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Published on 06/12/2012 at Tue Jun 12 19:55.
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(Image courtesy of Ron Chenoy/US Presswire)

The Wolfe has joined his pack.

The newest member of Denver’s Orange Carnivore defense, rookie defensive tackle Derek Wolfe, practiced with all of his teammates for the time on Tuesday.  Wolfe signed a four-year deal with the team in May, but was not allowed to participate in offseason workouts with the team until college class graduated last Thursday.

Since then, Wolfe has received his physical from the team (he’s listed as 6-5, 300 lbs.) and has already been labeled a base defensive tackle and a nickle defensive end by Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio.  All of that aside, Wolfe was focused on his first day on the job Tuesday.

“It’s good to finally be out there with my teammates and working and getting better,” Wolfe said after practice.  

When asked if he felt behind the rest of the team after missing OTAs, Wolfe replied, “Yeah, absolutely.  Towards the end of practice I started to get it and caught up pretty quickly, it’ll come along.”

Wolfe confirmed that he has been practicing both end and tackle positions and noted that the veteran lineman have been giving him pointers.  “I’ve got a lot of vets (helping me out).”

The team’s highest draft pick of the 2012 draft (2nd round, 36th overall), Wolfe expects to contribute this season and realizes that he needs to improve.  “I expect to contribute,” he said.  “Obviously they didn’t draft me with their first pick not to play.  I have some (high) expectations and I hope to live up to them.”

The Broncos and Wolfe will continue practicing through Thursday — the conclusion of mandatory minicamp.  The team’s 2012 training camp is expected to take place near the end of July.