The players didn’t stay away from Dove Valley long as they returned after just three months away. Monday the team began its offseason program and Gary Kubiak addressed the team in person for the first time.

“The message was definitely world championship from the start,” Emmanuel Sanders said and although the coaching staff and roster is much different the goal is the same. “He pretty much told us that it’s going to take a special group of men to bring a world championship to this city. We’ve got the guys in the room that are going to do it and that is the focus.”

Sanders and his teammate DeMarcus Ware were the only players available for comment Monday but both revealed the importance of day one of the offseason workout program and what their specific roles will be this season.

“We’re focused on this year. We’ve got a totally different coaching staff. We’ve got a new offense. We’ve got a totally different group of guys. I’m optimistic that it’s going to be a successful year,” Sanders said confidently.

Sanders is coming off of a Pro Bowl year in which he caught 108 balls for 1,450 yards and seven touchdowns. He has stepped into a leadership role in Demaryius Thomas’ absence but will again learn a new offense and a familiar position.

“When we go into our three-wide receiver package, I am going to move into the slot, which I’m very comfortable doing because I played the slot in Pittsburgh and a lot in college. I’m looking forward to that.”

Cody Latimer looks to be the third wide receiver that will step into the starting role and Sanders believes Latimer is ready for the responsibility saying, “He has strong hands. He’s a physical tool. I think that this is going to be the year that he jumps on to the map—on to the scene. I think he’s going to have a big year.”

Ware was all smiles at his press conference and his overall health seems to be the reason. After a few years of nagging injuries it seems that after the 2014 season Ware was healthy enough to begin preparation for his 11th season just a day after the disappointing loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

“Guys have been working out ever since the last game that we lost and they hadn’t really put the weights down, me being one of those guys because I’m ready. I’m ready for that time to come and it’s here right now, so we’re looking forward to it this year.”

Ware went on to comment on how excited he is to be reunited with Wade Phillips and his 3-4 defense as well as the importance of the addition of Antonio Smith. Ware and Smith were both once top-tier pass rushers and will have the ability to return to that type of notoriety in Phillips scheme. There is a lot to be excited about for the defense and it showed in Ware’s comments.

“It feels really good. I know his defense already, I know how productive a lot of guys are in his defense, and I know how guys like Von (Miller) and Malik (Jackson) and (Derek) Wolfe and the new guys that they brought in with Antonio Smith, even the linebackers, everybody’s going to be able to thrive to a new level because in this type of defense.”

Monday brought step one of the team’s opportunity to gel and get to know each other and the schedule’s workload will only increase as April continues but it looks like day one was a big success.

The Broncos will continue with “Phase 1” of the program on Tuesday and Wednesday and start back up next week. This portion of the schedule consists of strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation as well as team meetings. Only strength and conditioning coaches can be on the field and players are very limited to what they are allowed to do on the playing surfaces.

Broncos April Schedule:

April 13-16, 20-23: Offseason Workout Program (phase 1)

April 28-30: Voluntary Veteran Mini Camp

The Broncos can have two practices a day on two of the three days and there is no live contact drills, pads, or helmets allowed

April 30- May 2: NFL Draft

The Broncos own 10 picks in the upcoming draft, including their first round pick at No. 28. The team originally owed five picks and acquired one via trade with Chicago. Their five remaining picks are compensatory and cannot be traded.

*Schedule provided by the Denver Broncos PR department and dates are subject to change

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