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Ware Still Has His 'Edge'

Posted May 29, 2014

DeMarcus Ware showed plenty of explosion on his first day in a Broncos jersey, and is settling in to Denver's locker room.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- If anyone somehow missed free agency and the months since, seeing No. 94 fly around the field at the Broncos' first OTA practice might have been a little surprising.

Former Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware donned the jersey -- worn in 2013 by Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton -- for the first time Wednesday and looked quite explosive.

Not that Knighton, who now wears No. 98, isn't nimble for his size. But the two are separated by 77 pounds and as Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said last week, Ware's "got some juice."

He leapt out and just missed knocking down a bubble screen, then arrived in Peyton Manning's face on a bootleg play fake a few plays later.

"Being able to now run full speed and do all these drills and feel like you have all your confidence back, I think that's what it's about," Ware said. "At the end of the day, you never lose your edge."

Ware is coming off an injury-filled season in Dallas where he was bothered by elbow and quad injuries. Though he says he isn't 100 percent yet, he's made great progress with the Broncos' medical staff.

"They have a lot of well-rounded people that know exactly what they're doing to really speed up the recovery part of everything," he said.

The playbook hasn't been a difficult transition for Ware, who played with several defensive coordinators in varied 3-4 and 4-3 schemes for the Cowboys. Through it all, the nine-year veteran has averaged 13.0 sacks per year since he entered the league, even after tallying just six in 2013.

He says he's already heard from several of his new teammates that they played as him in EA Sports' Madden video games growing up. As he settles into the locker room, Ware is already sharing his expertise and looking to be a leader.

"Guys like Malik [Jackson] and [Derek] Wolfe... they've been a big two-gap, big, brute guys and now they're trying to get a little bit of finesse in their game with pass rushing," he said. "I'm able to teach them a lot of things that I do and they've been able to convert that over to the field."

"You sit back in the catbird seat and you just lead by example. Eventually, the guys, they know exactly that you mean business."

The one thing Ware hasn't quite adapted to yet? The elevation.

"You've got to get in better shape playing up there, especially with Peyton (Manning) doing the fast-paced offense," Ware said. "So that's actually going to help us out during the season."