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Learning From Super Bowls Past

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –There's no substitute for Super Bowl experience.

And four Broncos have it.

Peyton Manning – the only Bronco with a ring – and Wes Welker have each been to two Super Bowls. Tight end Jacob Tamme and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie have both been to one.

"I think everyone that has been there has kind of tried to share some advice with other guys," Tamme said. "Peyton being the only player we've had that has won it, we've got some assistant coaches that have – we've got some guys that have won it. Obviously we have John Elway, who has won it.

"We've got some guys around that know the drill and trying to pass down whatever little bits of wisdom they've been able to."

Tamme went to the Super Bowl in February of 2010 with the Colts and was turned away from the Lombardi Trophy by the New Orleans Saints.

Rodgers-Cromartie played in the final game of the 2008 season with the Arizona Cardinals and they lost to the Steelers. Welker played in both Super Bowl XLVI and Super Bowl XLII and both times his Patriots lost to the New York Giants.

Tamme and Welker agreed that losing that final game is the lowest feeling.

"It's an empty feeling," Tamme said. "I mean, you're certainly proud of what you did to get that far and stuff like that. But it's an empty feeling to get to this game and not win it."

For Welker, those losses served as motivation to fight for another chance at the title.

"I think it's the reason I get up in the morning in the offseason and even now," Welker said of losing in the Super Bowl. "We're close again and I'm just trying to make the most of it."

In their preparation for the trip to New Jersey, the Broncos have looked to those players with Super Bowl experience to lend some advice to the other 49 players on the active roster that have not been there before.

The key seems to be staying focus on the real reason for the trip – the game.

"The main thing I said is, 'Enjoy the week,'" Welker said. "'Understand it's a business trip. We're not there to go hang out every night or anything like that. It's a business trip – to enjoy it, but at the same time, be ready to go for practice and get ready for the game.'"

Tamme added that the first week is the time to handle the logistics of the trip and the second week is the time to iron out the wrinkles and fine-tune the game plan. This time will be Tamme's second trip to the Super Bowl and that's an opportunity he is not taking lightly.

"I feel grateful and blessed to have another opportunity," Tamme said. "When you don't win it, it's no fun. To have a chance to go back and have a shot to go win it is special for me, I know. I just feel really grateful to have an opportunity and to be a part of a team like this that has just been not only a great group of guys to be around, but we've performed well on the field all year. Guys have put the work in to get better and it's come to fruition. We've been rewarded from the work that we've put in and we need to continue that."




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