Scale goes up for Vickerson, rushing totals go down for opponents

Take less money, gain more weight.

Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson heard both of those messages from the Denver Broncos in the offseason and complied with both.

The result has been one of the strongest seasons in his seven-year NFL career — and at a bargain to boot.

Playing at 330 pounds, about 40 pounds more than what he weighed in at last year, Vickerson has been occupying two offensive linemen at a time, freeing up Denver's linebackers to make plays.

He has 32 tackles and two sacks. But more importantly, the Broncos defense is ranked fourth heading into Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.