The Denver Broncos made a change at head coach this offseason, going from John Fox to Gary Kubiak, and thus making the preseason a little more hectic than usual. New coaches, new staff, new playbook – it’s a lot to get down.
“I think we’re still working hard,” Broncos tight end Virgil Green said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I think before we were working hard (under Fox), but now it’s just learning the new offense together and Peyton learning it as well. We’re all in a new place and we’re all just trying to get on the same page and I think we’re doing a very good job of doing that.”
Kubiak’s offense will ask Manning to hurry up less and hand the ball off more. Given that Manning is 39 years old, that’s probably a wise choice.
“I think what this offense is going to do is help Peyton out in the long run,” Green said. “We won’t have to rely on his arm so much. We got guys, we got Demaryius (Thomas), we got Emmanuel (Sanders), we got Owen (Daniels), we got myself, we got a plethora of running backs back there. I think it’s just going to help out all of us in general and help out Peyton when we do run that play-action and he can throw the ball down the field and get some guys into the end zone.”
Green, who had six catches for 74 yards and a touchdown last season, said that Manning’s arm, believe it or not, is still quite strong. In fact, if the fastball has lost any velocity, well, it hasn’t lost much.
“I think he looks great,” Green said. “For a guy at that age and to be able to do what he’s been doing for so many years at a consistent level, it’s ridiculous. They tell us when we run the same route right into that back pylon, and if you don’t get to that back pylon, the ball is going to hit that back pylon every single time. So he’s a very consistent – a very accurate – quarterback, and I still have a lot of belief in him.”
Green, a former seventh-round pick, has been with the Broncos since 2011. Manning was acquired from Indianapolis the following year. Green, 27, still remembers meeting Manning for the first time.
That’s because Manning already knew who Green was despite the fact that a) they had never met, and b) Green caught three passes as a rookie.
“That just spoke volumes to me of who this guy is and how much of a true professional he truly is,” Green said.
While Denver’s offense might not average 30.1 points per game again, it really doesn’t have to. With Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware and others, the defense should be much improved from a season ago when it allowed 22.1 points a game – 16th in the league.
“Oh my gosh, it’s ridiculous,” Green said. “We sit back and think about if I were a tight end going against Von in a game – we just enjoy not having to do that. Von is just a beast. You got guys in the middle – Sylvester (Williams), Derek Wolfe, Malik Jackson. And then you got Brandon Marshall, Danny Trevathan, T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib, Chris Harris – the list goes on. I think they’re going to cause a lot of havoc for teams this year.”