ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos' Super Bowl loss in February was personal for Kevin Vickerson.
He was a member of the Seahawks from April to September of 2010 and couldn't help but cry as he watched the game from the sideline. He dislocated his hip earlier in the season and stood by helplessly as his teammates lost to his former team.
"Me working all that time and me trying to get to a Super Bowl and it finally happens and it's a former team and I can't play and you want to play and all the emotions just build up inside," Vickerson said. "I couldn't hold it back. I was trying to fight it, but that's just how bad I wanted it."
He said during the game, he was thinking "what if." He wondered how the game's outcome could have been different had he and so many other injured Broncos had been on the field.
"It [football] is a love, it's a real passion for me. So for me to work my whole career to get to a Super Bowl and all that, it was definitely hard," Vickerson said. "You're sitting there watching especially with the 'what if' factor, I can't do anything about it."
Though Feb. 2 is a day that Vickerson will never forget, he isn't letting the pain of that day fester and become useless. He's using it as motivation. He said the defense was successful during the rest of the 2013 season and its performance during that cold night "was definitely not how we wanted to go out."
He and the rest of the Bronco defense finished the regular season allowing an average of 101.6 rushing yards per game – the third-best in the AFC. Vickerson was happy with how Terrance Knighton and Sylvester Williams stepped up and performed in his absence.
He is ready to be back on the field and is especially excited to play the Seahawks twice, once in the preseason and again Week 3 of the regular season.
"Playing a former team, you always want that," Vickerson said. "Playing anybody that you used to play with, high school or college, you want that moment."
The Broncos are now practicing in pads and today had their first full-tackle drill. There were a few scuffles on the field and Vickerson appreciated it and it "just shows that we're playing with a chip on our shoulder."
He likes that the defense is playing with an attitude, especially since he doesn't appreciate the Seahawks' offseason comments regarding the Super Bowl. He said it doesn't matter what players say, "pads talk."
"That's my mindset and that's my demeanor when I go on the field," he said. "A lot of guys are media guys. Some guys are cut different. But when you go to really looking at football and playing football, it's between the lines. Buckle your chin strap and let that talk: your shoulders and your pads."
Though Vickerson said his hip is 95 percent, he is still limited in practice and he and the staff are targeting his return for Week 3 of the preseason against the Texans. He hopes to strengthen his hip more before he fully participates.
He and the coaching staff are taking their time with his recovery, making sure he's fully healthy for "the long haul."
He said during training camp he's seen his defensive teammates play physical and fast.
"Playing together, playing as one heartbeat, it always gets you going," Vickerson said. "I just want to get back so I can be a part of it. So I can get mine, get in and do what I do. Add some more toughness, add some more physical presence in the middle."
Even though Vickerson will likely miss the team's preseason matchup against the Seahawks, you can guarantee he'll do whatever it takes to "get his" Week 3 in Seattle.