The NFL season is four months away, but Jarvis Moss is ready to go now.
The Denver Broncos second-year defensive end broke his leg midway through the 2007 campaign, and two days into the Broncos' quarterback camp he's anxious to get back on the field.
''I feel it,'' Moss, Denver's first-round pick in 2007, said Tuesday. ''I've got a little chip on my shoulder. Being out, I'm ready to go play football. I'd be ready if it started tomorrow.''
The rest of the defense is ready to atone for last season. In 2007, the Broncos gave up 409 points, the fifth-most in the NFL. Only one AFC team, the 1-15 Miami Dolphins, surrendered more points. That was tough for a defense that had high expectations going into the regular season.
''You always look forward to getting back out on the field, particularly after a year that turns out that finished you really didn't want it to finish,'' safety John Lynch said after Tuesday's practice. ''There's a lot of pride in this organization and it just simply isn't good enough what's happened the last couple of years, and we've got to find a way to fight our way out of it. That's the start of this.''
The Broncos have made major changes on defense, signing free-agent linebackers Boss Bailey and Niko Koutouvides and safeties Marlon McCree and Marquand Manuel. They also traded for defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson to help bolster the front line.
The changes have created competition on the defense.
''That's what makes the team good, the competition among each other,'' Moss said. ''When training camp hits, competition will definitely pick up. That's exactly what we need, guys fighting for position and getting better every single day.''
Moss is out to show that he is recovered from a broken right leg that sidelined him after playing six games in his rookie season. His offseason workouts have gone well, which has stoked his passion for football.
''It's not something to prove, just something inside of me that's ready to go play now,'' he said. ''I just feel different. Mentally and physically, I feel great again. I'm ready to hit that first preseason game and hit the season just running and not slow down.''
Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan sees a difference in Moss.
''His conditioning is looking better,'' Shanahan said. ''For him to come back his second year should be a positive. Usually those linemen learn a lot that first year; there's a lot to learn. I'd be surprised if he doesn't come back and play well.''
The hope is the entire front line plays well. With Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Dre Bly and Champ Bailey, a strong front seven will make the defensive backs more dangerous.
''You know when you've got a good D-Line, it makes us look good on the back end,'' Bailey said.
That attitude has the team fired up and ready for 2008.
''We're ready to go, and hopefully this year we can do some of the things everybody expected us to do last year,'' Bly said.''
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