ENGLEWOOD, Colo.– Owen Daniels has been here before.
A new playbook, new coaches, new scheme – for the 10-year veteran, this is nothing new. Add that to the fact that Daniels has played under Head Coach Gary Kubiak for every one of those 10 seasons, the tight end becomes a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Kubiak's offense, and Daniels' teammates know that.
So on top of his responsibilities on the field, Daniels has assumed a new role in the Broncos' 2015 offense: teacher.
Daniels, who was present in the previous installations of Kubiak's offense in Houston and Baltimore, has quickly become a resource to his peers on the field. Considering this week the offense has finished every install in their playbook, he is quick to assist even during on-field drills.
"They've done an awesome job of learning it, they've picked up really, really quickly and really, really well," said Daniels. "Sometimes they'll [ask], 'Hey, what do we got on this' as we're breaking the huddle, but guys have been doing an awesome job and I like that; being able to kind of bridge the gap between what they were doing before here and what we've always done with coach Kubiak's offense… I'm happy to be in that teacher role."
The Broncos donned helmets again to open the last phase of OTAs and make their final impressions before training camp in July.
While a majority of the offense is learning Kubiak's balanced offense this season, Daniels notes that Kubiak and Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison are effectively meshing together the new offense with the old one that fans are so accustomed to. With quarterback Peyton Manning at the helm under center, Kubiak will look to play to Denver's strength, whether through the air or on the ground.
"We're installing things the way we've always done in Houston and Baltimore," said Daniels. "Obviously there's a little bit of a mesh between what we've done in the past and obviously what Peyton has done in the past here with the Denver Broncos in the past. We're just trying to find out what we do best and work with that and go from there."
The role of teacher is one that Daniels has easily assumed, but that doesn't mean he himself isn't learning. Manning has also been a good resource for Daniels in finding his fit in the offense and the chemistry that goes along with it.
"It's kind of hard not to create chemistry right away with that guy," said Daniels. "The ball is always in the right spot and if I do something wrong he's a great coach about giving good tips and how to improve on that. I love it so far, I'm looking forward to more."
He added that they've finished installing the entire playbook and that he expects strong play from the offense via mixing play calls and trying to keep the defense off-balance with play-action.
"Running the ball has always been a strong play of our offense and being physical and running play-action pass off those runs," he said. "We'll try to continue to do that. It's always been a big, big part of our offense. We've gotten big plays off of it and [have] been very successful, so I think it's going to be a really good mash up of what we've done and being able to change tempo with what Peyton has done in the past."