Editor's note: Linebacker Wesley Woodyard, who was voted as a team captain for the fifth-consecutive season this year, will contribute blog entries thoughout the 2013 season. See below for his first entry about his busy offseason, a position change and his thoughts on opening the season against the defending Super Bowl champions.
Hey Broncos fans,
Wesley Woodyard here, linebacker for your Denver Broncos, looking forward to blogging for the website this year.
It's been a busy offseason for me, and I can't wait to kick things off on Thursday.
Back on April 13, I got married to my best friend, my beautiful wife, Veronica. We had almost 190 family members, so it was a big wedding in downtown Denver at the Four Seasons. For our honeymoon, we went to Hawaii. We spent a day in Honolulu, then we flew over and spent three in Lanai and three in Maui. It was a lot of fun. She didn't get mad at me, but I actually started thinking about football when I was over there. Honolulu is where the Pro Bowl is, so it kind of brought me back to football, being hungry and just being out there on the football field.
Switching back over to football, I just want to say how much of an honor it is to be voted as a team captain by my teammates again this season. I don't do anything that's outside of my character in that role. I'm just always trying to push my teammates to do better. I think that's the biggest thing. In order to have people look to you, you have to be doing the right things that you talk about. So just continue to stay hard on myself. I'm my biggest critic besides Coach Smith. It's not easy being a leader, it's always hard. The thing about being a good leader is that every year, you get new teammates. So you've got to continue to build that bond and that relationship with new guys in the locker room and guys who are in that locker room. That's something that you have to work with. You can't just be a leader and not put yourself on everybody's level. You have to be on the same level with your teammates.
I'm going to be moving positions a little bit this year from weakside linebacker to middle linebacker. For those of you who aren't familiar with the differences between the three linebacker positions in our defense, middle linebacker is the guy who controls all the calls and that's right in the middle. That position needs to use speed and strength to go make plays. Weakside linebacker, where I played before, is the guy who is covering players going out for passes whether it be tight ends, running backs or the occasional slot receiver. Sam linebacker is the guy who is blitzing.
I'm excited about the move. I feel like it's a good change. Being able to play more positions allows our defense to do bigger and better things. I've never played middle linebacker in the NFL before. Last time I played middle linebacker was freshman year of college. I moved from safety to middle linebacker to outside linebacker at Kentucky, so it's going to be exciting to see it for myself out there for the Broncos in the middle.
We're all looking forward to getting the 2013 season underway on Thursday night. We really are looking forward to that game. It's the first game of the season. Not only is it the first game of the season, but it's the team that put us out of the playoffs and that won a championship. They're the team that has the target on their back and we definitely want to be the ones hoisting the trophy up this year. They know what that feeling feels like and we don't, so we have to continue to get better and put ourselves on another level.
I know everyone reading this is excited to see our offense in year two with Peyton Manning at quarterback. Man, he's improved, which is saying something because he had such a great year last season. He's always going to be a great leader, that's something you never have to worry about with him. He comes to work before everybody and leaves after everybody, so his leadership is never going to be in question. But his arm strength has gotten a lot better. He's now putting those passes in there that he normally couldn't make last year. He's getting comfortable with himself. So this year, it's exciting seeing him feeling good in his own skin, making big plays and doing what Peyton Manning does.
Going up against that offense, it gives us a great challenge. It prepares us for a lot of good offenses. We could never say that we weren't prepared because we go through multiple shifts, different formations, different groupings out there on the field every week in practice.
Well I know this was a long one, but I'm excited for the season to be here and I hope all of you are too. I'll check back in next week.