ENGELWOOD—Luckily, Kyle Peko is a year removed from his rookie season.
Imagine, the guff he would have taken from his older cousin Domata Peko had each arrived at Denver Broncos’ headquarters a year earlier.
“I just call them by number until they make the team,’’ Domata Peko, the Broncos’ new nosetackle after spending his first 11 NFL season working for the Cincinnati Bengals. “I just try to treat them how I was treated when I was a rookie. Veterans used to make me carry their pads and things like that.
“But, I also like to show them love. If they’re down and stuff, I try to take them under my wings and show them the ropes and try to lead by example. The little hazing here and there, just carrying pads and stuff like that, I’m all about that.”
Domata Peko will be the Broncos’ starting nosetackle, but Kyle, undrafted out of Oregon State last year, may be his backup. They’ve been rotating reps over the ball during the Broncos’ offseason workouts the past month.
“We’re sharpening each other up every day, trying to improve each other, challenge and compete with each other,’’ Domata said.
In some ways, they’re getting to know each other for the first time. They’re 9 years apart.
“We’d talk here and there on Twitter and social media here and there,’’ Domata Peko said. “But, Kyle’s dad is actually—me and him are actually a lot closer because we’re kind of at a similar age. I think Kyle was 13 years-old my rookie year, and now we’re working together. Kyle is a great kid. He’s really athletic and strong, and he’s been holding it down over here.’’
Unless there is a change in the unofficial offseason depth chart, expect Donald Stephenson to open the Broncos’ organized team activities (OTAs) as the No. 1 left tackle, Ty Sambrailo at No. 2 and first-round rookie Garett Bolles at No. 3. As Bolles said himself, he’s got to earn it. …
After James Ferentz was waived last week, Dillon Day has been working as the Broncos’ backup center to Connor McGovern as projected regular-season starter Matt Paradis continues to mend from surgeries on each hip. …
Broncos strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson has been having his defensive linemen work out in the weight room while wearing their thick Broncos’ hoodies. Domata Peko and Derek Wolfe both showed up for their press conferences Tuesday with their sweatshirts drenched in perspiration.
“Coach Luke has challenged us this year to wear these hoodies so in the heat of the battle—when the fire hits a stone, you get a diamond or a gem out of it,’’ Peko said. “That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to work out there and build up our strength in the heat.”