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Mile High Morning: Lloyd Cushenberry III won't back down in competition for starting center job 

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The Lead

With Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as his sports idols, it's no surprise that Lloyd Cushenberry III is resilient as he fights to keep the role of starting center.

In a conversation with the Denver Post's Sean Keeler, the third-year center does not let the social media talk phase him.

"I don't usually pay attention to any social media," Cushenberry told Keeler. "I've just got to have the mindset that I'm the guy, moving forward."

Cushenberry, who started 16 games last season, said he believes that Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett's zone-blocking scheme will play well to his strengths as a player who can move well and run in space.

He has confidence in himself, but Cushenberry has also earned the confidence and respect of his teammates and coaches. Left guard Dalton Risner praised Cushenberry's work ethic and connection with Russell Wilson.

"I think he's done a great job so far [coming] off the ball," Risner said in Monday's press conference. "The dude's fast. [But] I think his greatest quality is his mind. The dude knows the playbook. He knows different fronts. He can lead us up there. As our center, [he] can tell us where we're going. He communicates with Russell, he's got that relationship. So Cush has done an extremely good job, man."

While the race for the starting center job may continue, Cushenberry has been holding down the spot so far in training camp. As the bonafide Kahoot! champion during team quizzes on the playbook, Cushenberry is used to winning. He has no plans to stop now.

Below the Fold

Hackett also discussed his confidence in Cushenberry after practice on Monday, highlighting the center's football IQ and leadership on the field.

"It's funny because, for a center, [Cushenberry] is so quiet and he doesn't talk much," Hackett said. "Then when he's out there, his control and command of the offense has been really good."

Hackett continued: "He's an unbelievably smart player and his physicality is pretty impressive, too. He's probably having one of the hardest battles out on this field going against Mike [Purcell], going against D.J. [Jones], Dre'Mont [Jones]. … He is tested non-stop."

The Unclassifieds

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