Shane Ray spent two seasons learning how to be a pro from DeMarcus Ware. And even if the eight sacks he had last season make it clear that he’s ready to step into the starting lineup, Ware’s retirement is bittersweet for the former first round pick. The outside linebacker and edge rusher joined The Jim Rome Show Friday on CBS Sports Radio and talked about how the potential Hall of Famer helped him—both on and off the field—a mentor in every sense of the word.

“Taking care of my body, to my eating habits, my training regiment, how I might go get acupuncture and my diet,” Ray said. “The outside of football things were more impactful to me than I feel like on the field stuff. DeMarcus was teaching me about management of this and that, and kind of going in-depth as a 12-year veteran who has done pretty much everything that I’m setting out to do.”

Even if it looks like the Broncos defense won’t miss a beat with Ray now in Ware’s spot, the tips that the former Missouri All-American learned from Ware won’t be forgotten.

“He shared a lot of knowledge with me, on how to handle certain situations how to look at things,” Ray said. “His knowledge of the game, teaching me pass rush every day, teaching me keys to look at, things to understand, it was very helpful for me, to come into the league to have a guy of his caliber share that kind of knowledge with me, I really appreciate it.”

The nine-time Pro Bowler is now enjoying retirement. But Ray’s expectations, personally and for the Broncos, are still sky high. Thanks to the legacy Ware left behind.

“I felt like these past two years with him was really for preparation for this moment,” Ray said. “DeMarcus, as good as a person he is, he decided to share enough knowledge with me and share enough of the game with me that when my time came whenever it was I would be prepared. And going into the season I really feel like I am prepared and that I’m ready to do what I need to do.”


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