Regardless of whether Derek Wolfe ends up with the captain’s “C” on his chest or not, he is a leader of this Denver Broncos defense.
Von Miller will likely end up as a captain, and rightfully so. The best players generally are captains, and Miller certainly is an excellent leader in his own right.
But Wolfe will be the guy who sparks the fear of respect into his teammates’ eyes.
I have three general guidelines taken from the best leaders I’ve ever been around:
- You pretty much have to be a superstar
Occasionally, a guy has so much natural leadership that he can overcome this first caveat. However, generally speaking, I have never been around a great leader who was not a superstar on the field.
- You better work harder than I do
Speeches are given about five times a day at the NFL level, and rah-rah rarely works. It goes in one ear and out the other.
If you are going to give me a hype speech about needing to work harder, I better see you working harder than I do.
- You have to have passion for what you do
Passion breeds passion, and with as many speeches as we hear, false enthusiasm is easy to point out. Eyes will roll and players will tune you out, but if you have true passion, it will rub off.***
Wolfe exemplifies these guidelines as well as anyone on the Broncos defense. Add that he has just the right amount of “crazy” to make teammates fear him, and I am telling you that Wolfe will be the most impactful leader on his side of the ball.
He might not be a “superstar” according to some analysts, but he is dang close to that label, despite who you ask.
He certainly works as hard, if not harder, than any player in that locker room. Take a look at his biceps and call me a liar, I dare you.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, in his case, Wolfe lives, breathes, and dies by the game of football. He is easily one of the most passionate players I have ever been around.
This game has come close to saving his life at times, and it shows. Players fear to let him down, and Wolfe channels that passion well when inspiring his teammates to work at the same level he does.
I am glad Miller’s time as a leader of this team has arrived because he has earned it. But just be even more happy the Broncos have a guy like Wolfe to lead in a different kind of way by Miller’s side.
Spend your morning tapping into the wealth of sport knowledge from three-time Super Bowl champion and former Broncos offensive lineman Mark "Stink" Schlereth and longtime Denver sports radio voice Mike Evans. Schlereth spent 12 seasons in the NFL, earning two trips to the Pro Bowl and winning a Super Bowl with the Redskins and two with the Broncos. He's also a longtime NFL analyst for ESPN and supporting cast member of "Ballers" on HBO. Evans has graced the sports radio airwaves for two decades, 15 years in Denver. He's a proud graduate of Syracuse University.
Inject your morning routine with great football discussion and analysis with Fan Broncos Insider Cecil Lammey. Cecil is one of the nations most respected football analysts, gets you the inside scoop from reports from the Broncos UCHealth Training Center to college football all-star games (East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl) to the NFL combine and draft. Hes an authority on NFL prospects from across the country. He is also a senior writer for FootballGuys.com. You can follow Cecil on Twitter @cecillammey.
Let Sandy Clough, one of the most recognizable voices in Denver sports radio, guide you through your work day every weekday leading into the afternoon. Sandy's been the authority in sports radio for nearly four decades in Denver. No other show will give you the insight and experience that Sandy provides.
Kick off your afternoon with Stokley and Zach, featuring two-time Super Bowl champion Brandon Stokley and radio veteran Zach Bye. Stokley earned his two NFL titles with the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts and spent two stints with the Denver Broncos. Bye hails from the Empire State and is the former voice of the University of Albany Great Danes football, basketball and lacrosse programs. Follow them on Twitter: @bstokley14 and @byesline.
Big Al and DMac help you get through the end of your day with the best afternoon sports radio talk show in Denver. DMac is a 1991 graduate of Syracuse University and has covered Colorado sports for The Fan since 2008. Alfred Williams, a College Football Hall of Famer, won the 1990 Butkus Award and was the captain for that year's consensus National Champion University of Colorado squad. He played nine years in the NFL, winning two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos.
Each morning at 6:30, get your day started right as Schlereth and Evans serves up The Morning Brew. Mark Schlereth and Mike Evan take you around the world of sports, taking in and breaking down the top stories of the day. So tune in to get your fix before you head out into the world for the day. Brought to you every morning by McDonalds.
Terry Wickstrom, the authority in everything outdoors, talks fishing, hunting, camping and more every Saturday morning.rnWickstrom, host of the popular television show "Angling Adventures" and previously "Mountain States Fishing," is a nationally published outdoor author, an accomplished multi-species angler, and has served on the "pro staff" of many top fishing industry companies.rn
Jerry Walters and Cousin Ray Best provide up-to-the-minute details about golf in Colorado, rules and all the professional tours. The Boys of Summer interview the biggest names in golf every Saturday mornings throughout the golf season.