ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —** When the Broncos wrapped up OTAs, there was a clear directive for the team.
"We definitely left a last message on our last day there of just making sure when you come back, everybody's ready to go," C.J. Anderson said in an interview before joining a Football University camp at Cherry Creek High School earlier this month. "Our mission is to go win it all."
While players are mostly on their own in the weeks leading up to camp (some stay to work with the training staff for rehab), Anderson is concentrating on preparing for the season. No vacation trip, just heading to Houston to work with the same training staff he's gone to for the past three years.
"I'm not even going home, [it's] strictly business this year," Anderson said. "I will be in Houston for a long period of time before training camp and every time [...] I've always left in the best shape of my life and let's just keep it going."
In previous years Anderson's focus was on making a strong impression and earning a role in the offense and finally last year he did just that, and in an explosive way as he earned a Pro Bowl trip to Phoenix.
But this year he'll come into camp with the top spot as his to lose with a different rushing scheme in an offense with a new look.
"I always feel like it's going to be a big year, no matter what scheme it is. All you can do is prove them right," Anderson said. "Everybody's got expectations, I've got expectations of myself. Just prove them right and keep going."
Put simply, his mindset is "Keep it."
"You know you might not get as many reps as you did when you were down at number two or number three or four, so you're only going to get so many reps," Anderson said. "So when you get those reps, make an impression and when you get your reps in preseason, which you know it might not be a lot, make an impression and make the impression enough where it's 'keep it' and then when they're telling you it's time to go in September, be ready to go."
The offense has finished learning the plays, as tight end Owen Daniels said before OTAs concluded, and Anderson says it's like second nature to him now, save for some small points to come later.
"I know it like the back of my hand," Anderson said. "Pretty well on the protections, pretty well on what we're trying to do with the run game. There's some minor tweaks but you don't really get into those until you start gameplanning, which is September, but as far as what we're trying to do and accomplish now and going into training camp and going through preseason, I'm ready to go."
Throughout all the changes, Anderson and the Broncos running backs had stability to help them in learning a new scheme and all that came with it, plus learning a new coaching staff. That stability was their position coach, Eric Studesville.
"It's really huge for us," Anderson said of how important it was to have Studesville during the changes. "...and I can say the same for the receivers with Tyke, it's really huge for us because he knows his players. It's not like we have to get to know a new coach and the new coach has to get to know us. Coach Stu knows me and he knows that he can talk to me and I'll get it. He can put it on the board and I'll get it. He can use his hands and be silent and I'll still understand it. Same with other players in our room. He can talk to Ronnie a certain way and Ronnie will understand, Montee will understand, Juwan and Kapri and Jeremy. And so when you bring the new ones in you can still our same terminology to fit in with the new terminology that we're learning today so Coach Stu has been a big part and a big help to my success."