Ex-Patriots WR Gaffney comfortable with new Broncos coach's system

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Jabar Gaffney sprinted off the line of scrimmage and cut to the corner of the end zone. As he headed to the sideline, the Denver Broncos' wide receiver looked over his left shoulder and gathered in a pass as he kept his feet in play.

It was only one play among many during Monday's minicamp practice, but it was a familiar sight for new Broncos coach Josh McDaniels. For the past three seasons, McDaniels, then the offensive coordinator in New England, saw Gaffney catch 85 passes, eight for touchdowns, with the Patriots.

With a new team and plenty of new faces, McDaniels knows having Gaffney in the fold is an asset.

"Jabar can play really anywhere," McDaniels said. "It's a tribute to him because, one, he's worked his butt off to get to that point where he knows everything."

McDaniels and Gaffney had plenty of success with New England, including an undefeated regular season in 2007 and a trip to Super Bowl XLII. They're trying to build that kind of successful program in Denver, but first they must get familiar with new personnel and a different system.

Gaffney is confident that McDaniels will put everyone on the same page.

"It's a whole new look, whole new team," Gaffney said. "He's constantly changing things up. He's a great mind, and we have some of the stuff we did last year, but people know that, so he has to add to the offense. That's keeping us all on our toes."

Having played for McDaniels is a plus for Gaffney as he grows comfortable in Denver.

"It helps a lot," Gaffney said. "I've been with him for the past three seasons, so I know what's expected from the receivers and all the players in general."

Notes: WR Brandon Marshall, who's rehabilitating his surgically repaired hip, wasn't at practice Monday. However, McDaniels said he expects Marshall, who's at his home in Orlando, Fla., to attend a mandatory minicamp that begins Friday. ... RB Ryan Torain, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in a Nov. 6 game against the Cleveland Browns, also missed Monday's practice. McDaniels said Torian, who missed almost all of his rookie season after also suffering an elbow injury in training camp last year, isn't ready to start practicing yet.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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