New Broncos tight end Owen Daniels signed his contract and met the media Wednesday at Dove Valley
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — With the arrival of Gary Kubiak's coaching staff, scheme adjustments and inevitable roster turnover, what's new for the Broncos is a big theme for the coming season. However, in the face of the unknown, one of the benefits that new tight end Owen Daniels brings is a valuable familiarity and experience with Kubiak's offense.
"I'm very excited to be here, obviously, and getting the opportunity to continue my career and continue with Coach [Kubiak] really is an unbeatable situation," Daniels said. "To be a part of this organization that has really set the standard. You look from year in and year out, you expect the Broncos to be there at the end of the season every year and that's really, as a player in my position, where you want to be. It's all about winning rings and they've got a tradition of doing that here and I'm looking forward to being a part of that."
That devotion to winning—both for Daniels and Kubiak—was what led them to Baltimore last year after spending years together in Houston, and now to Denver, where the two join a crew of talented players. As Kubiak installs the new offense that has generated so much excitement and conversation, having a player like Daniels with nine years of experience in his offense is a boon to the team.
"...this will be 10 years for [Owen] and I to be together as a player and a coach. That's unusual in this business, but I've really enjoyed it," Kubiak said at the press conference on Wednesday. "I've watched him when he came into Houston as a former quarterback and turned himself not only into a tight end, but a heck of a tight end in this league and a heck of a player. He's an even better person. So I'm very proud. I want players on this football team to know that he's a heck of a teammate, and that's extremely important to us. We're glad to have him."
Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway was also happy to have that experience on the roster in a talent like Daniels.
"We're excited about having Owen Daniels," Elway said. "He was a guy that has been with Gary for a long, long time, has been tremendously productive as a tight end, can do it all — H-back or the wide position. And so we're thrilled to have Owen, and plus, he knows the system like the back of his hand, which will be very helpful to everybody and all the other tight ends around him to have his expertise
One of the things that Kubiak's system needs from its tight ends is a diverse skill set, which is definitely something the two-time Pro Bowler has with his skills as a blocker, in addition to catching passes.
"It demands a lot. So it's challenging but a lot of fun, too, because you can do a whole bunch of different stuff," Daniels said. "You can line up in a bunch of different spots on the field, really everywhere. And they always look for consistency. So you've got to be able to block or at least be willing to do that. You've got to, I think the biggest thing is, be on your game, mentally. It's a very detailed offense in terms of what we do, landmarks and being in the right spot at the right time versus the right coverage."
And though it's clear Daniels enjoys playing in Kubiak's system, his coaching style as a former player who understands how players think also is something that has endeared the coach to him.
"He's a former player, so he knows the rigors of the season and the offseason and everything that goes on with that and all the work that we put in," Daniels said. "I respect how he respects as us players. He knows how to communicate things. It was awesome seeing him this past year in a teaching role. Him being a player and him being in that same seat years ago, being able to communicate in his own way to us—he really gets his point across clearly. Obviously he's a cool guy and people like to listen to him. He's not boring. He just kind of jokes and keeps it light in there."
With Daniels back playing for the only coach he's wanted to stay with for his entire career, the Broncos have a versatile tight end at a key position for the new offense.