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Virgil Green wants to prove he can be receiving threat

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Tight ends play a critical role in Gary Kubiak's offense. From blocking in the run game, to pass catching on the bootleg, to being primary receivers in the red area, the Denver Broncos offense will rely on tight ends producing regularly.

Entering 2016, the top of the TE depth chart has been overhauled. Owen Daniels has been released and Vernon Davis signed in Washington. The Broncos are now counting on Virgil Green, Jeff Heuerman and Garrett Graham to be first in line to produce.

With Kubiak's preference of playing two tight ends, there will be plenty of chances for the trio to prove they can provide more punch to the offense than the previous placeholders.

"With O.D. (Owen Daniels) being gone, there is a better chance," Green said of his opportunity as a pass-catcher, via the Denver Post. "I really want to, in training camp, show that I can be not just the pass guy, but just the every-down tight end guy."

In five seasons in Denver, Green has been pigeonholed as a blocker. The 27-year-old boasts intriguing athleticism, but last season was his first over 100 yards receiving (173 yards on 12 catches)

"I want to show I can be the guy in the passing game," Green said. "In this offense, you have to be a team guy. And if my number is called, I have to be ready to roll."

With Daniels -- a long-time producer in Kubiak's system -- jettisoned, the Broncos need Green to be a threat.

"We are counting on him a great deal (this season)," Kubiak said.

The question is whether the Broncos will count on him in the passing game, or as a primary blocker. Heuerman, who missed his entire rookie season after tearing his ACL in minicamp, could become the more prolific receiving target.

Green believes he can have the largest impact in the red zone, where the younger, more mobile quarterbacks -- Mark Sanchez, Paxton Lynch -- can open up the playbook.

"It could be real beneficial to this scheme, especially since we have younger quarterbacks that can get out on the edge. I think this year, especially, because we've got guys that were here last year, we're learning more about the offense," Green said. "You get a chance to just start over, hit the reset button and just learn the more detailed things we need to do to be a more fluid offense."

Last seasons group never made up for losing Julius Thomas in free agency. Green, Heuerman and Graham will get the first cracks at filling the void in 2016.

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