They have lost Malik Jackson and Sly Williams to free agency.
They have lost DeMarcus Ware to age and retirement.
Luckily for the Denver Broncos’ defensive front it still has Derek Wolfe.
There is a wonderful, unvarnished quality to Wolfe that could never be replaced.
“When I see guys not doing the right thing, I’m going to tell them,’’ he said. “I’m not going to sit back and let that (stuff) slide. Me, it’s either confrontation fist-fight or say nothing. I’m learning how to not fight people if that makes sense.”
Wolfe is one of the most interesting personalities the Broncos have ever had. He has this brutish quality in his talk and play. He’s also deeply introspective and had a huge heart.
“I never thought I’d be married, but I am,’’ Wolfe said. He was married Feb. 25 in Vail in a ceremony attended by several of his past and current teammates. “I did that. My life has come full circle. I never thought I’d be a step-dad, but I’m a step-dad.
“I never thought a lot of things would happen, and they have. I didn’t think I’d be the kind of guy that when it comes to free agency, say, ‘I’m taking all the money.’ But, that’s not me. I had to think about who am I? That’s what I’ve learned, how to be myself.’’
It was during the Broncos’ Super Bowl run two years ago that Wolfe accepted a four-year contract extension at the hometown discount price of $9.175 million a year.
More importantly to the Broncos he’s a very good 3-4 defensive end who brings nastiness to the defense.
“Just watching film on him over the years, he’s a beast out there,’’ said Domata Peko, who is in his first season as the Broncos’ nosetackle after 11 seasons in Cincinnati. “I love the way he plays. He has that ‘no B.S.’ mentality and that’s the kind of guy I want to play next to on the D-line.”
Despite the sweaty hoody Wolfe wore at his press conference Tuesday, he’s up 20 pounds from last year.
That’s a good thing. The Broncos not only didn’t lose Derek Wolfe, they got more of him.
“My neck is healthy,’’ he said of the injury that bothered him in the second half of last season. “Last off season was so short. It was hard for me to recover and get back to my normal weight. I’m walking out at about 305-310 right now. I’m moving as well as I’ve ever moved, so I feel great.”