Interview With New Broncos TE Joe Don Duncan

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Jan 20, 2015; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak talks to current players following the press conference at the Broncos training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos have not made a big splash in free agency this year, apparently choosing to focus on the development of the talent within the roster rather than use veterans from other teams to fill holes that this team seemingly has impeding the way to a Super Bowl in 2015.

On the first day of free agency, the Broncos brought in tight end Owen Daniels less than an hour after they re-signed their own Virgil Green, establishing a solid 1-2 punch at the tight end position. Later on in the evening, it was reported that the Broncos were signing tight end Joe Don Duncan, a guy who led all tight ends in the bench press at last year’s Scouting Combine but due to medical issues never made an NFL roster.

Duncan’s NFL journey is something else, and he took some time to chat with us here at Predominantly Orange about his college career, when he got the call from the Broncos, and we even chatted about Peyton Manning’s famous Duke workouts.

With the signing of Duncan, the Broncos may have unearthed a gem at the tight end/h-back position, and he explains how he got to the point of his first NFL shot.

“My freshman year, I walked on at Sacramento State, playing d-line up there, and I ended up getting a micro fracture in my right femur so I had to redshirt. By the time that semester was over I couldn’t afford to go to Sacramento State anymore so I transferred to El Camino Junior College in Southern California.

From there I decided to play tight end instead of defense because I was more comfortable with the position. I played two years there and was All-conference, team MVP and all that stuff. I had six or seven D-1 offers but my middle brother (Jake) was here and I came up to visit him, coach Brumfield offered me a full ride.

I figured that I went to El Camino to get a scholarship, get my school paid for, and go somewhere I could get a degree. I was getting all those at Dixie and I would get to play with my brother, so ultimately I decided to come to Dixie State…

In 2011, I was a first-team All-American but going into 2012 — my senior year — there were complications with my femur again and so I got that taken care of and sat out all of 2012. In 2013 I got healthy, came back and was All-American again and got invited to the Senior Bowl, Combine — all that good stuff. Then I ended up breaking my foot the week before Senior Bowl training for it and that sucked…

So, I just kind of went through the whole draft process hoping someone would take a chance on me, but because of the medical stuff nobody really ended up taking the chance. I don’t blame them because the NFL is the best there is and they’re not going to waste their time hoping somebody is healthy and ready to play.

I was lucky enough to have coach Brumfield to let me on the coaching staff at Dixie State where I’ve been the receivers coach and I’ve been working out in the meantime.”

Next: Duncan Gets a Call From the Broncos