ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos won't put on full pads for a few more days, but rookie running back Royce Freeman is more than ready for that first practice to arrive.
After an offseason of non-contact practices, Freeman will finally get the chance to show off his physical running style that endeared himself to Oregon fans.
"It's exciting," Freeman said Wednesday. "I feel like I have the element in my game to be physical, so to get out there and show the coaches what I can do is exciting."
Freeman said his physicality should "play a big part" in his competition with Devontae Booker, De'Angelo Henderson, David Williams and Phillip Lindsay for the starting running back role.
As he approaches his first training camp, though, the 6-foot, 229-pound running back is focused on the minute details.
"I ultimately don't make those decisions [about who starts]," Freeman said. "What I can do though is come out here and compete and push the other running backs and we can push each other. First and foremost, we have to worry about assignments and coming out here and giving our all every day. We can't look too far ahead."
Freeman got a bit of a head start on Wednesday during an hour-long practice session that included rookies, injured players and quarterbacks. The group will reconvene Thursday for another practice.
The extra time has proved valuable to the rookies, both in a football and team-building sense.
"It's good as rookies coming in, getting reacclimated and just talking to one another, asking each other how your break was and getting back to football, which we all love," Freeman said. "I think this time is good and it's put to good use."
Add these practices to the time Freeman spent "diving into the playbook day after day" in OTAs, and he should be in good position as he heads into what should be a tightly contested position battle.
"I'm going to go out there and compete," Freeman said. "I think that's what the coaches want to see out of all of us: the attitude and the nature we want to bring to this team."