Daniel Coats arrived in Denver on Monday and almost immediately started studying his new team’s playbook.
By this morning, the fourth-year tight end was adequately pleased with his progress.
“It’s difficult because it’s a lot different than what I’ve been doing, but a lot of it makes sense, so it should come pretty quickly,” Coats said. “Right now, I’m just working on it.”
As the Broncos began gearing up for the season’s second half Tuesday, they added Coats to the active roster and waived defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith.
Denver also added defensive lineman Jeff Stehle to the practice squad for the second time this season and dropped tight end Riar Geer from the practice squad.
Coats took to the Dove Valley field for his first practice Tuesday afternoon.
Coats, a former undrafted free agent out of BYU, spent most of his first four seasons in the league with the Bengals before being released on Oct. 26. The 26-year-old has 30 catches for 291 yards in 53 career games, including six games this season.
He joins a tight end corps that features veteran Daniel Graham and second-year players Dan Gronkowski and Richard Quinn.
On the day the first snow flakes fell at the Broncos training facility, the Utah native said he was happy to be back playing near home and grateful for the opportunity from a team he grew up watching on television.
“I’ve missed the mountains,” Coats said. “I can’t get enough of those. It is great being back this way. I’m just excited to be here.”
Head Coach Josh McDaniels said the coaching staff spent a lot of time during the bye week analyzing game tape of the season’s first eight contests.
Although the coach did not talk in specifics, McDaniels indicated that reflection could result in changes along the offensive line heading into the second half of the season.
“I just think we are trying to find the most productive group that we can and that is happening in a lot of different places on our football team,” McDaniels said. “So, we are going to see how that pans out this week.”
Seven players have made starts filling the five spots on the offensive line this season, and just two players — left tackle Ryan Clady and center J.D. Walton — have started every game.
Clady, Walton, right guard Chris Kuper, left guard Russ Hochstein and right tackle Zane Beadles started the last three games before the bye week, marking the first time this season the team used the same lineup in consecutive weeks.
McDaniels continues to preach the value of competition within the roster, and he hopes that attitude will help produce a consistent lineup that can help the NFL’s last-ranked rushing attack improve going forward.
“We have certainly shuffled some things around in the first half of the year upfront, but I think the more we can settle in and get a group playing together for as many straight days as we can, the better off I think we will play,” McDaniels said. “Knowshon (Moreno) is probably as healthy as he has been all year, which is a plus for him and for us. Hopefully, we can start to see some strides made in the running game.”
TEBOW TELLS HIS TALE
Midway through his first NFL season, Tim Tebow has announced he will take his first crack at writing a book.
The Broncos quarterback will team with author Nathan Whitaker to write an inspirational memoir, “Through My Eyes,” to be published by HarperCollins.
Tebow hopes the first-hand account of his personal story will give fans a unique perspective on his rise to become a Heisman Trophy winner, first-round pick and NFL quarterback.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to share my story of faith, family and football and look forward to taking readers inside my life, both on and off the field,” Tebow said in a press release. “As a kid, you always dream of becoming something great. Whether that dream is to become an astronaut, a famous musician, the CEO of a large company, the President, an NFL Quarterback or anything else, you will undoubtedly face all kinds of adversity on your journey. This is my story about how I was able to fulfill my dream and I hope it can inspire people of all ages that are aspiring to fulfill their dreams.”
- Eric Detweiler, DenverBroncos.com
Below are some photos from Tuesday’s workout: