ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –In his third NFL season, guard Zane Beadles was able to achieve the status of being one of the top guards in the AFC.
Now as he enters year four, Beadles wants to expand on that.
"The way I look at it is that I was able to go last year, but as an alternate," Beadles said of his first career Pro Bowl. "There is definitely another step I can take towards that personally. The big thing is really worrying about what we do as a team. If we're successful as a team, all that other good stuff falls into place."
Beadles started all 16 games in 2012 and was the only Bronco to appear in every possible snap on either side of the ball. Including special-teams plays, Beadles participated in a team-high 1,231 snaps last year.
So he's sticking with the offseason training plan that worked well for him a year ago.
"Not a lot has changed," he said. "I try to stick to the things that have helped me be successful in the past and keep building on that stuff. I'm still working with the sports psychologist, trying to take on more of a leadership role maybe in my room. But not a lot has changed. I feel like I'm really settling in to what it means to be a pro and really how to approach an offseason and getting ready for training camp and all that stuff. It's just being more and more comfortable every single day with that side of things."
Now that Beadles has three full seasons of experience under his belt, he is taking on more of a leadership role with his position group.
"I think it goes back to just being comfortable, learning how to be a pro and earning the respect of guys—that doesn't happen overnight," he said. "You have to do that through work and your play on the field. I think it is just a natural progression."
As the team hit the field for the first organized team activities of the offseason this month, most of the work is about establishing a culture or attitude.
Since there is no live contact allowed during OTAs, much of what can be accomplished on the field has to do with the mental side of the game. Offensive Line Coach Dave Magazu is working with his unit on having an aggressive mentality when it comes to the run game.
"I get excited," Beadles said of the attitude in the O-line room. "And the biggest thing for us is just having that attitude as an offensive line and not accepting not being able to get that first down. That is the big thing for us. It's been a big emphasis for us so far this summer and it will be all the way through the season."
The team had plenty of success during the regular season a year ago, finishing on an 11-game win streak and earning the AFC's top seed with a 13-3 record.
But when it came to the postseason, the Broncos came up short of their own expectations.
Denver took over on downs at its own 31-yard line with 3:12 to play and despite picking up one first down on the ground had to punt the ball back to the Ravens with 1:15 to play.
Broncos fans are well aware of what happened next.
"For me personally, that Baltimore game—a lot has been made about lots of parts of that game," Beadles reflected. "For me personally, especially from an O-Line standpoint, if we gain one more first down in the four-minute drill and we finish with the ball in our hands, there is not even an opportunity for them to go down and score. So, I think the big thing is just everybody looking at their position and themselves specifically and seeing how they can get better and how we can finish games. That will make us all better in the end."
is just everybody looking at their position and themselves specifically and seeing how they can get better and how we can finish games. That will make us all better in the end."