Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Ware wants ring to cap his legacy

Broncos LB DeMarcus Ware would gladly trade his 1341/2 sacks and eight Pro Bowls for a Super Bowl ring.

He'll have his chance on Sunday when Denver faces Carolina in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Ware started working toward that goal in 2005 when the Cowboys made him a first-round pick, never guessing he would wait this long to play for a championship.

"This is my 11th year," Ware said last week. "… The year 2015 is already gone. Time flies by so fast, and you have to cherish every single moment.

"I can remember maybe my first sack, but not the little, small things in the middle. The big things that you can accomplish with a team, that's what you can remember forever. I look at it right now, this (winning a Super Bowl) is one of those things that I can accomplish that way and can be a stamp in the book."

Ware and Panthers DE Jared Allen, in his 12th season, share more than just a place among the top pass rushers in history. (Allen is tied with Julius Peppers for ninth all-time with 136 sacks; Ware sits 11th.)

While both Ware and Allen will earn serious consideration for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after their careers, neither had made it to the Super Bowl before this season.

"Moments like this are just why you play the game," Ware said. "I'm just being a competitor and a team guy. You can have the individual accolades, but that doesn't mean anything. At the end of the day, what have you done for the team to make them even better?

"I think this right here is the pinnacle point in my career. What can you do now to help your team get to that next level?"

Benjamin cheers Panthers: Carolina WR Kelvin Benjamin's season-ending ACL tear in August was the kind of blow that gave Panthers doubters some fuel. After all, the wide receiver was a favorite target of QB Cam Newton, racking up 1,008 receiving yards last year in his rookie season out of Florida State.

For Benjamin, watching the Panthers' near-perfect season and Super Bowl run-up has been frustrating, but also a lesson in patience.

"When you get hurt, the media walks right past you. You just feel like you're not apart of things," Benjamin told the Charlotte Observer. "I'm used to always making the plays and always being on top."

But, during the Super Bowl, "I'm gonna be the biggest cheerleader on the sidelines for the guys," Benjamin said. "Hope we can pull it off so we can get those rings," he said.

Benjamin is accustomed to being center stage. An FSU hoodie he wore during an interview is a reminder of that: It's there he had the winning touchdown against Auburn for the national championship in 2014, for example.

This is the first time an injury has sidelined Benjamin for a season. Panthers LB Thomas Davis has come back from three ACL tears, though, and has been advising him on the recovery, like strengthening his quad and hamstring muscles.

But perhaps the biggest lesson from Davis is not letting the fear of re-injury cripple him once he comes back, Benjamin said.

Broncos okay after accident: A Broncos spokesman said nobody was injured when the team's buses were involved in a minor accident after practice on Monday at Stanford Stadium. The buses carrying players and staff were on their way back to the team hotel in Santa Clara when the accident occurred. Team spokesman Patrick Smyth said nobody was injured in the accident on the southbound lanes of U.S. Route 101, but he had no information on what caused the fender bender.

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