feel like he belonged. His confidence grew as he refined his technique and continually progressed throughout camp.

“I had confidence going in to this training camp playing on the practice squad last year,” Unrein said. “I know I can play at this level.”

The Broncos coaching staff and front office believed that to be true.

Unrein was named to the active roster, defying the odds once again.

“Obviously we thought enough of him to make him a part of the team,” Head Coach John Fox said. “I don’t know what people on the outside expected, but he was evaluated just like everybody else that got a spot and we think he deserves a spot on the team.”

Unrein made the team, now he needs to make it count.

“I still have a long ways to go and there is no getting around that,” Unrein added. “But hard work is the reason I made it this far so I’m just going to keep a clear head and work as hard as I can.”

That’s been the formula for success for Unrein – work as hard as possible and let the rest fall into place.

Now a former Wyoming walk-on is getting ready to suit up for his childhood team on Monday Night Football against the Raiders.

“It hasn’t really set in that I’ve made the active roster yet,” Unrein said. “I know running out of the tunnel on Monday night – that’s when it’s really going to hit me.”

“I’ve come a long way,” he added with a smile. “Hard work does get you places.”

Facebook Comments

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