Kevin Vickerson couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
But he liked it.
When the Broncos defensive tackle met with new coordinator Jack Del Rio this offseason, he was pleasantly surprised to hear his coach ask him to get bigger.
“I didn’t know what to expect or anything like that, but I went in Coach Del Rio’s office and the first thing he said to me was, ‘Your butt is too small.’” Vickerson told Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post. “I guess I knew right then things would be different.
“But I think my game is big boy; that’s what got me in the league. That’s what kept me in the league, and that’s what Coach Del Rio wants.”
Vickerson played last year at 290 pounds, but reported to camp last week at 330.
“Maybe after a few two-a-days, I’m probably about 325, 327,” Vickerson said. “[Del Rio] just said he didn’t want to look in there and see any small butts, and I feel like I’ve done my part.
“I feel great. I’ve played at 330 my whole career. Last year, I just tried something different and played smaller.”
Del Rio said he wanted to make sure his linemen were adding good weight, and not just getting sloppy, and likes the approach Vickerson has taken.
“[Vickerson] was one of the guys who came in and said, ‘Hey, what do you want me to weigh?’” Del Rio said. “And basically I said, ‘More.’”
Del Rio always had big boys such as Marcus Stroud and John Henderson in the middle in Jacksonville, and Kris Jenkins when he worked for Broncos head coach John Fox in Carolina.
The hope is that more mass will free up the Broncos’ pass-rushers, and make them better against the run. Denver allowed at least 129 rushing yards in seven of their last eight games, and the hope is by making opponents run around a wider target, they can slow them down.