Travis Johnson Saga

Defensive tackle Travis Johnson didn't want to talk much Wednesday. At least not about himself. He passed on discussing whether or not he was worried about making the team. He passed on responding to recent comments by coach Gary Kubiak, who voiced his disappointment in Johnson's inability to stay healthy and on the field.

Talking has sometimes gotten Johnson in trouble in the past, but not this time. Instead, he praised the addition of new defensive line coach Bill Kollar and complimented the talent on the defensive line.

"We have a lot of guys who want to work and a lot of guys who have played together for a while now," Johnson said. "I think it's going to be a big season for us, especially with the new addition of Kollar.

"I like (Kollar) a lot. (He has a) work-hard-type of attitude. He wants you to run to the ball hard all the time. He's a hustle-minded coach."

After missing the first couple of weeks of OTAs, Johnson is trying to get caught up and prove he fits well into Kollar's system. The former first-round pick is slated to make $1.03 million in the final year of his contract. He's also trying to stave off guys like DelJuan Robinson, Frank Okam and Shaun Cody for the starting job he has held the past two seasons.

"He's really got to step up his game," Kubiak said. "He's got young players behind him that have done that and done it throughout the whole offseason and the OTAs. Who ends up playing that position for us, I don't know. I think it's wide open right now. There's a pretty good battle going on."

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