ENGLEWOOD, Colo. —** For once, Derek Wolfe may not be the toughest guy running out of the Broncos' tunnel.
That's certainly saying something, because the 6-foot-5, 285-pound defensive end is one of the last people you would want to meet on a football field.
He will be joined Sunday night, though, by Brian Burrows.
And Burrows may be even tougher.
Wolfe's 30-year-old brother-in-law serves in the United States Navy, and he'll join Wolfe and the Broncos as they run out onto the field ahead of Denver's game vs. New England.
"I think it's going to be something we're going to remember for the rest of our lives," Wolfe said. "It will be in our family, and we'll get to show pictures of that and video of that forever. It'll be pretty cool."
Wolfe will also don a helmet sticker that honors the Navy — and he chose that military branch with Navy SEALS in mind.
"I think they're a bunch of badasses," Wolfe said.
He'll then line up for the national anthem, and Wolfe said he expects to feel the same pride he always feels.
"For me it's the same as it always is," Wolfe said. "It's always an emotional part of the game. It gets me ready to go. I feel proud. I'm proud to be an American, proud to sing or stand and put my hand over my heart for the national anthem."
Within a few minutes from when Wolfe and Burrows run out of the tunnel, the anthem will end and Wolfe will take the field for the game. It's a small gesture, but it's one Wolfe finds of paramount importance.
"I think it's important for us to recognize them," Wolfe said. "We wouldn't have these freedoms we have if it wasn't for them."