ENGLEWOOD, Colo.** – Despite spending his offseason participating in training sessions and Broncos minicamp, fifth-year tight end Virgil Green says his mind still plays tricks on him before the start of training camp. Specifically, whether or not he can still play.
"Every year you go into a season having that time off and your mind plays games with you, wondering if you can actually still play," Green said following Thursday's training camp practice. "But once you put the pads on, that adrenaline gets a rushing and it's like you've never left."
After starting a career-high nine games last season while blocking for the NFL's sixth-ranked rushing offense (147.7 yards per game), it may be safe to say that Green knows what he's doing.
But with the introduction of a new head coach and offensive coordinator in Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison, respectively, things have changed. Kubiak's balanced offense will look to lean on Green and the tight end corps even more this season.
"The tight end position is going to be rebuilt a little bit," Kubiak said. "When I say 'rebuilt' it's with experience with Owen [Daniels] heading up the group and obviously Virgil is there. We have a couple of different concepts going on the there."
So far through training camp and OTAs, Green thinks the tight end group has found their stride.
"I think it's been an easy transition," Green said. "In the offseason you always wonder, like what it's going to be like hearing Peyton call the plays in the huddle, if you'll be able to pick it up fast enough, and I think everybody for the most part has done a good job of limiting assignment errors and things like that."
One resource that Green finds invaluable is his fellow tight end, veteran Owen Daniels. After In 10 NFL seasons in the NFL, Daniels has only played for teams coached by Kubiak.
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"Every time we're in those meetings, we're all asking him questions and if he doesn't know the answer, he'll find it out for us," Green said. "He's just a great guy… having a guy that's been a pro bowler in this system a couple of times and he knows exactly what's happening, exactly what's going on, it's great for guys like myself, [Dominique Jones], Marcel [Jensen] and all those other guys."
Green may be comfortable with the offense, but he still has things he's working on.
"Me, I'm a strong guy so a lot of times I think I can just over power people and that's not the case," said Green, who's 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds. "I got to keep my pads low, have good footwork and use my hands."
Training camp is far from over and there are still mistakes to be made, and fixed – but Green has the right mindset: "I'm the kind of guy to go out there and get the job done. Do my job."