On how it feels to return to playing football after a two-year layoff
"It feels good. Obviously I would not have come back if I did not really want to, I was really missing it. It's something even when you're playing, if even you work hard, play hard, play with good players and you have good years, you still take pieces of it, I think, for granted. I think when you walk away from it for a little bit you kind of understand that. I was missing it…that was the bottom line, I wanted to play more football and I felt like I could."
On if he felt he wasn't going to be able to make it back to the NFL during his two-year layoff
"I obviously went through some discouraging times, especially in Carolina (Panthers) when I left in 2004. I really never got a ‘there's a light at the end of the tunnel' kind of picture painted for me. Look at Daunte Culpepper this year, It's amazing that he has come back from such a traumatic injury…I see guys do that all the time and I said to myself I think I can do it, I still want to play football let me go back work this thing out and try to find somebody who will hopefully give me a job.'"
On what will be the test to show that he can handle the rigors of an NFL season
"Training camp for starters. I didn't even call my agent until three weeks before I ended up here. I didn't want to step out if I didn't feel I could do the job, could play, and could make it through the season. I feel confident. Given today, I feel more confident about the ability of my shoulder to play football. Training camp is really going to be the test, I'll get sore, Ill have some pain issues, I'll have to deal with those and we'll move on."
On why he ended up in Denver
"Why not? It's a beautiful place, great team, a contender, it's a no-brainer, it's a total package. You have a great group of guys in that locker room, a great defense, a great offense, a great coach, a beautiful city…you have the mountains. It was just a great opportunity and you always hear guys around the league, especially in my years playing, guys coming and going in Indianapolis, you would always hear guys talk about how awesome it is in Denver. I was humbled by the fact that I had opportunities…that was pretty amazing to me because I didn't know what to expect and how I would be received. I am very grateful to be here."
On when he knew that his shoulder was well enough to play again
"I would say probably earlier this year. I really started to think about the severity of some injuries that some guys come back from and I really set out to work hard and understand that there are going to be times when it's painful, it's going to be sore but four physicals last week really encouraged me…I did get the ‘light at the end of the tunnel' picture. I would have not sent my letter to the commissioner to be reinstated if I didn't feel like I could do the job."
On his first practice at Broncos training camp
"It was great. I don't know how it looked, it felt pretty good. It's just good to be in the locker room and to be back out here banging heads or getting my head banged in however it worked out…it really feels good to put on a helmet and get back out there and mix it up."
On his goals
"I want to compete and I wouldn't have come here if I didn't feel like I could compete for a roster spot…that is definitely important to me. ‘What is my role going to be?' I'm not sure, but when I was asked the question of where I see myself playing, I said that I just want to play football. In 2004, I probably would have said that but really wanted to play right tackle. I just want to play. Inside, outside I just really wanted to play football again and it really doesn't matter."
On whether he was surprised that on his first day he ran with the second team
"I have played a lot of football and I feel like I've played some pretty good football. It's flattering. I didn't really think much about it…we have a lot of good players on the offensive line. There are a lot of young guys that have a lot of potential and they are good players, so how it will unfold I'm really not sure, but I've got a lot of experience…obviously I'm no spring chicken but I have a will to play and I'm going to get better. I'm rusty, I want to get better and I want to compete. ‘Do I want to start?' Absolutely I want to start. ‘Am I going to start?' Maybe not, but if I'm not whatever role I'm in, I'm going to do it well."
On his three other options in the NFL
"I was in Atlanta, New Orleans, then I was in Green Bay, and I was actually close to do with something in Green Bay. Then I got stranded in Milwaukee and I spoke with (Broncos General Manager) Ted Sundquist and (Broncos Director of Player Personnel) Jim Goodman and they said they were going to get me a flight to come in so I came in first thing Saturday morning. Thank God for that delayed flight in Milwaukee, it has turned out well."
On the severity of his shoulder injury
"It was my left shoulder. It got bad enough where I couldn't wash my face at night. It was something where I had a tough year in Indianapolis my last year. Week fourteen I ended up going down, a guy fell on my knee, I had a MRI on my knee and I had a MRI on my shoulder because I started having some weakness in it. It was a cyst, it was nerve damage, it was a torn labrum, but I never had arthritic pain or anything like that. I get to Carolina, and maybe I pushed it too hard, I do not know. Regardless, I thought they were getting the short end of the stick. When you pay a guy a lot of money to play football, they want to get what they are paying for and I just didn't feel good about it."
On the conditions that he came to Denver
"I came here with, they gave me their word that I would be able to compete and that is all that I want to be able to do, to compete for a roster spot."
On Tackle George Foster
"He is a super talented guy. He has it all, he has got speed, he has size, he is so strong, and he is a total package. He is the kind of guy you want on the line out there on Sunday."
On how he decided to come back to the game
"I would tell my wife, ‘Where is my ship? It is not coming in and I really don't understand why.' I felt like I was doing some good things and it wasn't a financial decision to come back but it was something that I felt like I have a God given ability to play football and I wanted to be a good steward of that also. It is something that you cannot replace, and I used to tell guys that all the time even when I was out…some friends of mine that were kind of between stops or maybe out of the league for a year hoping to get back on a roster somewhere. When you leave football, don't expect something to replace it because it won't, this is the real deal. It's pretty amazing and I think when you have a chance to step back and look at it from the outside you really realize how special it is."
On watching football when he was not playing
"It was very difficult (to watch) the 2004 season, but last season I started getting a little ticked off because I felt like there are some guys playing that I could probably compete with. I just felt like I could do it and it started to irritate me. I could be 40 years old, have no chance of playing and in my head I could go out there and wipe the field with you and there are a lot of guys like that. I still felt like I was young enough that I had three maybe four years left just as long as everything holds up. I probably never wanted to play as badly as I do now."
On what he did while he was not playing
"I ran some small businesses; I have a residential construction company and a real estate development company and do some small residential projects."
On whether he received calls from teammates
"I did. I spoke to a lot of my teammates in Indianapolis and some of the guys I played with before that thought I was crazy…one guy said can he talk me out of it. I talked to (Indianapolis Colts quarterback) Peyton (Manning) two days ago and he just wanted to congratulate me, he was excited about it. This boat goes down the river one time so I have to get back on the boat and let's go down the river until we don't want to go down the river anymore. I'll get off at the next stop. "
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