The transition into his sophomore season has been full of changes for Broncos defensive lineman Adam Gotsis. In addition to the mental adjustments that Gotsis has seen in himself and the team, his physical improvements are also evident. After a season-ending knee injury in his senior season at Georgia Tech, Gotsis came into his rookie season with a steep hill to climb. That limited him to 14 total tackles on the year, and left the Broncos looking for help on the defensive line.
Gotsis joined Les Shapiro of Afternoon Drive on Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 and discussed the offseason transactions the Broncos made to improve the defensive line and how they impact his role.
Free agent signings Domata Peko and Zach Kerr and second-round draft pick DeMarcus Walker were all brought in to help revamp the unit and figure to motivate Gotsis throughout OTAs and into training camp.
“I don’t see it as insulting at all,” Gotsis said when asked about having so many players added at this position. “I mean, they drafted me for a reason. I think I’ve got to come into this year and I’ve got to perform. At the end of the day you’ve got to do it every year. You can’t just come in, you know, one day and make a play and then not make a play for three weeks. You know, doesn’t matter who you are. But yeah, I think just adding depth that was a big thing. You know last year, we didn’t really have a rotation at all. So, I think you gotta’ add guys that can contribute. It’s going to be competition through OTAs, through training camp and the best guy is going to play. The guy that makes the most plays is going to be out there.”
Gotsis believes he has what it takes to be that guy. While recovering from the injury prior to his rookie season, Gotsis was unable to participate in OTAs or put himself in the best position to succeed physically. He’s since used a full offseason to condition himself for what he hopes will be a more productive 2017 season.
“I’m about 20 pounds heavier,” Gotsis said. “Ate a lot of food. Worked out. [Ate] everything. Everything. It was something I had to do this year to give myself the best chance to go out there and make plays this year. I couldn’t do it at 285 last year coming off the injury, so it’s like let’s get big and be able to run and do all that stuff.”
Coaches and players alike have noticed the difference. Earlier in the week, Broncos new defensive coordinator Joe Woods raved about Gotsis’ improvement this offseason, especially from the physical standpoint. Gotsis also received comparisons to defensive end Derek Wolfe. Given the physical measurables the two share, the comparisons could be warranted. Despite the compliment, Gotsis understands that it means nothing if his play on the field does not improve this year.
“It’s pretty cool, it’s all right,” Gotsis said about being compared to Wolfe. “He’s a leader on this defense, you know. Makes plays, gets the job done. So, to be compared to someone like that is pretty cool. Again, I’ve got to go out there and get it done, just like he does. So, they can give me a nickname or whatever, but if you don’t get the job done it doesn’t mean [anything].”
Listen to the full discussion with Gotsis, including his thoughts on the offensive line, in the podcast below.