INDIANAPOLIS -- You'd think that playing your college football in Colorado would mean a steady diet of Broncos games on Sundays, and weekly exposure to the most prolific single-season offense in NFL history.
But that was not the case for Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson. He would have loved to watch every game, but CU's schedule kept him away from the television on Sunday afternoons.
But he did attend the 37-21 Week 3 win over the Raiders, which was the Broncos' only Monday Night Football appearance of the season, and saw a glimpse into what he hopes could be his future.
"Watching that offense operate, I couldn't help but try to picture myself being able to operate in an NFL offense such as that one," Richardson. "It was great to watch them. I think I would fit well in that offense."
He has experience in plenty of schemes. Colorado went through three coaching changes and shifts in offensive philosophy during his four seasons there, which included the 2012 campaign that he missed due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. But last year's arrival of head coach Mike MacIntyre from San Jose heralded the most explosive offensive scheme during Richardson's matriculation, and he responded with 1,343 yards and 10 touchdowns on 83 receptions.
After that performance, the questions at Richardson no longer revolve around his knee or his production, but his size. Ideally, the 6-foot-1 Richardson would play somewhere between 180 and 190 pounds. He said he weighed in at 175.9 pounds, but added that he played last season at "161 or 162" pounds.
"I've already gained over 14 pounds, so in the last month and three weeks, I've shown that I can gain weight," he said. "On Sunday, I'll show that I can run with my weight."
It hasn't taken an overdose of Weight Gain 4000 for Richardson to pack on the pounds, although he has changed some habits.
"You have a little bit more money coming out of college, so they make sure I can eat a few times a day, and in between meals, and I've been lifting and getting stronger as well," Richardson said. "I've been naturally gaining weight. I haven't been over-feeding myself."
At least not yet. By May, he will stuff himself with a new offense -- and he wouldn't mind it being that of the Broncos.
DENVER'S EXPLOSIVE ATTACK and the presence of Peyton Manning at quarterback is enough to exit many wide receiver prospects, but perhaps none was giddier about the potential of playing with the Broncos than Fresno State's Isaiah Burse.
A slot receiver by trade, the 5-foot-10, 188-pound Burse also has experience as a returner, and averaged 12.5 yards per punt return last year, with a pair of touchdowns. Given that dual-threat background and his relatively short stature, it was appropriate that he cited Carolina's Steve Smith as one of the receivers he tries to emulate. The other is Denver's Wes Welker, the standard-bearer for slot men.
The idea of learning from Welker brought a broad smile to Burse's face.
"I've thought about it," he said. "If the Broncos decided to call my phone and draft me, whatever the case may be, as soon as I get there, I'd be picking his brain instantly, from the moment I touched down."
"I would just want to become a human sponge and soak in all the knowledge he's got, about how he's been so successful -- and what I've got to do to be successful."