ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Almost immediately after the Broncos stepped onto the practice field at Dove Valley this afternoon, it was clear there was something different about the team.
It wasn't quite the 800-pound gorilla in the room. Almost.
Let's just call it the 300-pound Warren.
The ninth-year veteran joins the Broncos after missing all of last season with a hip injury, but says he feels perfectly healthy.
"I feel real good," Warren said. "After a year, it just feels foreign with the pads on. But football's football at the end of the day, so I've just got to get in there and mix it up. It felt like I never left."
However, if there was any inclination that the Broncos would go easy on the former first-round draft pick in his first practice in a year, that was put to rest before it even began, when every new defensive player had to complete 20 up-downs.
"That about killed me," Warren said with a laugh. "It's initiation though, it's how you build camaraderie. It's our first day out here and everybody does it. So it was good to be out here. I know we'll get cracked on a little bit for showing how tired and wounded we were doing those up-downs, but all in all it's initiation, it's fun, it's part of the game and everyone's happy to be out here."
Warren visited numerous teams, but after meeting with Head Coach John Fox, assistant coaches and other front office personnel, he decided that Denver was where he wanted to be.
"After getting in touch with John Fox and just sitting down and going over the scheme with D-line coaches and their energy and exuberance and where they're trying to go, it was pretty much an easy decision when I stepped back and thought about what every single person I talked to said," Warren said.
Warren was one of several players brought in to add depth to the defensive line in the past week.
"Everybody we bring in we think is going to improve our defense, and as I mentioned after the draft, defensive tackle was going to be an area that we were going to address in free agency," Head Coach John Fox said. "I think the trade with
In addition to Warren and Bunkley, the club added
"There's some new pieces; I'm one of the new pieces," Warren said. "But we're just trying to come and jell together and work cohesively as a group."
When that happens, opposing teams will soon be feeling the weight of the Broncos as well.