NEWARK, NJ — A little more than two years ago, the Arizona State football careers of Brock Osweiler and Omar Bolden came to an end in Las Vegas.
Their final game was a humbling loss to a team of Broncos, clad in orange and blue.
Osweiler cried following the defeat. Bolden, sidelined with an injury, wasn’t heard from.
Two years later, both former Sun Devils now wear the orange and blue associated with a team of Broncos — the Denver Broncos, who find themselves just sixty minutes away from football’s ultimate prize, — a Super Bowl win.
Neither player is a star or considered a key component to the AFC champions’ success — Osweiler threw just 16 passes in his role as Peyton Manning’s backup and Bolden played just 211 snaps on defense, registering 14 total tackles.
The duo blended in to the mass of humanity at Super Bowl Media Day at the Prudential Center Tuesday, but both stated their readiness for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.
“As the backup of this team, I’m expected to know everything that is in that offense,” Osweiler said. “I take great pride in my study habits and what I do throughout the week to be prepared, so no matter what play gets called on Sunday, I’m going to know what to do.”
Osweiler, who left Arizona State following his junior season, has a perk in his job that other backup quarterbacks don’t — he gets to learn on a daily basis from Manning.
“Peyton has been over-the-top in terms of helping me out, teaching me things, pointing things out when he certainly doesn’t have to do that, but he has, and I’m very thankful for that.”
Many were surprised when Osweiler, who threw for 4,036 yards and 26 touchdowns in his only season as ASU’s starter, passed up his senior season to go pro. For the most part, the 6-foot-8 Montana native doesn’t look back.
“The only thing, when I look back as far as coming out of school early, is if I would have stayed, I would have got another 12 or 13 or 14 games potentially as a starting quarterback in college,” he said. “Other than that, I have absolutely no regrets. Coming to Denver has been such an unbelievable opportunity and I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason in life.
“There’s a reason I came out of school early. There’s a reason why I’m here in Denver now and I’m just trying to make the most of my opportunity and not waste a day.”
Bolden, who didn’t seem all that jazzed about the massive media crush at the annual event, believes the Broncos’ game preparation has only been affected by one thing.
“Really, it’s you guys,” he said. “It’s really overwhelming how many media people there are.”
Even though Bolden’s career in Tempe was marred by injuries — he had most of the 2009 season and all of the 2011 campaign taken away by knee injuries — he still remembers where he came from.
“I’m a proud Sun Devil, and I always will be.”
According to the Arizona State Media Relations Department, Bolden and Osweiler will have the opportunity to become the 19th and 20th former Sun Devils to win a Super Bowl ring Sunday.