ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- After facing the possibility of losing a limb, and potentially his life, to compartment syndrome in his leg last season, safety Rahim Moore felt the butterflies in his return to the field Wednesday.
"It was funny, because I'm walking out of the locker room, my jersey's backwards," Moore said, laughing. "So I'm trying to put it on. Then I put the wrong arm in, through the right side -- I was just all over the place."
"I felt like I'd never done this before."
Moore said he even got a little "teary-eyed" during warmups, thinking about all he'd been through to recover and return to football shape. But it didn't take long to feel like his old self.
"When I got out here, it felt like I never left," he said. "I feel like I was sharp today."
Moore left the Broncos' game against the Chiefs in Week 11 of 2013 and had emergency surgery overnight. He missed the rest of the regular season (six games) and playoffs (three games).
Soon after the season ended, he started running and cutting and was pleasantly surprised at his agility. The focus has since been on regaining muscle in his legs, which the fourth-year safety says has him feeling faster and stronger than ever.
"The process was tough, because I had to get my strength back up, but at the end of the day, my quickness and my speed was still there," Moore said. "I didn't know how I was going to be. I didn't know what to expect."
With the uncertainty of his return to football behind him, Moore can now key on establishing chemistry with new faces in the secondary, namely cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward. Moore said he and Ward have a rapport from their college days, when they shared route concepts over the phone while playing for UCLA and Oregon, respectively. Moore sees the whole unit already showing each other support.
"You would think these guys have been in here since we all came in as rookies," he said. "There's no egos. Each and every one of us can be a teacher. Each and every one of us can be a student."
"I was asking Talib today about great techniques to use in press coverage. So we're just sharing each other's knowledge."
Through one day, Ward agreed that the players' feel for each other is off to a good start.
"There were some times where things didn't necessarily have to be said," he said. "We just kind of vibed off each other's movements on the field. I think we're just going to get better with time."
"I believe we're going to be very special," Moore said. "But we've got to put the work in."