ENGLEWOOD, Colo.**– They may not be back to 100 percent, but already the presence of veteran inside linebackers Brandon Marshall and Danny Trevathan during training camp has put the defense at ease.
"[It gives us] a tremendous boost," said safety T.J. Ward. "Just seeing them out there…. just having them two down there has been great. Just seeing them down there is kind of another level of comfort. They're both great players.... So having them in together is going to be great."
Both Marshall and Trevathan are being slowly reintroduced into full practices at the Broncos training camp this year as they recover from a foot injury and a season-ending knee injury, respectively.
The Broncos continued training camp work on Saturday and got closer to their first day in pads. (All photos by Eric Lars Bakke)
Marshall returns to practice after two screws were inserted into his foot after suffering a mid-foot sprain that was inflicted in San Diego on Dec. 14. Both he and Trevathan have participated in individual drills, seven-on-seven drills and walkthroughs so far in training camp but have been held from any teamwork. Marshall isn't sure when he'll return to full participation, but he estimated that it could be as early as in one or two weeks' time. "It's really a marathon, not a sprint," he said.
"I think I'm real close," Marshall said. "I think they just want to make sure that I'm good. So instead of throwing me right in, which wouldn't be the smart thing to do, they want to ease me back in and make sure… Build my tolerance [up], so to speak, with my foot and my body – to make sure everything is good."
Trevathan, who is coming back to practice with a reconstructed kneecap, also isn't sure exactly when he'll be participating in all aspects of practice, adding: "I think they take the right approach and I'm taking it day by day. But it feels good right now. I'm out here working and I'm going day-by-day, I'm pushing it as far as I can but being smart about it."
Marshall and Trevathan's experience and knowledge will be an asset to the Broncos defense as Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips introduces a 3-4 alignment for 2015.
The duo has been studying the defense and running mental reps with the team from the sideline since the offseason. Despite just getting back into the rhythm of practice, Trevathan is confident he can get caught up.
"Most of this game is 90 percent mental," Trevathan said. "You got to get those reps but it's always good to get in there and get that physical aspect of it. Especially when you're playing with guys that you played with a little bit last year. You got a new defense; you've got to get the feel for it. You've got to get rolling, especially at this new position. I feel like I've got it down pat. I feel like I can go out there and get this team what they're looking for."