ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- It is a piece of diamond-encrusted jewelry everybody will keep, but nobody really wants.
But as the Denver Broncos opened their three-day mandatory minicamp with a team meeting Monday night, one of the items on the agenda was distributing the rings the team's players, coaches and other staff members received for being the AFC champion. It was part celebration of a 13-3 finish to go with a pile of records on offense to go with the bittersweet memory of a 35-point loss in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Essentially a high-priced, second-place bauble that players and coaches especially weren't prepared to celebrate.
“I've been part of three of those unfortunately, but you recognize that it was a great effort," said Broncos head coach John Fox. "It’s not like the Olympics where they pass out three medals. You only get two medals in this league. When you get either one of them is good, but the real prize is that gold medal."
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was asked following Tuesday’s practice if he would ever wear the ring and he simply said "probably not."
In the meeting Fox addressed last season's successes and addressed this year's goals with the team. He also asked former Broncos linebacker and current ESPN analyst Tom Jackson to address the team. The team is scheduled to have four organized team activities next week, but with the rings ready to be distributed and the team set for minicamp this week, Fox used the occasion to have Jackson address the team.
And the message was abundantly clear to one and all.
"We talked about it (Monday) night ... and we addressed last season," Manning said. "We talked about the things that were positive about it and we talked about how we still want to go a step further. We did a lot of good things last year and we need to build on those things. You just don’t go out and go a step further because you went that far last year."