Denver Broncos' tight ends will be more involved in the passing game
Posted: 07/22/2012 01:00:00 AM MDT
July 22, 2012 9:55 PM GMTUpdated: 07/22/2012 03:55:51 PM MDT
By Jeff Legwold
The Denver Postdenverpost.com
Q: What can we expect from the Denver tight ends this year?
A: The Broncos hope to get production at tight end that's close to what Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski have provided the Patriots, who selected Gronkowski in the second round and Hernandez in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. The Patriots use Gronkowski and Hernandez at several spots in the formation, including Hernandez playing running back. They are top-tier receivers who can overwhelm defensive backs with their size and even run past linebackers and safeties.
In two games against the Broncos last season, Gronkowski and Hernandez unraveled their defensive game plan. In the first meeting, at Denver, Gronkowski caught four passes for 53 yards. Hernandez had nine receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown. In the second meeting, a playoff game at New England, Hernandez was the Patriots' leading rusher with 61 yards. He also had four catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. Gronkowski was dominant too, finishing with 10 receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns.
That's the type of impact the Broncos hope to have at tight end this year. They have signed three free-agent tight ends the last two years — Daniel Fells, Jacob Tamme and former Colorado State star Joel Dreessen — and acquired Julius Thomas and Virgil Green in the 2011 draft.
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