DENVER — "O-line, we figure out how to get things done, man," Quinn Bailey said as he fixed the industrial mixer of the Denver Rescue Mission kitchen.
The Broncos offensive line group gathered Monday afternoon at the Mission to prepare roughly 1,000 meals for the homeless. It was something that put their tough Sunday loss to the Bills into true perspective.
"Just think about how grateful we are to be in this situation that we are to play this sport and the game of football. The people that we're helping today go through so much more," Ron Leary said. "Just to be able to give back, like I said, is something big for me. It's something big in my heart that I love doing."
It's something that his teammate Garett Bolles loves doing too. A self-claimed chef, he uses his precise knife skills to cut up potatoes for two-straight hours. For Bolles, this is both relaxing and an opportunity to give back to his community.
"Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that you always try to give back to show your thanks for the people that got you to where you're at in life," he said. "So when you can help people who aren't in the same position as you to try to put a smile on their face, that goes a long way."
The rest of the guys tried their best to prepare the corn bread stuffing, honey almond butter, peeled carrots, and chopped apples. It brought back some memories of what they contributed to their Thanksgiving meals as children.
"I would always go to my grandma's house really early in the morning and help make the chicken salad," Austin Schlottman said.
Elijah Wilkinson was a little less helpful, but smiled while remembering his moments with his family.
"I would help my mom do the cake and then I would eat the batter off of the little things in the mixer," he said. "I'd eat both of them and my brother and sister would watch and be so mad!"
Most of the 300-plus-pound athletes told stories of soley being responsible for eating and watching football, as you'd imagine. No matter what their responsibilities were in the past, they're all grateful to be in their current positions and capable of giving back.
"You know, we get so caught up on the game sometimes that we forget about little things like that, like how blessed we are to be in this position to give back," Leary said. "Put a hot meal on someone's plate for Thanksgiving, that's big for me, and I know the other guys feel the same way. We're glad to be here."