With the NFL lockout in full swing, the players and fans are faced with something rarely seen in pro football; a real offseason. If the Brady vs NFL lawsuit drags out, the 2011 season could be in jeopardy and the offseason already is.
There is a possibility that teams won't even be able to hold Training Camps this year, and that could prove to be detrimental to the Broncos younger players that need time to develop and practice together. One might then wonder, if the players are banned from team facilities until the lockout has ended, what are they up to these days?
Even if one might not wonder that, we did. So we caught up with some of the players to see what they've been up to.
Broncos staring offensive guard Zane Beadles said he is trying to approach the offseason as he would any other, even though that is not the case. "Even though this is clearly not a regular offseason I'm trying to approach it as it is a regular offseason," Beadles said on Tuesday. "This thing could end at anytime and when it does I want to be ready so I am training on my own just like I would always prepare." He went on to note he's had some time off, but it's now time to get back to the grind. "I've been able to get out of town a little bit and see some family and friends but now I'm ready to get back to work."
Broncos third year offensive tackle Ryan Clady, who has started 48 straight games since his rookie season, is quite the business man off the field. Clady is the Chief Executive Officer of Urban Legend Stadium, an athletic shoe store established to dress and empower the minority communities of Los Angeles. Clady is also a big fan of the defending NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers who are currently 48-20 and ranked first in the Pacific; defending his team on twitter has become a bit of a hobby for him.
Entering his second season in the NFL, Broncos 24 year-old wide receiver Britt Davis was offered a manger position with Abercrombie & Fitch, a popular clothing store. Presumably, he'll be accepting the offer.
Broncos second year quarterback Tim Tebow has certainly stayed busy. Tebow, who is a Jockey spokesperson, endorses FRS Healthy Energy, and works out three times a day (lifting, throwing and cardio) for a total of about 7 to 8 hours daily, still finds some time for his fans on occasion via twitter and spends time with his family, playing some paintball with his brother and some friends on Monday.
Two Broncos wide receivers that are especially hurting due to the lockout (quite literally) are Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal, who are recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and hip surgery respectively. Because of the lockout, neither player is able to utilize the team's rehab center or professional trainers. With that said, Thomas said on Friday that he is getting better every day. Meanwhile, Royal says he is "feeling stronger and stronger every day."
Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox has been back and forth from Texas and Denver doing some charity events in his home state, among other things. "I've been working out, never know when the season is going to start.... Other then that, I've just been chilling, going to movies, playing games, and doing other outgoing things."
Quarterback Brady Quinn is participating in a noble cause. He says he's growing his hair out, although "It's taking longer than I anticipated it to though," to donate to the Wigs for Kids Organization. Brady's hair has always been fairly long, so it shouldn't take too long for it to grow out. He's a classy guy and this is just another example of that.
"I'm just using this extra time off to get extra buff," said Broncos offensive lineman Stanley Daniels before adding, "You always have to find a positive in bad situations! Stay positive." Meanwhile, Broncos second year running back Lance Ball has taken up yoga and says he has been enjoying it.
Working out is as big a part of these players lives as eating is, that's why tight end Dan Gronkowski has been doing just that -- with his two brothers, Chris and Rob who play for the Cowboys and Patriots respectively.
Off the field, Broncos offensive tackle Ryan Harris is also the CEO & President of Harris Home Health, a corporation that offers medical and non-medical services to a variety of care seekers. Next Wednesday, Harris will be joined by several teammates at Heather Gardens hosting a Resource Fair and signing autographs. For full details, go here.
So while it is anything but a normal offseason, the players are trying to treat it like one. Finding time for family and friends, the players have been working hard preparing for the season -- the Broncos brass has said there will be one -- and the players will be ready.