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Broncos Camp Observations: How TE Greg Dulcich's role could evolve as Broncos near regular season

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In the midst of 11-on-11 action, tight end Greg Dulcich sprinted off the line of scrimmage and down the middle of the field.

As he found a soft spot in the defense, Dulcich turned and hauled in a pass from Russell Wilson for an intermediate gain before continuing to run down the field.

The catch was one of several Dulcich posted during Tuesday's practice, as he also made a nice catch down the sideline in seven-on-seven action.

Dulcich had multiple catches in Monday's practice as well, including another seam route. And while Dulcich did not have a catch in limited action in Denver's preseason opener, Head Coach Sean Payton explained Tuesday that his role in the offense would evolve as the Broncos begin to game-plan for opponents.

"We're not into specific game-plan plays that would involve certain players," Payton said Tuesday. "He's one of those guys that we'll have packages that are designed [for him]. [That] doesn't mean he gets it, but he'd certainly be a primary [option]. We're still in installation. Today, we're installing another group of third-down plays and another group of red-zone plays. We've already done red zone [and] third down, but not the whole package. Today, they got a little bit more of red zone, and a little bit more of third down. As we get closer to the season, you'll see us customize it a little bit more."

During the offseason, Payton detailed Dulcich's potential to work in the Broncos' "Joker" position, which dated back to Payton's time in New Orleans.

"We use the term 'Joker' where we can get matchups," Payton said in June. "The trick sometimes is trying to predict what you're going to get defensively, if you're either going to get a nickel package or a base package. But man, he can run, he's got good ball skills, and he had one of his better practices today. Then you begin to build on that. Right now, there's an install that's taking place and the players, they go play those spots. When you get into the season, you really get more specific to who's running what route. I think his menu is going to be lengthy in the passing game, and there's enough stuff that we can do in the run game."

As the week begins, Dulcich has made his share of plays. When the Broncos begin to game-plan for the regular season, that impact may only grow.

MAHER HITS PRESSURE FIELD GOALS

In a pressure scenario on Tuesday, the Broncos' field-goal unit delivered.

At the end of the Broncos' two-minute drill during Tuesday's training camp practice, kicker Brett Maher faced a 59-yard attempt with the clock winding down. With his team trailing by three points, Maher sent the kick through the uprights — and several yards beyond.

Several minutes later, after the second-team offense took its turn, Maher drilled another field goal of at least 50 yards.

Head Coach Sean Payton said following practice that Maher had "a good day" on Tuesday, but the veteran will continue to compete despite being the only kicker on Denver's roster.

"We'll go day to day with where we're at with the kickers," Payton said. "… He's competing with himself because he's got 31 other teams [out there]. There are probably seven teams that have a real kicking battle, so he's competing with those guys that come out of those clubs. That doesn't discount us, possibly, if we wanted to bring in another player."

QUICK HITS

… Highlights of 9-on-7 work included a strong block from fullback Michael Burton, who opened up a hole for his running back.

… Wilson continues to find Jerry Jeudy often, as he connected with his wide receiver twice during an early 7-on-7 period.

… Wide receiver Marquez Callaway made an impressive touchdown catch during red-zone work, as he tiptoed the back line to keep his feet in bounds and record the score.

… Defensively, rookie inside Drew Sanders recorded a pass breakup in 7-on-7 and may have had a tackle for loss in 11-on-11 work.

… Wide receiver Courtland Sutton, cornerback Pat Surtain II and wide receiver Kendall Hinton were among the players to return to practice in some capacity. Payton said nose tackle D.J. Jones remains in the concussion protocol, while safety P.J. Locke is "going to be fine" after being carted off during practice.

… The following players did not practice on Tuesday: cornerbacks K'Waun Williams and Riley Moss; safeties Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson and Caden Sterns; outside linebacker Nik Bonitto; tight ends Chris Manhertz and Tommy Hudson; right tackle Mike McGlinchey; defensive lineman Forrest Merrill; and wide receiver Brandon Johnson.

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