ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) So used to flying around the field at full speed, Danny Trevathan has to constantly remind himself to back off for the sake of his still-healing left knee.
That's a difficult task for the Denver Broncos linebacker even if it's just minicamp and he's limited with what he can do anyway. There's still a lot learn in this new defense and he doesn't want to sit out so much as one single snap.
''But I've got to slow it down,'' Trevathan said. ''Be smart about it, not try to be too much of a tough guy.''
After all, being a tough guy may have worked against him a year ago.
Trevathan perhaps rushed things along to get back on the field after fracturing his left knee in practice last August.
That particular knee injury turned into another and then another, eventually leading to season-ending surgery.
''No regrets,'' said Trevathan, who spent the portion of minicamp open to the media Wednesday going through one-on-one drills with an assistant coach. ''I came back for a good cause. I've got to be much smarter this year, no doubt about that. This year, my main focus is to stay healthy, be healthy and win games.''
The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Trevathan was an integral part of the Broncos' linebacker corps in 2013 when he led the team in tackles. His absence last season opened the door for Brandon Marshall, who was having a stellar season until he sprained his foot.
If these two can stay healthy, Denver could be set in the middle in new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' system.
Not to leave anything to chance, though, the Broncos may just be in the market for a linebacker with one of their 10 picks in the draft this weekend.
''We really feel good that we have some good young linebackers,'' Broncos boss John Elway said. ''We feel good about that, but you never have enough of those, either. If there is a good one available, we'll take them.''
Trevathan' may be limited on the field, but he's making up for it by devouring the new playbook. Phillips' aggressive 3-4 style of defense appears well-suited for Trevathan, a sixth-round pick in 2012 out of the University of Kentucky.
''If we've got a good player, we'll find a place for them,'' Phillips said. ''I think Danny is a very good player. Obviously, he's coming off injury, but he's a tremendous talent. It's good he's out here and doing some things. He's progressing well.''
Trevathan originally injured his knee in an intense training camp practice on Aug. 12 and then re-injured the leg Oct. 12. He spent eight weeks on the club's recallable injured-reserve list before returning against San Diego on Dec. 14, when he dislocated his left kneecap and was done for the season.
Trevathan said he should be back to full speed by training camp in late July.
''I come in with the same mindset every day: I want to be great. I want to be remembered as one of the greats,'' Trevathan said. ''I want this defense to be one of the great defenses to show on the field. ... Whatever I have to do, I have to do.''
While Trevathan burst on the scene with a 124-tackle, three-interception season in 2013, he still flies under the radar, especially on this defense, which includes Pro Bowlers Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward and Chris Harris Jr.
Then again, it's usually been like that for Trevathan.
''It still baffles me. But I just don't pay that no mind,'' Trevathan said. ''I'm here now and they gave me an opportunity and I'm giving them everything I've got.''
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