August 28, 2009

Honored For Their Offseasons

By Gray Caldwell
DenverBroncos.com

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The offseason. It's certainly not the most glamorous part of the football season, and isn't exactly the most exciting stretch of the year for the players.

But it's when the work begins for the next go-round, and offseason conditioning was something the Broncos took very seriously heading into the 2009 campaign.

The players started official offseason conditioning in the middle of March for a season that truly begins in September. The team accomplished a lot of work in that time span, but the locker room voted that 10 players' dedication stood out among the rest.

Josh Barrett, Tim Crowder, Jabar Gaffney, Daniel Graham, Ben Hamilton, Peyton Hillis, Kenny Peterson, Chris Simms, Brandon Stokley and Jack Williams were all voted Offseason Award Winners by their teammates.

All of them said that with all the hard work the team put in this offseason, to be singled out is a great feeling.

Some of the winners, like Crowder, were even surprised by the honor.

"I'm really not an outspoken guy, and I didn't think anybody was going to pay attention to what I do because I'm so quiet," Crowder said. "But I see they recognize the way I work hard, and it means a lot, just to get the respect from your teammates."

But a quick glance at Crowder and the other nine winners' routines and it's easy to see why they deserved the distinction.

Many of the players put in some extra work this spring and summer. Barrett took advantage of several trips to Red Rocks Park and Ampitheatre, where the team ran up and down the stadium seating as part of the conditioning program. Hamilton did the same. Crowder kicked his routine up a notch, losing weight in order to move to his new position, outside linebacker/defensive end.

Stokley, an 11th-year veteran, altered his offseason routine a little this time around, putting in even more work than he's used to.

"I know that I'm not getting any younger, so to try to withstand a whole football season, I've got to do a lot of extra things," he said. "So I really dedicated myself this year to the weight program, the conditioning and the lifting to try to get myself ready for a 16-game regular season."

Then there were those who just went about their business every day, and that caught the attention of teammates as well.

"I'm just doing my job," Graham said. "I've been doing my offseasons the same for the last seven years, just going in, working hard and preparing for the next season."

The regular season is almost here, when the players can truly tell how much all that preparation has paid off. But in the mean time, the preparation has already paid dividends for the 10 award winners in the form of several privileges.

First, the players each got a prime parking spot adjoining the practice field, close to the entrance to the facility. They also got first choice of seats on the team plane during away games. A few training camp bonuses included picking a playlist for a practice session, a free night without curfew and the opportunity to select a Friday afternoon meal. If the players have a favorite restaurant that caters, the team will have it brought in.

The parking spot got plenty of votes from the award winners as the best perk, especially if the weather got cold or it was raining, and no matter what time players arrived they knew their parking spot was waiting for them.

The Friday meals are a popular choice as well. Stokley said he got some "rave reviews" for his meal choice -- Del Frisco's -- when the team got some catered steaks. Hamilton's meal was popular as well -- some Popeyes chicken was delivered.

Choosing the music was a lot of fun for the players, but sometimes it was fun at the music selector's expense. After Hillis chose a tracklist laden with country, LaMont Jordan joked, "Not only is that unacceptable, it's unconstitutional … to have that playlist that he had."

Barrett said it's hard to choose what the best privilege has been.

"You know, choosing the music has been cool," he said. "We actually get to pick a Friday meal -- last week's was good, and Ben picked it. Getting to choose your seat, a night without curfew -- it's all been really good. That one night when you don't have curfew, getting to go home and sleep in your bed, that's an advantage. I was really, really excited about that."

All in all, the players have enjoyed the incentive program, and rewarding them for their offseason preparation has only been a positive.

What makes it all the better, Stokely said, is that the distinction was voted on in the locker room.

"It means a lot because it comes from your teammates," he said. "I put a lot of hard work in this offseason, and for it to be recognized by your peers, it makes you feel good."

80 comments:

  1. Other news, Marshall suspended. team won't say anything about it.

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  2. Marshall's suspension is until september 5th. don't know how much money he will loose or if he will miss any regular season time.

    Does anyone know if he will be able to study the playbook while suspended?

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  3. .................................

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  4. lets get this party started!

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  5. Hey, Did Mr.broncofan quit this site?

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  6. Wow. No one is here, on a friday night? Really?

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  7. Everyone must be busy doing nothing tonight. That's it! What was I thinking?????

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  8. not much, just finished playing some wii golf and tennis with the wife. What are you up to?

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  9. watching? or your 8 player team?

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  10. football practice, drawing football plays for work, football practice for my other team, watching football and madden.

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  11. coaching my youth team and playing on my high school team.

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  12. nice, well it is a bit slow around here, so i reckon i should go do something productive.

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  13. wAHts up florio. sorry for the caps

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  14. this place is a ghost town. what happened to Aussie, Princess, and all the others?

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  15. nuthin. just getting ready for our championship game tomorrow.

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  16. nice. why does it seem like you have a championship game every month? lol

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  17. Well there are three seasons a year. Each season is 9 weeks. I also coached a soccer team that won a championship. If we win tomorrow, it will be 5 championships in a year.

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  18. thats pretty good Florio. when do you starts school?

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  19. cool. same here. i start in a week and a half.

    so what do you think we should do with marshall?

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  20. See how he acts after his suspension. If he is still a 4 year old then bench him for 4 games without pay. If he is still a little brat, i'd bench him the whole season.

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  21. Then see he would want a liitle baby with injuries and a bad record who hasn't played for a year on their team.

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  22. I'm about to kill him with the way he's acting. I think we should trade him to Cleveland. that's probably worse then death.

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  23. Florio, but then we don't get value for him. its pretty ridiculous the way he's acting. even Kirk Morrison called the video crazy.

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  24. And give in....again? Hold him. The broncos let him leave and the sky will fall here. every single player who feels that he has been treated unfairly, can just leave.

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  25. I personally think he should be banned from the NFL. He is such an embarassment to the Broncos and the NFL. kids look up to guys like Marshall. He's giving them a bad example. I think the veterans of our team like Dawkins and Stokes need to talk to Marshall.

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  26. Or beat the crap out of him.

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  27. but what do we get out of having him sit on the sideline the whole season? does that improve our team? I want anything that can help our team to happen.

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  28. I wouldn't try fighting him. his fiance said he punches pretty hard.

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  29. What i didnt get was how he was connected to dwill's death. How did this happen?

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  30. Mashall and his homies were pissing off some gang bangers. DWill and Javon thought the situation was getting bad so they convinced Marshall to leave with them. then the drive by happens. it's somewhat Marshall's fault but you also have to lame them for going to KMarts birthday party. you should know if you do any activity that involves a Nuggets player gangs will be involved.

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  31. lol. the nuggets look so gangsta. They are the most tattoed team in the NBA.

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  32. they are also the most arrested team in the NBA.

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  33. with the exception of Billups and Nene, I think every player on their team has been arrested. lol

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  34. did I tell you I own Dave Tollefson?

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  35. Dave Tollefson, google his name

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  36. Okay?? how did you "own" him?

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  37. he's going to work for me

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  38. because its the prophecy. his "dad" works for my dad. that means he's going to work for me.

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  39. okay, were does your dad work? Burger King?

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  40. owns a pear packing company.

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  41. he's in the NFL. and he's going to work for me. I'm going to be in the NFL

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  42. Well i work with Tyrone Braxton.

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  43. We both work for wristband interactive.

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  44. what does tyrone braxton do their?

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  45. He writes guides and playbooks.

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  46. He told me i have a great arm. :)

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  47. why does he work their? he's retired from the NFL. shouldn't he be playing golf?

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  48. what do you mean you hav a great arm? this is you're first year of playing.

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  49. Nope. He just writes books and plays.

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  50. Playing football? I was just tossing it around and he's like "Whoa, You got a great arm Kid!"

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  51. greater then Elways? lol

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  52. and dan marino. dont forget he played in miami. lol

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  53. I just heaved this 40 yard pass and hit a player in stride and he was immpressed

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  54. haha, awesome you got to meet him. i live in a town with less then 5,000 people so if you even know someone who's met a pro football player, thats impressive.

    so what position(s) are you playing for you're high school team?

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  55. he only works part time though. I think he coaches a highschool team. Maybe arvada, i cant remember.

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  56. Right now im not sure. So far i've played, QB,FB,DE,LB and TE. I have to have 9 practices before i play and i only have 4, so hopefully coach will decide by next week.

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  57. nice. how many people are on you're team?

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  58. thats pretty funny. I'm guessing you are the best player on the team.

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  59. not really. well i gtg. got to get some sleep for the championship. later

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