JERSEY CITY, N.J. –Champ Bailey waited 15 years to reach a Super Bowl.
Quentin Jammer and Paris Lenon waited 12. Mike Adams and Shaun Phillips 10.
The Broncos' rookie class had to wait only one.
"I most definitely appreciate this a lot," rookie running back Montee Ball said. "For me, I'm approaching this as it may be my last time in the Super Bowl. I'm going to play my heart out."
The fact that several of their teammates had to wait a full decade to reach the Super Bowl is something that has been impressed upon the younger Broncos who know that opportunities to win a ring don't come around every year.
That's a point that veterans like Bailey and Adams have made sure stands out in the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII.
"I talk to Champ and Mike all the time," rookie defensive tackle Sylvester Williams said. "They tell us about 15 years and 10 years in the NFL, you're talking about guys that have done it for a long time and this is there first opportunity to go to the big game, so it doesn't come around often. We have coaches that have never been – it's an opportunity you have to take advantage of."
The main advice that Ball received was to take in the whole experience and to treat it like he may never get a return trip to a Super Bowl.
That's meant being sure to record aspects of the trip that he'll want to relive down the line.
"That's pretty much what they tell us is how long they've been playing," Ball said. "They tell us to really approach this as this is your last time. This is our first time and they've been playing for so long. Just appreciate it and soak it all in. Take videos is what they tell us, because you'll always look back at this and want to watch it."
Ball has been using his GoPro that all the players received to document the journey to New York/New Jersey.
"Us on the plane, us walking off the plane – little stuff like that, which you'll really appreciate later on," Ball said when asked what footage he's captured so far.
The rookies know how much hard work the veterans have put in throughout their careers and are hoping that the first time is the charm for that group of players.
"I really want to win this game for those guys – Champ, Peyton (Manning), (Head Coach John) Fox, (Defensive Coordinator Jack) Del Rio, Adams, Terrance Knighton – a guy that's never been to the playoffs," Williams said. "I want to win this for all of them so we can all go back with a smile on our faces."