Broncos DE Derek Wolfe: “I’m like a caged animal right now”


Derek Wolfe is a beast.

The former Big East (remember when that existed?) defensive player of the year at Cincinnati came to the Broncos with a level of tenacity and nastiness that has made him one of the most loved players on the Broncos defense.

After a four game suspension to start the season, the Wolfe-man is back, and he has a message for everyone…

“I haven’t talked to the coaches yet, but I trained hard. I worked hard. [Defensive Line] Coach Bill [Kollar] just took me out there and put me through a surprise workout to make sure I was working out. I’m ready to go. I’m like a caged animal right now. I’m ready.

If that doesn’t get you pumped, I don’t know what will.

The Denver defense has been dominant so far this season. They are the highest graded defense on Pro Football Focus by nearly 30 points. They lead the league in sacks, QB hits, and turnovers forced.

And now, they are getting back a key player for their defensive front. Another player to come in and cause disruption.

He knew the level this defense was capable of playing, and gave his assessment after four games:

“What hasn’t been impressive? From the back end all the way up to the defensive line has been impressive—stopping the run, other than a little squirt. [Vikings RB] Adrian Peterson’s a great running back. You’re not going to stop him every single play. I just think that they’ve done—from the front all the way to the back end, everybody has done a great job.”

Wolfe has watched the Broncos’ success so far from afar, keeping the distance mandated by the NFL but doing everything in his power to stay mentally strong through it all. As he put it, he’s like a caged animal right now, ready to get his shot to help this unit be the best it can be.

“It gets me excited, you know? When you get to come into the No. 1 defense in the league, just to add and help, what else can you ask for? It’s not like they’re out there getting beat up real bad. They’re out there just dominating. Being able to come back into that is going to be great.”

Despite getting popped for PEDs this offseason, Wolfe’s reputation as a hard worker off the field shouldn’t have taken any sort of hit. He’s been busting his butt to get himself ready for a contract year, and putting himself through rigorous workouts even during Broncos games.

“A lot of times I was actually working out at the same time trying to mimic the game tempo with my workouts and stuff. The last two weeks, I kind of backed off of it a little bit because I pushed really hard the first two weeks and backed off a little bit. I got to sit at home, be a civilian for a little while and just watch the game, sit back and enjoy.”

As if there wasn’t already enough reason to love defensive line coach Bill Kollar, he put Wolfe through a gauntlet on Monday to make sure he is in game shape. Just because of the reputation that precedes him, it doesn’t mean that Wolfe is going to steal anyone’s snaps. He’s got to earn it, and according to his description of Monday’s workout, he is.

“Just hitting the sled until you’re ready to fall over. Just running hoops and working pass rush moves. He made me do a 200-yard sprint. That was fun. He had to make sure that I was in shape and ready to go. I’m glad he did it. I’m going to come back in tomorrow and do another one.”

“I’m in shape. I’m ready to go. I trained so hard. I really had another offseason, so I just turned it on and trained as hard as I possibly could. I trained smart, came out with no injuries and I’m ready to go. That’s all that I can say. I’m ready to go.”

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