3. Albert Okwuegbunam out of the proverbial “dog house”
At this point in time, nobody really knows what kind of grudge was being held against Albert Okwuegbunam. Over the course of the offseason, it seemed like Okwuegbunam was the unquestioned TE1 in Denver and we saw something completely different early on in the season.
Okwuegbunam ended up being part of a true “committee” approach at the tight end spot with guys like Andrew Beck, Eric Saubert, and Eric Tomlinson all getting into the mix. As the first few weeks of the season went along, it became very clear that the Broncos were just getting by as much as they could at tight end until Greg Dulcich got into the lineup, which he eventually did in a road game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Dulcich’s return to the field after a hamstring injury kept him out the first handful of games seemingly provided Hackett with the excuse he needed to completely bench Okwuegbunam, but whose fault is it — in all reality — that fans and analysts were able to notice the Broncos had thrown on 100 percent of the plays in which Albert O. was on the field?
That’s not on Okwuegbunam, that’s on the coaches.
In Okwuegbunam’s first real opportunity to get involved in the offense since very early in the season, it should come as no surprise that he came through…
Broncos interim head coach Jerry Rosburg gave this statement after the Chiefs game when asked about Okwuegbunam:
"I have been in Albert O’s ear all week long because I think he is a highly talented individual. I haven’t seen him much on the field this year. I am just curious as to why that was because he is a good looking athlete. You may have seen me in the tight end drills earlier in the week. It was for a reason. I was happy he turned it about. Whatever jitters he might have had, it seemed to me like he settled down because he is a big, talented guy, and he needs to play and play well. Broncos interm HC Jerry Rosburg (via Broncos PR)"
Isn’t it interesting the verbiage Rosburg uses here? “I am just curious as to why…”
It’s clear whose “doghouse” Okwuegbunam was in, and it’s also clear that it was wrong for him to be there. The guy can help the offense.