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Through my eyes: T.J. Ward is ready for prime time on Thursday night

Posted Sep 6, 2016

In this 'Through my Eyes,' T.J. Ward recalls his big moment from Super Bowl 50 and anticipates what Thursday night's season kickoff will be like.

Thursday night prime time. Season kickoff. Only game on TV.

All eyes are going to be on us.

We ended last year’s season on top, now it’s time to start things off right.

It’s going to be loud. It’s going to be very loud. It’s going to be uncomfortable. Mile High — let’s make Carolina uncomfortable all night. 

We’ve put the work in. We’ve keyed in on what we need to key in on. Now, it’s time to notice the looks, notice the personnel, anticipate and perform in front of the world on prime-time TV.

We’re confident because we’re used to this stage. It’s a new year, new season, and we’re a new team. But we’re better. You can be confident when your team is filled with elite players consistently trying to become the best. If you realize that no matter what, you can always get better, then you will never be overconfident. The Broncos never settle, that’s not in our locker room’s DNA. 

There’s going to be a lot of opportunities Thursday night for big plays — the game’s going to depend on it. In Super Bowl 50, the ball didn’t just bounce our way. We forced it and took advantage when opportunity presented itself. Every single time.

I was a part of one of the biggest plays of Super Bowl 50. Our defense had been clawing at Cam Newton and the Panthers’ offense all night. It was late in the game and we were up 16-10 when Von Miller stripped Newton for the second time that night. 

At first, I was celebrating because there were so many bodies by the ball. I ran over there to try and celebrate with one of my teammates thinking we had just recovered the ball. As I got closer, I all of a sudden saw the ball rolling. My mindset shifted from celebratory to attack mode. I kept reminding myself, 'Don’t fumble it. Don’t overrun the ball. Make the play. All you have to do is scoop the ball and secure it.' Then, I tried to dodge the referee and slipped.

Regardless, it was a game-changing play. It shows you why we always run to the ball no matter what. And, it won us the Super Bowl. 

It’s a new year, a new team — but that doesn’t change the Mile High standard.

So, Thursday night? Let’s start fast. Get that first punch in. And remember, if not, we’ve got four quarters to make it up. Let’s take advantage and go make the big plays because it’s time to go chase another one.

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