Hometown Denver Bronco Mike Purcell working to reestablish himself
Mike Purcell grew up cheering for the Denver Broncos and dreaming about playing for them.
The Colorado native says he only ever made it to one game, and it was when his youth team got to play at halftime. Meaning every time Purcell has headed to Empower Field at Mile High, it’s been with the goal of playing football. Unfortunately for the Broncos, Purcell has been limited to being just a fan a bunch in the last few years.
The run-stuffing nose tackle is entering his fourth season with the Broncos but hasn’t played more than 13 games in a season. When Purcell is healthy and plays, he’s solid. But a foot injury ended his 2021 season, and a finger injury hampered his 2022.
“My goal is staying healthy, it’s been rough the past few years, and that’s kind of out of my control to get injured. It’s part of the game,” Purcell said, emphasizing that he feels great in an exclusive interview with 104.3 The Fan’s Brandon Stokley and Zach Bye. “I feel like one of the best run suffers, and I got to reestablish myself this year.”
A Highlands Ranch High School and Wyoming graduate, Purcell was signed by the San Francisco 49ers.
“Pretty similar defense to Vic’s (Fangio) in ways; there are obviously some differences,” Purcell said. “EJ (Ejiro Evero) was actually there my first years in the league were with Vic in San Fran. So we’re familiar, and we spent some time together in L.A. after San Fran let me go, so it’s a similar defense. I love it. I thrive in a 3-4.”
Purcell, 31, signed with the Broncos ahead of the 2019 season and later signed a three-year, $14.8 million contract extension. He’s tallied 11 tackles for a loss, five quarterback hits, and one sack in his three seasons at home.
“It’s great out here; the energy is great,” Purcell said about his 10th training camp. “The energy is different, and obviously, we’ve said that in years past, but everyone feels different this year. The whole building is energized. Everybody shows up ready for work, and it’s a whole new vibe, and I think everybody’s excited.”