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As OTAs end, Broncos reflect: 'It was a lot different'

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --With one more practice left before the end of organized team activities, tight end Virgil Green and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware paused to reflect Tuesday just before the Taste of the Broncos got under way at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

The work was unlike any they'd ever experienced in their previous offseasons. "I think it was a lot different," said Green, who went through three full offseason programs with the Broncos before Gary Kubiak took the head-coaching reins this year. "Coach Kubiak runs the team in a different way. He strives for perfection. He wants us to finish everything we do, and I think the guys have done a great job of responding."

Ware was among the players who were excused from team and seven-on-seven repetitions during last week's minicamp, ceding the bulk of the work to younger players and those still getting up to speed.

That took some of the burden off of the veterans, but it didn't mean that they spent their time idling. They lifted weights and went through conditioning work while their teammates received crucial repetitions they wouldn't have otherwise had.

"It was lighter when you think about time, because usually OTAs and [minicamp] are about an hour and 15, an hour and 30 minutes," Ware said. "You're continually going through each session -- if it's red zone, if it's short yardage.

"But now, he [Kubiak] is coming out with a bang, having practice that's about 30 or 40 minutes, and you go through a really intense individual [period]. It's more competition, going against each other and starting fast."

That is a mindset Kubiak wants to sustain, Ware added.

"That's what he wants this team to do: come out every game and start fast," Ware said. "The intensity was there [in practice], but the time limit was shorter."

The expected defensive philosophy underscores that philosophy and pace. Ware played under Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips for four seasons with the Cowboys when he was their head coach, and knows what to expect.

"I just know how aggressive his defense is, and with the personnel that we have, with me, Von [Miller], Malik [Jackson], [Derek] Wolfe, just a lot of athletes -- especially back there in the [secondary]," Ware said.

"And with Wade, he's more of a man-on-man-type guy. Having [Aqib] Talib and Chris [Harris Jr.] and T.J. [Ward], they can play one-on-one and man-to-man, but [are] able to rush five guys in the front and get pressure, and we have those pressure guys to do it."

That includes rookie Shane Ray, who Ware cited as one of two rookies that has particularly impressed him (left tackle Ty Sambrailo was the other).

"He got back from his [toe] injury, and now you can see the confidence back," Ware said.

Ray was expected to make his debut in team periods this week, and according to Ware, it was a successful opening.

"He played really well; he had a couple of sacks [in Tuesday's practice," Ware said. "I'm really looking forward to playing with him."

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