(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.)|
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Tight ends are no longer an afterthought in Denver's passing game.
In 2009, they had all of 27 catches.
Last year, that number was just 30 - not a single one of them in the end zone - as they were basically used as big bruising blockers in Tim Tebow's read-option offense.
Enter Peyton Manning and exit the notion of such paltry production from the Broncos tight ends, who are oftentimes more of a slot receiver than a run-blocker in the four-time MVP's world.
Fellow free agents Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen lead a new group of Broncos tight ends that has collected 70 catches for 657 yards and six touchdowns so far.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL