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  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 3:00 PM - 6:30 PM MDT Orange Night Ride

    The year's Orange Ride is scheduled for Oct. 23, 2014 with a start time of 4:30 p.m. from the Denver City and County Building. We have put together a list of activities leading up to that night's Broncos game against San Diego. We hope to see you there!
    3-4 p.m. Pregame fan rally in front of Denver City and County Building
    4:30 p.m. Ride departs Denver City and County Building to Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5:00 p.m. Ride arrives at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5-6 p.m. Orange Ride pregame tailgate party at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    6:00 p.m. Orange Ride departs stadium to Tavern Downtown to watch the Broncos game
    6:25 p.m. Watch the Broncos game while enjoying Tavern Downtown’s food and drink specials
    And don't forget that the Broncos and Denver B-cycle have teamed up to offer a new bike valet service for home games for the 2014 season, giving fans a place to park their bike in a secure place staffed by B-cycle volunteers!
  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 6:25 PM MDT Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers The Denver Broncos take on AFC West opponent the San Diego Chargers on Thursady Night Football on NFL Network.
  • Sat., Oct. 25, 2014 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM MDT Broncos Bunch Trick-or-Treat

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  • Sun., Nov. 02, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos at New England Patriots The Denver Broncos travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots in a rematch of the 2013 AFC Championship. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 09, 2014 2:05 PM MST Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders The Denver Broncos face their AFC West foe Oakland Raiders on the road. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 16, 2014 11:00 AM MST Denver Broncos at St. Louis Rams The Denver Broncos face the St. Louis Rams on the road at 11 a.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 23, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins The Denver Broncos take on the AFC East Miami Dolphins. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Tue., Nov. 25, 2014 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM MST Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution Denver Rescue Mission Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution
  • Sun., Nov. 30, 2014 6:30 PM MST Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs The Denver Broncos travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face AFC West foe the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football on NBC.
  • Sun., Dec. 07, 2014 2:05 PM MST Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 Tribute Game Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 tribute game. Teams will be recognized before the team's game against the Buffalo Bills.

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Helmets Off: Robert Ayers

Posted Dec 15, 2010

Robert Ayers sits down with DenverBroncos.com to discuss his second NFL season in this week's edition of 'Helmets Off.'

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Robert Ayers set the tone for his second NFL season with his first career sack in the opener at Jacksonville. Despite missing five games in the middle of the year with a foot injury, the linebacker has continued to produce.

In eight games, Ayers has set a new career high with 28 tackles, including 1.5 sacks. He has bounced back from his injury with 10 tackles in the three games since returning on Nov. 22 in San Diego. The 2009 first-round pick also forced his first fumble of the season in last week's loss in Arizona.

Ahead of Sunday's road finale in Oakland, Ayers sat down with DenverBroncos.com to discuss his progress in the defense, rehab from injury and lessons learned from a tough season.

What do you think has been the biggest difference between your rookie season and now?
"I think I've matured a lot more, and things that I didn't necessarily know how to deal with as a rookie, I've learned how to deal with. I've learned a lot more about being a pro and just how to approach every day. I'm still learning, and I'm going to continue to learn. And I think at the end of the day that will be what determines what type of career I have."

What's the best piece of advice you've gotten about playing in the NFL?
"I've gotten a lot of advice, man. (Assistant Linebackers Coach) Roman Phifer is probably the one that gives me the most advice. He's probably been the biggest influence on me since I've been here. He's just always telling me about steps and working towards goals and not letting things affect your goals. He's always whispering something in my ear. There's so many things that he's told me that it's hard for me to say that one is bigger than the other. But I can definitely say that he's the greatest influence I've had since I've been here."

After your foot injury, what was the rehab period like for you having to watch your teammates from the sideline?
"It was definitely tough, especially when you feel like you can help your team. At the time when I got hurt, I was definitely trying to pick up some momentum. Dealing with it mentally and then watching my team struggle was definitely hard. One thing I always say is that even though I'm not playing, the guys who are out there laying it all on the line that are playing have it a lot worse than I have it when they are sacrificing a lot and not getting the end result. Me being hurt isn't anything compared to guys going out and laying it on the line and not getting the results that they want."

During that time, what did you try to do to stay mentally and physically ready to contribute when you could come back?
"I just tried to stay in the film room and listen to what the other guys were saying, all the veterans -- D.J. (Williams), (Wesley) Wood(yard), Champ (Bailey), (Brian) Dawk(ins) -- and the coaches. I was just trying to stay in tune to what was going on. With my foot injury, there wasn't much I could do. I was pretty much just limping around, icing it every day. There wasn't much I could do. I couldn't run, couldn't lift, couldn't do too much. I had to stay into it mentally."

Given that, what does it mean to be back in the starting lineup now?
"It definitely means a lot. It's something I love to do, and being hurt -- I wouldn't wish that on anyone. It definitely takes a lot out of you to be hurt. To have to come back from it is tough for you mentally. It can be discouraging, especially when you come back and you expect to come back the way that you left. The reality of it is you very rarely do that. To come back and not have my foot and my body respond the way it was before I got hurt was kind of tough."

What can you take from a season where you've experienced so much personal and team adversity?
"One thing my father always taught me, 'What doesn't kill you will make a man out of you.' Going through tough times, that's what makes you stronger at the end of the day. This is definitely a tough time for everyone here. No one likes to lose. No one likes to be in the situation that we are, but we're going to deal with it and we'll keep fighting. Later on in life, whether it deals with football or raising children, you're going to be able to apply the lessons you learned from going through these tough situations."

Heading into your fourth career game against Oakland, what's your view of the Broncos' rivalry with the Raiders?
"It's definitely a game I love to play, especially going up there. It's tough and their fans are crazy. They love getting after it, and this year the team is having a pretty successful season, so they're going to be even more jacked up. Those guys are hard-nosed. They have a reputation for being hard-nosed, fast and physical. You play them twice, and any time you play a team twice, you've got to have some type of hate for them. We respect each other, but when the whistle blows, it's war between us."

You were a high school sprinter and returned kickoffs for the football team. Do you take pride in your athleticism?
"I definitely do. Every once in a while we may do a drill where I get to try to look athletic or I may drop back in coverage. Me and Mario (Haggan) or whoever get to joking about who is more athletic. I definitely take pride in my athleticism, but I doubt I can still do any of those things I did back then."

Have you asked Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer to give you some practice reps back deep returning kicks?
"I've asked him, but he didn't take it seriously. I really didn't mean it seriously. I know I'd probably get killed back there."

With the college bowl season coming up and your Tennessee Volunteers set to play Richard Quinn's North Carolina Tar Heels in the Music City Bowl, have you started trash talking yet?
"I actually didn't know, so I'm going to go get started right now. I've been pretty busy lately, but I'm definitely going to go get started on that."

At Thanksgiving, you talked about your mother and aunt's great cooking. Are you a big fan of the holidays?
"I'm more of a holiday guy when it comes to being around family and things like that. For Christmas, when it comes to gifts and all that stuff I don't get too much into that. I definitely love being around family as much as I can. Most of the time with playing in college and now the only times I get to be around family are Christmas and Thanksgiving. I definitely take advantage of those opportunities. I love being around my family because I don't get a lot of time to do that, so whenver the holidays come around I love it."

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