ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –In year one with Demaryius Thomas at the helm, the Broncos offense improved from 25th to second in points per game.
So what can Broncos fans expect this year?
According to tight end Joel Dreessen, the familiarity and continuity this offseason will lead to better results on the field.
"We're working on the details this year, as opposed to last year when we were just trying to learn what to do and learn about each other and get to know each other," he said. "Now we're really working on the details and trying to redefine our craft or perfect our craft. I think you're going to see us get even better."
At this time last year, Dreessen along with fellow tight end Jacob Tamme and Manning were just learning their way around town as well as getting to know their new teammates.
Now, they can focus on football.
"Last year this whole offense was like a different language to me," Dreessen said. "I was flash card after flash card just trying to learn what to do. Now we're really, really refining the details and I think we're going to be a lot better."
Throughout the offseason, newly promoted Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase's plan to play "pedal to the medal" has been echoed by offensive players.
One way the offense will be able to speed up its tempo will be by decreasing the length of the play calls.
"Gase has mentioned several times that we're looking to play faster," Dreessen said. "So we're looking at doing simple things like decreasing the verbiage in our play calls. If we have to say less we can line up faster and we can play faster."
In addition to increasing its speed, the offense wants to get on the scoreboard earlier in the game.
"We want to start better in the first half," the eighth-year tight end said. "Last year, we kind of talked about (how) we were feeling teams out in the first half and then when the third quarter comes we would just put on this third-quarter onslaught. By the fourth quarter we were in four-minute mode."
Other areas that Dreessen pointed to for improvement were red-zone and third-down performances.
Denver ranked seventh in red-zone touchdown percentage and third in third-down conversion rate, but Dreessen said that there is room to get even better.
"You can always improve on third down and in the red zone," Dreessen said. "You're never perfect on that stuff. Closing out games, too. There were a handful of games — the playoff game one of them — where we had a chance as an offense to finish the game on the field and we didn't get it done."
With the Broncos' addition of free-agent wide receiver Wes Welker, there will be another weapon for defenses to have to account for.
That could mean more opportunities for Dreessen in the passing game, but as the tight end pointed out – there are only so many balls to catch.
He isn't worried about racking up the statistics and said that he'll be happy as long as someone is catching the passes.
"We have a lot of weapons and a lot of people to get the ball to," Dreessen said. "That's a good problem to have. On the flipside, there are only so many balls to go around. Everybody wants to get their piece of the pie, but the great thing about this team is we don't care. Whatever it takes to win."