ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In four NFL seasons, guard Louis Vasquez has put together some impressive statistics.
He has started all 54 games he has played and shined last season, allowing just two sacks and one other quarterback hit in 584 pass-blocking snaps. He graded out as the Chargers' "best offensive lineman" in 2012, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
But the number Vasquez is most proud of is one -- as in the number of penalties he has committed in 3,435 career snaps.
"I do take pride in it," he said at his introductory press conference Thursday. "It just becomes part of growing as a football player and knowing what you can and can’t do. It’s just going out and playing clean, hard-nosed football.”
So what was the lone penalty?
It came on a field goal his rookie season.
“We had a new snapper come in because the old one went down," said Vasquez, who ventured that he committed just one penalty in college at Texas Tech, as well. "I was just trying to get a feel for a guy. You see a little twitch in the heat of the game — it was one of those sudden little twitches, and that’s what happened.”
Vasquez said he chose to sign with Denver because provides "a great location, great team and a chance to go to the Super Bowl and win it all.”
But there's an added benefit to joining the Broncos -- he doesn't have to block defensive tackle
"I’m eventually going to have to butt heads with him in practice, but as far as in a game, it’s a good deal not to have to gameplan for him," laughed Vasquez, who named Vickerson as the player he's most excited to no longer block.
He said his battles with Vickerson when the Broncos and Chargers met up were very competitive.
"He's had good plays, I've had good plays," he said. "Now we get the best of both worlds — we're teammates."
VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE
The most memorable regular-season game of the Broncos' 2012 campaign just so happened to come against Vasquez's division-rival San Diego Chargers.
On Monday Night Football, the Chargers jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead, and the locker room was feeling confident.
“At the time, we felt like we were rolling pretty well," Vasquez recalled. "We had it sewn up, we just had to go out and finish."
But the Broncos did all the finishing, closing out the second half with 35 unanswered points for the biggest comeback win in Monday Night Football history.
"At the end of it all it was like witnessing your dog die," Vasquez said. "It was just a bad feeling, a bad taste in your mouth.”
Denver's victory spurred on what would become 11 consecutive wins en route to the AFC's No. 1 seed. Vasquez said that memory didn't play into him signing with the Broncos -- "Other factors played into why I'm here today," he said.
But it doesn't hurt that he's now part of the winners.
"Going back to that game, I’m happy to be on the other side," he smiled.
“I texted him yesterday and congratulated him. He did the same to me. I told him that I’m pretty stoked to be his teammate.”
-Vasquez on fellow Texas Tech Red Raider and current Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker