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Tight End Tandem

Posted Aug 1, 2012

Tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen have been extremely involved in the offense through the first week of training camp.


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- First-year Broncos Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen are shaping up to be a major part of the new-look offense in Denver.

After six days of training camp practices, the Broncos have showcased several variations of a two tight end formation that features Tamme and Dreessen in different spots on the field.

“Joel and I are working our tails off to see what we can do to help the team,” Tamme said after Wednesday’s practice. “We’ve got a lot of weapons offensively; we just need to come out every day and get better. Different games will probably feature and involve different things. We’re not really concerned about all that. We’re just trying to get out here and see what we can do.”

Quarterback Peyton Manning is clearly getting comfortable with the pair of tight ends, as they’ve been two of his most targeted receivers in team drills and seven-on-sevens.

Safety Mike Adams, who occasionally finds himself matched up with a tight end, knows that as well as anyone.

“They’re going to pose a real problem (for defenses),” Adams said. “I expect those guys, when you mention the Gronkowskis and the Grahams (New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham), I expect those guys’ names to be mentioned also. Especially Jacob, a fast guy, looks like a receiver type. And Joel, he was with the Texans, he’s been playing and doing his thing."

Tamme has a history with Manning from his four previous years in Indianapolis. In 2010, the last year that Manning was active, the two hooked up 67 times through the air as Tamme tied for second on the team in receptions. He also caught four touchdowns to round off his most productive season in the NFL.

Dreessen joined the Broncos coming off one of his best seasons. In 2011, the Colorado State alum led the Houston Texans with six touchdown catches – a career high.

“He’s been doing it for a long time, and he’s coming off a couple of really good years with Houston,” Tamme said of his counterpart. “We both do a lot of things pretty similar. He can get out and run, he’s a good blocker and he’s got a lot of experience.”

In addition to having a similar skillset, Dreessen and Tamme have something else in common. Both spent their 2011 season catching passes from their team’s backup quarterback. Tamme had Curtis Painter for the entire year in Indianapolis, and Dreessen developed into T.J. Yates’ favorite red-zone target after Matt Schaub missed weeks 11-17 with a foot injury.

Adams points out that as the two tight ends are getting acclimated – or re-acclimated – with Manning, both could be headed toward a spike in production.

“I expect both of their names to be mentioned (with the league’s top tight ends),” Adams said. “Especially with Peyton Manning at the helm, that helps.”

KENNEY ADDED TO ROSTER

On Wednesday, the Broncos acquired wide receiver Cameron Kenney off waivers from Seattle, bringing the current roster to 90 players. 

Kenney was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Diego Chargers in July, 2011. He was cut a month later and sat out the 2011 season.

In May, the Seahawks picked up Kenney before waiving him on Tuesday.

In two seasons at the University of Oklahoma, Kenney totaled 55 catches for 812 yards and five touchdowns.