Shane Ray garnered some headlines on Monday when he told NFL.com that his goal is to be Defensive Rookie of the Year, but making goals is just part of how he's always set himself on a course before the season.
"[It's] just like it was for me in college," Ray told Broncos TV on Tuesday. "I said I wanted to be SEC Defensive Player of the Year and I had other goals that I set and I wrote it down and I made a followable goal. My goal for me was one sack a game and I followed that goal and actually did better than that and that's what helped me get to my goal."
For some (who maybe a tad cynical), the 'day-by-day' mantra is a meer cliché but setting bigger goals and compartmentalizing them into smaller goals is a key way to accomplishing them.
"Setting that Defensive Rookie of the Year [goal], it's just taking everything day by day, being the best that I can be, doing everything that I can," he said, "and if I play how I'm supposed to play and work how I'm supposed to work, everything will fall into place.
"I've always set goals for myself and this is just another one I'm setting for myself to continue to push myself and continue to compete against everybody," Ray added.
Ray is currently in Ohio for the NFL's Rookie Symposium but after a short return home to Kansas City for a week, Ray will return to Denver to resume his physical preparation for training camp. Though he hasn't been through an NFL training camp before, he feels like he understands what will be expected of him.
"You've got to be able to tough through some days; some days will be hard," he said. "It might be hot. You're going to have to learn your plays and know what you're doing but as long as you focus on the day-by-day, make sure you've got everything down, you'll be all right and that's how I feel like I'll be."
As Ray continues to rehab from his foot injury to get back for training camp, his return and preparation with the rest of the Broncos' outside linebackers could make for a trying challenge for opponents.
"You've got Von and DeMarcus and now you add me to the mix," Ray said with a chuckle. "I mean, I don't know really who you're going to want to block because if any of us hit your quarterback, it's going to be a bad day."
Take a look at what Broncos drills look like from above with these shots during OTAs. (All photos by Ben Swanson/DenverBroncos.com)