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Opportunity beckons for Michael Schofield

Michael Schofield has spent his offseason on the move.

He worked out extensively in Boston, the home base of his girlfriend, Kendall Coyne, a member of last year's silver-medal winning USA women's hockey team -- but also the city of strength and conditioning guru Mike Boyle. He spent two weeks in San Diego this month receiving personal sessions with an offensive line coach.

And now the Broncos' 2014 third-round selection hopes he will ascend on the depth chart after a frustrating rookie season in which he was inactive for all 16 regular-season games and the playoff loss to the Colts.

Schofield's lack of game action in 2014 did not dull the team's confidence in him, as Head Coach Gary Kubiak and Executive Vice President/General Manager John Elway have emphasized his potential role in a revamped offensive line.

"It's definitely a good feeling, especially after a disappointing [rookie] season where I didn't get on the field," Schofield said. "It's nice to hear that they still have that confidence in me and everything. It's just making me work harder this offseason."

Much of that work was in the weight room. At the Scouting Combine in February, Elway and Kubiak noted their pre-2014 draft assessments that Schofield needed to bulk up.

"I've been trying to put on some weight," Schofield said. "That's always been my biggest thing. Living with my girlfriend has helped. She was making me meals a lot, so that was a big part of it. I feel like I'm getting stronger, bigger and faster."

As a result of his work -- and the meals from Coyne -- Schofield said he currently weighs 305 pounds, 10 pounds more than he did at the end of last season.

Extra bulk will help him. The shift a zone-blocking intensive scheme also plays to his advantage.

"At Michigan, we did a lot of zone [blocking]," Schofield said. "We had a (mobile) quarterback in Denard Robinson, and we would pretty much just have him run a zone offense. I'm pretty familiar with it."

Schofield said he spoke "briefly" to Kubiak within two weeks of the new head coach's hire and had a "pretty good conversation."

The arrival of Kubiak and Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison ensures a substantial transition for the entire offense, but Schofield's familiarity with Offensive Line Coach Clancy Barone will help smooth the process.

Barone coached tight ends last year, but had some involvement with the line in practice, an area he last coached full-time in 2010.

"Maybe one or twice a week, the tackles would go over with the tight ends for a little bit, and he would be the one putting us through drills," Schofield said. "So I'm kind of familiar with him, and I like his coaching style, so hopefully it all works out."

And if it works out for Schofield, his future is likely to be at right tackle. Although he offers positional flexibility with college experience at left guard, Elway sees him on the outside.

"Right now he's more of a right tackle," Elway said at the Combine. "Especially when we look at where we are, and the offensive line, and right tackle's a need for us. That's what we drafted him for, is to play right tackle. We think it's a good fit for him."

Schofield agrees.

"As a taller guy with the arm length (34 inches) and everything, it helps at the tackle spot, with the reach and everything," he said. "I feel like I'm an athletic offensive lineman, and you've got to be pretty athletic at tackle, especially with how the defensive ends are nowadays."

View photos of the Broncos' third-round pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.

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