Just look at Denver's defense, where Darius Holland and Nick Ferguson were street free agents not too long ago, and cornerbacks Lenny Walls and Kelly Herndon went undrafted. All four are starting, along with former CFL exile Bert Berry, and playing well on a defense ranked No. 2 in the NFL.
This week, the Broncos will start another undrafted free-agent when Donnie Spragan steps in for injured weak-side linebacker Ian Gold.
"Well, we're here for a reason and we understand if we couldn't play we wouldn't be here," said defensive end Berry, who toiled in the Canadian Football League for a while before earning a starting job this year with Denver. "Coach believes in each and every one of us and that's why we wear the Broncos uniform. No matter where we came from, what your situation has been in the past, he expects you to come in and play.
"That's what guys do. So far we've been getting that done this season."
Berry is second in the AFC with 5.5 sacks.
Spragan may not be lightning-fast like Gold, but speed and smarts are his two biggest attributes. Gold is out for the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
NOTES, QUOTES, ANECDOTES
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Rod put his money where his mouth was. He called us out, and then he came up with big plays of his own." — Tight end Shannon Sharpe on veteran wide receiver Rod Smith, who made two critical catches in the fourth quarter, including an 11-yard TD reception - his first of the year.