“He’s a guy that mentored me a lot, taught me a lot about the game,” Ayers told reporters on Wednesday regarding Dumervil, per ProFootballTalk.com. “I’ve grown as a man since I’ve been here and as a player in the NFL. It’s tough to see him go. But it’s part of the business, and I know it’s a big opportunity for myself. We’ve talked about it. One thing he said, ‘Man, do your thing. You’re more than ready.’ He’s still encouraging. It’s an unfortunate situation, but it’s an opportunity that I look forward to taking advantage of.”
Ayers knows he has a big chance to prove himself.
“That was my mindset once I heard the news [about Dumervil],” Ayers said. “I knew it was an opportunity for me, and I’m looking forward to it. The fact that he says that doesn’t make me relax or anything — it makes me hungry. Because I know there are a lot of expectations, and I have high expectations of myself. So I’m just looking forward to working hard and being ready to take advantage of it.”
Ayers wasn’t drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft to sit around and do nothing. Now’s the time for him to prove to the Broncos that he’s worth every penny they’ve spent on him.