JERSEY CITY, N.J. –2013 was a big year for linebacker Danny Trevathan.
He earned his first career start in Week 1 and then proceeded to start every game this season. He led the team in the regular season with 84 solo tackles – which is more than any other Bronco's combined tackle total. He tied for the team lead in interceptions with three. Now he's preparing to play in the Super Bowl.
But he also became a father. And that, he said, made an impact on who he was on and off the field.
"She's influenced me so much man, I can't even speak on it," Trevathan said of his daughter. "Just seeing her every night – her not being here, I want her to be with me every chance I have. When I go home I can't even sleep because when I'm home I want to hold her."
Trevathan's daughter was born in November and was a topic of discussion for Cris Collinsworth during the broadcast of the Broncos 27-17 win against the Chiefs in Week 11.
The second-year linebacker said that becoming a father changed his perspective. It made him a "family person" and a "team player" – two archetypes that aren't too dissimilar. Trevathan believes that his personal growth affected his play on the field for the better.
He referenced the play against Baltimore in Week 1 when he intercepted quarterback Joe Flacco and had a clear path the end zone but dropped the ball before crossing the play. He said that play was an example of him not thinking enough about the team.
"Before I had her, I think I was so young-minded," Trevathan said. "It was my second year but I started the year kind of wrong. I was so focused on myself – trying to get somewhere, do all this. I started to be more of team player. I started to be more of a family person and that helped me grow to the person I wanted to be. I'm proud to say I took a step in my life."
But Trevathan pointed out that the entire team has grown this season. The injuries, the adversity, even the brief period without Head Coach John Fox all tested the Broncos and helped them come together and persevere.
"Every team has a story but what's the end of it, that's what will be remembered," Trevathan said. "I think our team grew a lot and we went through so much that we had no choice but to pull together and be strong."
Trevathan is joined in the linebacking corps by fellow Kentucky Wildcat Wesley Woodyard, who dealt with his own adversity this season in the form of injury. Woodyard, a defensive captain, finished the regular season second on the team in tackles behind Trevathan.
"The thing about Danny is that he's a great playmaker," Woodyard said. "It's a rare moment that you see him down on himself. The thing I like about him – we are from the same school, we have that same fighter spirit.
"I love going to work with him every day."