Englewood, Colo. --Defensive tackle Ty Warren is ready to return to the gridiron after two seasons spent on the sidelines due to injuries.
While recovering from hip surgery, Warren sat out the 2010 season in New England, where he started nearly every game from 2004 until 2009. He then left the Patriots for Denver last offseason, but spent the year on injured reserve again, nursing a triceps injury.
"It was definitely a blow," Warren said of the injury. "It's nothing that you ever anticipate coming into a situation like being with the Broncos. Signing with the Broncos last year, I had every intention to come in and earn my spot on the team as I have in years before when I was healthy."
As he recovered from the injury, Warren remained involved with the team.
"When it happened, I really leaned on the organization," Warren said, adding that he appreciated encouraging words he received from Head Coach John Fox.
More than anything, Warren said, the injury frustrated him. He channeled that anger into the recovery process.
"I worked hard while I was here from the time of the injury up until this whole re-negotiation deal, and even after that I continued to work," Warren said. "It was a bump in the road, but when you've got perspective, you can overcome that stuff."
On Wednesday, Warren joined his teammates for the first time during OTAs after agreeing on a restructured contract with the team.
Now that he finally feels healthy again, he can once again focus on playing the game.
"I never thought about the R-word (retirement) or anything like that," Warren said. "I'm about as fresh as I could ever be. As far as my body feeling good, I probably haven't felt this good since I was bigger than everybody else in high school, when I could go play a game and dominate and walk away without a scratch on me."
A rejuvented Warren promises to bolster what's shaping up to be an imposing front four. Warren, who helped New England win three conference titles and two Super Bowl crowns from 2003-09, is currently joined at defensive tackle by 11-year veteran Justin Bannan, Kevin Vickerson, Sealver Siliga, Mitch Unrein and rookie Derek Wolfe.
Warren said he's excited to join his teammates on the defensive line, particularly Bannan, who he called "a great guy," and the team's second-round draft pick.
"As far as Mr. Wolfe, I've seen film on him and he looks like a heck of a player," Warren said. "He looks like he's going to develop into something special if everything goes his way."
With players like Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers providing a pass-rush on the edge, Warren can't help but look forward to what 2012 can bring.
"I hate that I couldn't contribute last year," Warren said. "I hate that I couldn't contribute for the Patriots two years ago.
"But that's the past, and this is the present."