Byline Withheld/Associated Press
With a nickname like “Boss,” new strong safety T.J. Ward has a lot to live up to. If early signs at Dove Valley are any indications, Ward is going to be a boss on the football field all season long.
The Broncos practiced with shoulder pads for the first time on Saturday. Ward immediately started making big hits. He’s an intimidator who can play close to the line of scrimmage, and he’s always looking for collisions.
Ward roughed up wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders a bit on the first day, but he says it’s nothing personal.
“We’re complete teammates right now; there’s no rivalry there. It’s all competition. We’re still in practice. I know how competitive he is, how competitive I am. It was just a play where I tried to get the ball out and he fell.” Ward concluded, “It was just a bang-bang play. Nothing too serious.”
Sanders wasn’t the only player who felt Ward’s wrath.
Guys like Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball absorbed big hits by Ward when running the football. These hits just accentuate how strong Ward is as a run defender or in coverage.
Ward was the first acquisition the Broncos made in free agency. If the language of the NFL is money, then Ward’s signing says that Denver wants to be more aggressive on defense.
The Broncos already have the league’s most dangerous offense. An addition like Ward could give them a devastating defense as well.
All quotes and injury/practice observations obtained firsthand. Record/statistical information provided via email from the Denver Broncos. Contract and salary-cap information provided by Spotrac.com. Transaction history provided by ProSportsTransactions.com.
Cecil Lammey can be followed on Twitter @CecilLammey