Ty Warren Back After Finding ‘Middle Ground’

Ty Warren doesn’t feel he’ll necessarily have a chip on his shoulder after missing the last two years. “Either you’re a butthole or you’re not,” he said.

Ty Warren

TY WARREN: ... back at practice Wednesday for the first time since tearing a triceps muscle last August. (PHOTO: ANDREW MASON / MAXDENVER.COM)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Now that Ty Warren and the Broncos have found “middle ground” in the contract-renegotiation impasse that kept him away from Dove Valley in recent weeks, their disagreement will quickly fade from view.

“Even when all this stuff breaks up, I’ll be in contact with my teammates and we’ll continue to get together and get in the best shape possible and learn everything I need to learn, and (learn) the things that I missed out on in the whole installment process,” said Warren on Wednesday after striding to the media room podium at Broncos headquarters for the first time.

“I’m definitely glad to be here and to get the ball rolling.”

Warren admitted that he felt badly about not being able to contribute for the $4 million the Broncos paid him last year — “I do have a conscience in that sense,” he said — but emphasized that he had to look out for the welfare of his family in his renegotiation — not simply for providing for them long term, but whether uprooting them for a season was worth it.

“My girls are a little grown up at this point. They participate in a ton of activities. So, at this point of my career, the only thing I would have had to reevaluate and think on is if things didn’t work out, was it worth moving my kid away back across the country for who knows what amount of money or what the circumstances might have been.

“I hate I couldn’t contribute last year. I hate I couldn’t contribute for the Patriots two years ago. That’s the past. This is the present. In terms of me being here today, of course, there’s a sense of urgency on both sides to try to get in and get things done. We worked diligently behind the scene to try to get everything done and meet in middle ground. Here I am today.”

Warren will assume his place on the defensive line, and the Broncos go forward with a needed veteran among their corps of defensive tackles — and now possess the flexibility to let second-round pick Derek Wolfe learn his job at a reasonable pace, assuming injuries don’t wreck the position group. With veterans Warren, Justin Bannan and Kevin Vickerson able to start and contribute substantially, Wolfe can be eased into extensive work, which is probably the best way to handle the development at a position where the learning curve is typically at least two seasons.

Befitting the bigger-is-better mandate among the defensive tackles, Warren said he’s “pretty much at my ideal weight,” which he said was 310 pounds, and is where he usually sits in June. He expects that training camp work might drop him to 300 pounds.

Where he plays up front is something he doesn’t yet know.

“I’m unique in that sense, to where I really don’t ask a lot of questions about the football part of things. In my eye, in my experience, I pretty much played all along the defensive line,” he said.

It’s most likely, however, that Warren will line up at one of the two defensive tackle positions, and since he’s lighter than 312-pound Justin Bannan or 324-pound Kevin Vickerson, that spot might not be on the nose.

“I know I can contribute anywhere on the defensive line if need be,” he said. “It’s really up to them, their job to plug me in where they feel I can make an impact to help the team. Wherever that is that’s where I’ll be at.”

The good news for the Broncos is that Warren’s triceps injury from last year is the kind that is not endemic of an aging player with heavy wear and tear, and can be overcome. If anything, Warren should be able to handle every-down work, given that he hasn’t taken a regular-season snap since the 2009 season

“There’s no doubt — I’m about as fresh as I’ve ever been,” Warren said. “I haven’t felt this good — I don’t know, since I was bigger than everybody else in high school, and I could go play a game and dominate and walk away without a scratch on me. It’s been a long time since I felt as good as I feel.”

But he won’t have a chip on his shoulder just because he missed so much time.

“You don’t just wake up saying that you’re going to play with a chip on your shoulder, you know. Either you’re a butthole or you’re not — on the field,” Warren said. “So me as a player, and the mentality that I take to the field, that is what it is, so I don’t know what more to tell you other than that.”

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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on NFL.com when the site was managed by ESPN.com. He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began MaxDenver.com in 2010 and now contributes to CBSSports.com, The Sporting News and The New York Times.
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