INDIANAPOLIS -- Because it is the offseason, it’s a sure bet that Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak likely has seen many of his players more on television than he has in person.
Such are the fruits of victory in Super Bowl 50. But Kubiak said at the league’s scouting combine that he wants his Broncos players to take advantage of the title ride until the team gets back to work in April.
“They should enjoy it," Kubiak said. “They worked really hard ... I’m really proud of them. I’m not a late-night guy, but I saw a few of them, they handled themselves really well."
A large group of Broncos, led by the everywhere man in Von Miller -- who as the Super Bowl MVP was an A-list guest in prime time, during late night and in the daytime on ESPN’s variety of programs and even appeared at the Grammys -- made what seemed to be all the possible rounds in the weeks following the title game win.
Kubiak said Wednesday at the combine he has already informed the players the team’s offseason program will officially begin on April 18, the first day allowed by the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Kubiak said the league notified the Broncos that they could have delayed the start of their offseason program because they played into February, but Kubiak said the Broncos wanted to keep to the April 18 start to give the players their usual time off following the team’s final minicamp in June and before they open training camp in late July.
“I think that process works good as far as the summer," Kubiak said. “I don’t want to go too far into the summer. It will be a quick turnaround for us, but we’ve got a lot of young players we need to catch up who can help us next year and [we] need to do a good job with those guys."
One of those young players is tight end Jeff Heuerman, a 2015 draft pick who missed his rookie season after suffering a season-ending ACL tear on the first day of rookie minicamp, just days after the draft. Kubiak said Heuerman was ready to play “now" and would have no limitations when the team’s offseason program begins.
But overall Kubiak, who was on the coaching staff for three previous Super Bowl winners, including the Broncos’ back-to-back Super Bowl wins to close out the 1997 and 1998 seasons, said he believes the Broncos players know when it will be time to recalibrate and get back on the job.
“They should enjoy it, and they should enjoy it for a few more months and then it’s time to go back to work," Kubiak said.
Miller said last week he believed the Broncos could repeat and that the players would know when the time to celebrate was over.
“Definitely, we have the kind of guys that will get back at it," Miller said. “We don’t want to be good just one time, we want to keep going, show what we’re about ... the great teams keep it going, the teams you know put in the work."
Miller vowed he would start his offseason workouts this week “after two weeks off, that’s what I promised myself ... two weeks and that’s it."
Kubiak was asked Wednesday about the difficulty of repeating as the NFL’s champion, which hasn’t been done since the New England Patriots won Super Bowls to close out the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
“We’re fixing to find out," Kubiak said. “That’s the biggest thing. This league is just so good. There is such a fine line between winning and losing. Heck, you know that as well as anybody following us the last five or six weeks of the season, the types of games we were in and the close football games. We found a way to get it done each and every week. I think that’s what is so difficult because you go right back to work."