*UPDATE* Ray is out six weeks with a torn ligament in his wrist. He will have surgery tomorrow. The injury occurred yesterday. Since this happened after the start of TC, he can’t be placed on PUP. They could keep him on the roster and keep him inactive for two of the first regular season, or they could put him on IR, designated to return. Read here for more.
Earlier in the day he gave the following interview. What a hug blow to have him out.
The thing about Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray is his humbleness in seeing himself clearly and not buying into the media hype. He’s a guy who has overcome hardships and uses them to drive himself. To be the best. Plus, he loves football.
It’s good to continually hear that the defense is psyched about new HC Vance Joseph after losing such an icon in Wade Phillips. “You can feel all of energy everyone’s coming out with under our new leadership with Vance. You just see how everybody’s buying in to what we want to do this season as far as make another playoff run and make another Super Bowl run—it’s exciting to be out here every day.”
Having had DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller as mentors seems to pay off because he’s as focused on improvement as they were, “I’m pushing myself to be the best Shane I can be every day. Whether it be my coverage drills, run game, pass rush, I’m always critiquing myself. I probably watch the most film I’ve ever watched of myself since I’ve been in the league to try to find my weaknesses and finding what I can do better—just building on that every day. Coming out here and being the best that I can be and trying to dominate every play.”
“It’s funny, I do a lot of critiquing with the younger guys in the room. When we talk about film and we talk about pass rush, I’m normally they guy that says, ‘Hey, how did you feel when you did this,’ or ‘How did you do this,’ or ‘Why didn’t you try this.’ I think that stems from DeMarcus Ware making me more aware of being a complete pro. Talking to the guys, ‘Hey, did you look at this guy’s stance? Did you look at the center twitching his fingers?’ ”
Ray thinks he’s still a young buck, but he doesn’t play or act like one.”Even though I’m not a vet, I’m not in ‘No Fly Zone,’ I’m not Von, I’m a young buck on the team and I still feel like I have a huge roll. My role is to lead the younger guys because we’re going to be the new wave and that’s what we want to do.”
Now that Denver has moved away from a ZBS and into a Power one, the guys on the line are now a bigger force for the LBS to go up against. “As aggressive as they are, I love it. Menelik, big guy, very athletic, Ron Leary—you can go all the way down the line to Ty Sam Sambrailo. All of these guys are getting better every day, it’s not like we’re just beating on them. Everybody gives our offensive line a hard time from the play last year. These guys have done an excellent job of coming in here, correcting their mistakes and playing great football. More than anything, they’re very, very physical. When it comes down to running the ball and you run it behind Ron Leary and Menelik, those two guys are going to make sure they clear the hole for C.J and Jamaal Charles. It’s exciting. I’m excited to see what they do.”
Every word this guys says is gold. It’s as if he was handed a script with the questions in advance. His answer on being named as a break out player, “Honestly, I just keep my head out of all of that. For me, I took everything from Von and DeMarcus that I possibly could from eating habits, to physical training, to whatever I could cause I want to be that same kind of caliber of player. Now, I think everybody’s seeing my development and seeing my growth. In my mind, I’m about to be one of the most dominant players there is on this football team and in the league. That’s how I feel I should be. I feel if I do that and play to the ability that I know and my coaches know I can play at; I can help our team get to the Super Bowl.”
On picking up habits from Miller
“I just want to be the best me I can be. Every day you come out here, it’s on you—the name on the back of your jersey, what you put in on this field and how you grow as a player. For me, whatever I can do to push myself to be the best Shane Ray in your eyes, to be the most complete and playing the run, pass, coverage—all those things. That’s what I need to do and need to come out here and push myself to making it a thing everything.”
While many veterans grumble about TC, Ray says he likes it.” This is football, this is what we’re here for, and this is the best part of our job. We’re going against each other right now but we’re a collective unit in fighting guys on the season. You know like I know, there’s nothing more powerful than the brotherhood you have in that locker room.”
He and Von haven’t set a sack number they want to reach, but I bet they sure have a bottom number they want to beat. “No, not really. You can never truly have a set number on sacks—you can never truly do that.”
For me, when I said I wanted to get a sack a game, that’s just me pushing myself. I need to do that. If I push myself for that and I reach for the stars and fall to the moon, I’m still going to be great regardless. I’m trying to be the best Shane I can be when I come out here. Von and I, we know what we can do. We can feel it and we talk about it a little bit but we just want to let the plays speak for themselves.”
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 28, 2017