One of the more under appreciated positions in football is the tight end. Tight ends most often come through in critical times, on third downs or in the red zone. They have to be great receivers as well as great blockers to help the offense move the chains.
The Broncos are rebuilding in that area. They had a go-to receiving tight end in Tony Scheffler (who they will see again this week when they face the Lions) and they had a tremendous blocking tight end in Daniel Graham who they released this off season.
The Broncos now have Daniel Fells who is in his 4th season after signing with the Rams as an undrafted rookie. The team also picked up Julius Thomas in the 4th round and Virgil Green in the 7th round of this year’s draft. Because of Thomas’s ankle injury, John Fox brought back Dante Rosario who he coached in Carolina.
While Thomas has been out with an ankle injury, Fells and Green have stepped up for the Broncos, most notably against the Miami Dolphins.
“Early on we saw that he had good football character,” Fox said of Fells. “He’s gotten better each week.”
Fells finished the day with 2 receptions for 31 yards, his most notable one being the last touchdown catch of the game. Tim Tebow was working from the 3-yard line and rolled left, but threw back to his right to Fells who made the diving grab in the end zone.
“It’s one of those plays that we’ve drawn up for quite some time, and just been waiting to dial it up,” Fells said. “The O-line was able to get out and throw a couple of blocks for me, and Tim was able to get the ball in my hands. It turned out good for the good guys.”
The game was far from over for the Broncos, however. Tebow had to punch the ball in himself to convert the two-point conversion and send the game into overtime.
That entire drive was made possible because tight end and special teams contributor Virgil Green recovered the onside kick. He didn’t have a reception against the Dolphins, but his catch on special teams was more important than anything.
Tebow may get credit for the win, but his tight ends were certainly a great supporting cast.
Things can only improve once Julius Thomas is back in the line up. He spreads the field and is a mid-field threat that can run after the catch.
For now, however, the Broncos are happy with their tight ends.
“We’re young at the position. They all contributed,” Fox said.