After watching the Denver Broncos fall from Super Bowl champions two years ago to a team watching the playoffs from home last year, defensive end Derek Wolfe intends to step up as a leader and be more vocal that he’s ever been.
“I didn’t speak up enough,” Wolfe said in quotes distributed by the team. “When I saw things, I didn’t speak up and I didn’t say things when I should have. I’m not letting that (stuff) slide this year.”
“When I see guys not doing the right thing, I’m going to tell them. I’m not going to sit back and let that (stuff) slide. Me, it’s either confrontation fist-fight or say nothing (laughing). I’m learning how to not fight people if that makes sense.”
Wolfe isn’t fond of explaining away their struggles from last season. While the Denver defense ranked fourth in yards and points allowed last season, Wolfe still sees aspects of their play that wasn’t good enough at the end of the day.
“I can sit here and make all the excuses I want, but at the end of the day, we just didn’t get it done,” Wolfe said. “It doesn’t matter what happens—look at the Super Bowl season. We got put in a lot of bad situations, we just made it happen. There’s no excuse for that. It’s just poor focus, bad football, guys were banged up, whatever. It doesn’t matter. You just have to get it done. And that’s what we’re going to do this year, get that (stuff) done.”
While Wolfe may not want to say it, the loss of Peyton Manning to retirement was more of an issue for the Broncos than anything Denver did defensively last year. But with DeMarcus Ware retiring this year, Wolfe has the chance to be even more vocal than he was before. He doesn’t intend to let that chance slip by.