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In sixth year with Broncos, Virgil Green knows it's time to be 'the guy'


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --In one respect, this offseason is like the previous five for tight end Virgil Green.

"Every year I come in thinking I can be the guy," he said. "I always feel like I can do things in the pass game. My specialty is being the physical guy up front in the run game and the pass-protection game, but I always come in every year thinking that I can be the guy in the pass game."

But there is no denying that this offseason is different -- and not just because of the change from a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Peyton Manning.

In other years, he prepared for the season as young depth, or, in the past two years, as the blocking complement to tight ends like Julius Thomas and, last year, Owen Daniels.

This year, there's no primary experienced starter in the tight end room. Green has the chance to be the No. 1 option -- not just as a blocker, but as an effective target in the passing game.

"I do feel that way," Green said. "With O.D. [Daniels] being gone, there is a better chance. In training camp, I really want to show that I can be not just a pass guy, but an every-down tight end guy."

Part of that is not just on Green's experience, but the evolution of the offense. There should be more opportunities for two-tight end formations than at any point since 2012, when veterans Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen ensured extensive use of the two-tight end formation as the base offensive package.

But that was in a different scheme than the one used now.

"The way our offense works, we can do anything," Green said.

With the quarterback position overhauled in the wake of Peyton Manning's retirement and Brock Osweiler's free-agent departure, the Broncos have a quarterback trio comprised of players acquired specifically for their fit in the offense run by Head Coach Gary Kubiak and Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison.

"I think I can be real beneficial to this scheme," Green said. "Especially because we've got younger quarterbacks that can get out on the edge.

"We're learning more about the offense," he added later. You get the chance to just start over, hit the reset button and just learn the more detailed things we have to do to be a more fluid offense."

That should open possibilities for Green and his fellow tight ends.

"Talking with [Mark] Sanchez, he watched some film last year. He said some good things about the way I was moving -- which I enjoyed [hearing]," Green said. "So I think the tight ends will see the ball more."

Green says he already feels he has "great" chemistry with Sanchez.

"I feel like he's a great leader. I like the way he throws the ball. I like the way he moves," Green said. "He has a nice, tight spiral and is a smart guy, and that's what you look for in a quarterback."

Now Green hopes that Sanchez, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch will find out that he is exactly what a quarterback will look for in a tight end.

Before a downpour hit Broncos headquarters, the team started a new week of Phase II practices of the offseason program. (photos by Ben Swanson

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