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Together, Derek Wolfe and Domata Peko plan to handle Broncos' D-line leadership

Posted May 19, 2017

Wolfe is fiery. Peko is more measured. But together they feel they can get the Broncos' defensive line back to where it should be.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Derek Wolfe has never been a captain, but he has been a Bronco for longer than all but four players in the team's locker room. Domata Peko was a Bengals defensive captain for the last eight seasons before joining the Broncos in March.

Together, they will lead the Broncos' defensive line this season.

Their styles could scarcely be more different. Wolfe is blunt, direct and plans to be more vocal this season, rather than just leading by his intense on-field example.

“Derek is the type of guy that will let you know if you’re doing some stuff wrong and get after you that type of way," Peko said. "But also, he’s one of the hardest workers out here."

Peko is more of a cerebral leader, with the ability to bring people together. During the 2011 offseason lockout, Peko gathered his Cincinnati defensive teammates for workouts. These sessions helped prevent the unit from fraying during the time apart that lingered until the start of training camp.

Peko's ability to keep his teammates on the same page without coaching guidance helped lay the groundwork for a 9-7 season that saw the Bengals begin a run of five consecutive playoff seasons.

"I am the type of guy that tries to lead by example, just by doing the right things -- always giving my best. Just trying to be a professional and being the best I can be for this team," Peko said. "Those are some of the qualities that I bring to the team, just doing things right."

In some ways, Peko is almost like another coach. At 32 years of age, he is the oldest player on the roster, and he has four years on the next-oldest defensive lineman (Billy Winn, age 28). But Peko is still learning new tricks.

"I’m a very coachable guy, even [in] year 12," he said. "I’m still learning new things and coming with that mentality with an open mind learning new techniques and different things as a D-lineman."

And between Wolfe and Peko, the defensive line should be able to move in the right direction.

“With the two of us being able to team up on it, if I don’t catch it, he usually [does]," Wolfe said. "I’m more vocal than he is, if you can believe that. He’ll come up to me and say, ‘Hey man, should we do this?’ It’s just nice to have another ear in there to bounce things off of."

Derek Wolfe and Domata Peko