Interview With New Broncos TE Joe Don Duncan

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If you take some time to read that scouting article I liked earlier, you’ll find out that one of the major questions for Duncan is whether or not he can block. Most of his highlight reel is filled with his ability to catch passes, run after the catch, and prove his worth as a mismatch in the passing game.

However, when I asked him about his blocking, Duncan was quick to point out his early years in college football after switching to tight end, where pretty much all he did was block.

“Well, two things. When I was at El Camino and played for two years, I probably caught 15 balls there. I was a blocking tight end there. You put that in perspective, there was a game at Dixie State where I caught 15 passes in one game. People see the Dixie State side of it and I understand there are questions, but I have background in run blocking, pass blocking, all of that stuff. We were a pro-style offense at El Camino where I caught play-action passes once, maybe twice a game and I blocked my ass off the rest of the time.

So when it comes to now, I know it’s been two years, but I feel I have enough of a background where I understand how to block and I’m athletic enough, tough enough, and a little hard nosed to get the job done. I’m kind of excited go out there and get it out of the way so people can quit asking about it (laughs).”

Duncan had mentioned that he and Gary Kubiak hit it off before the draft in 2014, so I wondered if that might have helped generate interest from the Broncos side this time around. Did Kubiak identify him as a player the Broncos needed to target this offseason after meeting him last year?

“Yeah, I think so. We have a history, and they were intersted last year when he was with the Ravens staff. Again, it was a medical issue it was nothing with me personally or me on the field. They just didn’t know if I’d be healthy enough to take a chance. So when I got here, it was almost a perfect fit. The style of offense the play, the position I’ll be playing in this offense, I feel like I can help this team tremendously by going out and showing coach Kubiak what I can do.”

After a year out of (playing) football, you can imagine the difference in mindset and preparation for a guy like Duncan, who thought after a career at Dixie State that culminated in a Senior Bowl and Combine invite, things were looking up as far as getting an NFL shot right away.

Duncan says that spending the year coaching and preparing physically has gotten him prepared for another shot at the NFL, and he’s ready to seize the opportunity.

“Oh gosh, it’s a huge difference. I was talking to the Broncos coaching staff about it a bit on Tuesday. Everything happens for a reason, I’m a true believer in that. After the whole medical thing last year and me getting to coach, I’ve not only grown as a man but as a football player.

It’s different when you go from playing four years in a row and then turn around and try to teach people to play the game, you see it from a different perspective. It really helps you not only as a coach but as a football player to see games from a different perspective. With the injuries and the ups and downs, it’s only made me stronger.

I wouldn’t go back and change anything because it’s made me who I am today. I wouldn’t be in this position I am now if it wasn’t for last year.”

Next: Duncan at the Duke Workouts?