ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- After last year's decline from being the NFL's No. 2 defense in 2012, that side of the football has heard far too much about the Denver Broncos being half a team.
Most of the offseason tweaks were made to that side of the ball: the Broncos' first three signings in unrestricted free agency (T.J. Ward, DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib) and their first-round draft pick (Bradley Roby).
"We just want to be enforcers out there," defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said Thursday when the team began training camp practice. "We want to go out there and set the tone. We don't want our offense to have to go out there and score 28 or 35 points a game in order for us to win. We want to go out there and shut teams out and develop that image throughout the league that it's not only Peyton you have to worry about; it's that defense."
During organized team activities, Ware set a goal with linebacker Von Miller -- who returns from a torn ACL -- of combining for more sacks than at least one team amasses. In 2012, Miller and Elvis Dumervil succeeded at that feat, so it is realistic.
On Wednesday, Ware established a team goal of having the No. 1 offense and defense, which he described succinctly as "one and one."
"The sky is the limit for us," Ware said.
Miller isn't all the way back from the torn ACL, but he is close. He took part in the 7-on-7 periods of practice Thursday and was held out of team work, but that keeps him on schedule to play Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts.
But just as important as his physical recovery is his mental and emotional one. His 2013 season was marred by an arrest and a six-game suspension for violation of the league's substance-abuse policy. He put on weight during his suspension, which appeared to slow him down. Although he still generated consistent pressure, he failed to finish with sacks as frequently as he did in 2012.
This offseason, he dropped some of that weight, bringing him closer to the 250-260-pound range, which is ideal.
"I feel good where I'm at," Miller said. "A Ferrari wasn't built to carry luggage to and from the airport. You just want to have light, streamlined. That's just what I was trying to get to. Everything but the knee brace, I want to be streamlined, fast and quick."
Last year, he hoped playing at above 270 pounds would help him burst through opposing blockers. But it hindered his ability to get around them.
"I figured out when I was 280, 270 pounds, they're still going to hold you regardless. It's not like you're going to keep offensive linemen from holding you," he said. "So I might as well be at a weight we're I'm comfortable."
Before the Broncos took a five-week break between organized team activities and training camp, offensive coordinator Adam Gase had his players watch the game footage of Super Bowl XLVIII.
They weren't the only players to do so. Knighton admits that he has re-watched the 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks "a lot."
"I watched it enough to hate them," Knighton said. "You can keep that, you can write that down, do whatever you want.
"I'm looking forward to playing them again. The good thing is, we'll see them in the regular season and the preseason, and like I said, we just want to get that bad taste out of our mouths."
The teams meet Aug. 7 in their preseason opener in Denver and in Week 3 in Seattle, but neither will come close to providing redemption, and Knighton knows it.
"Playing them in Week 3 won't get (the taste) out of our mouth," Knighton said. "It'll be winning the Super Bowl. We want to hoist that trophy."
Until then, the loss will stick with the Broncos.
"Everybody might not say it, but I'll say it. It's definitely in the backs of people's minds," Knighton said.