ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — **James Casey's claim to fame is not his statistics on the field. But it's his versatility to play multiple positions and do some little things that has made him valuable.
Casey not only played at tight end, but he did lead blocking for running back Arian Foster helped produce big results and big numbers: two consecutive seasons piling up over 1,200 rushing yards in each year.
That experience in Head Coach Gary Kubiak's offense from in the slot to in the backfield is a bonus for Casey, who knows the system and the blocking scheme and has seen success helping to produce a dominant run game that ranked No. 2 and No. 8 in the NFL in rushing yards per game in 2011 and 2012.
"I was able to be a fullback guy to be a lead blocker but also able to motion around and cause a little bit of problems on defense," Casey said on Monday in an interview with DenverBroncos.com. "Because any time on the defense, they've got to think about what personnel you're in or what formation you're in. It causes a little consternation from them to see how they're going to set their blitzes and those kind of things. So I think I was just able to add some versatility to the offense when I was in Houston."
Casey identified his role as being able to fit in the offense seamlessly, knowing how it all works as a cog in the system.
"...Everybody's involved in the run game with the zone-running scheme that Kubiak runs," he said. "You have to have your offensive line all working together, you have to have your tight ends working well; your fullbacks have to be on the same page with who he's supposed to be responsible for and getting to the line of scrimmage fast and then the running backs have to make the cuts. It's all a team effort. The wide receivers have got to block, so I'm just going to come in and try to do my part."
Doing his part will involve a lot, as he already knows. And it's not just on offense. Casey has focused on his ability to help in whatever facets a team needs, including on special teams.
"It's a mindset but it's if you're experienced and you take ownership in it, it's important to you, that's how you become a good special teams player and that's how I've done a lot of special teams in my career," Casey said. "Last year I was with one of the better special teams units in the NFL so I feel like it's a big part of my game and I'm trying to keep that going here as well, trying to do as much as I can to help out special teams."
Though maybe not glamorous, that versatility in those roles has been what Casey does best.
"That's kind of been my whole calling card in the NFL in my career is versatility, being able to play fullback, tight end, being able to go in the slot a little bit and being able to play special teams, as well, which is a thing not a lot of people think about when you're putting a team together but you've got to have guys who are willing to go out there and play special teams," he said. "And I feel comfortable at this point in my career doing all those things."