Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (6) warms up during training camp at the Broncos training facility. (Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports)

Broncos' "Sophomores" Stepping Into Big Roles

One year of NFL football under the belt can make a big difference. That’s why it’s always interesting to look at the sophomore players on a team. Will they excel after a rough “just getting used to it” rookie season or will they regress after a promising rookie campaign.

For running back Ronnie Hillman, the goal heading into his second year was to pack on some weight. He went from 180 pounds at the end of his rookie season to 195 pounds to start camp.

“I think he has developed a pro body, which does take a while for rookies when they come into this league and he’s done a tremendous job,” John Fox said. “So, he has done nothing but strengthen my thoughts that he is capable and he looked very good today.”

Defensive end Derek Wolfe is another second-year guy that Fox and the rest of the coaching staff is looking forward to watching. Wolfe said he was entering this camp much calmer compared to last year.

“It’s a lot less anxiety because you know the playbook and you don’t need to learn a new playbook,” Wolfe said. “You know all the guys mostly and now that I’ve got a whole year under my belt, it’s a huge difference. It feels better.”

 Brock Osweiler must be feeling the same way, especially now that he’s a lock for the team’s No. 2 quarterback.
Any way you spin it, these particular guys have a lot more added pressure on them. Hillman will be carrying the ball more now that Willis McGahee is gone. Wolfe has to be one of the guys to help make up for Elvis Dumervil’s sack total (Wolfe had a solid 6 sacks last year). Osweiler is just one (*knock on wood) injury away from becoming the team’s starter. He’ll get a lot more reps in practice and officially assume the role as “the future” of the team.
Welcome to the big leagues, rookies, errr, I mean vets.

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Tags: Brock Osweiler Denver Broncos Derek Wolfe Ronnie Hillman

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