I found a common theme when it came to reactions about the Broncos' trade for Vernon Davis: versatility. Davis may not be the Pro Bowl, game-changing tight end he was a few years ago (although he still might be), but his addition makes Denver's offense better thanks to its ripple effects across the unit.
Davis may be excited, but these comments from the Broncos as well as analysts have me equally excited. Below are reactions and analysis from around the Web - emphasis is mine to pound home that common theme of Davis adding versatility.
"I think that he's a guy that brings great experience, great speed. [He is] a guy that's been a team leader for the [San Francisco 49ers] for a long time. He will be a great addition. I think he's a big weapon for us because of the speed that he has. [He] will add to that with [TE] Virgil [Green] and [TE] Owen [Daniels], as well as [TE] Richard [Gordon]. We've been battling with two tight ends. With Richard, we added a couple weeks ago, and now with Vernon coming aboard, we've got four tight ends. It will give us ability to do a lot of different things. It's another weapon for us offensively. We're excited about the addition. We think that the compensation was fair. We're really excited about it."
"He gives you a chance to be dynamic because of his gifts. The guy is phenomenal in terms of running and being able to get open and certainly catching the football. But I think the threat of what Vernon Davis can do on the field is going to give defense some pause. Again, you want to create matchups on the outside with Demaryius (Thomas), certainly Emmanuel (Sanders). But the Denver Broncos have never replaced Julius (Thomas) or Wes Welker for Peyton Manning to get rid of the ball quickly. Maybe Vernon Davis is another option, but also, creating scenarios where you can get favorable matchups for all of your other playmakers out there."
"Kubiak saw the production potential from tight ends in Sunday night's offensive explosion and wants more. He has steadfastly maintained the Broncos need to be a two-tight end team more often, and they have run out of three- and four-wide receivers sets so often (they've been in three-wide at least 28 snaps in each of their games) because of necessity rather than desire.
"A two-tight end look could balance out the formation -- making it difficult for defenses to decide which is really the strong, or weak, side -- and add some more bulk up front, creating quality matchups against linebackers and safeties in the passing game as well as protecting Peyton Manning better. Just two of the team's 12 sacks allowed this season have come in two-tight end formations."
"Davis also remains effective at moving the chains, as 10 of his 18 receptions this year gave the 49ers first downs. He has nearly as many first downs in four games as the Broncos' current tight end complement has in seven games (14)."
"He'll bring another dimension to this team... He's extremely fast. He's going to help us stretch the field."
"Adding a guy like Vernon Davis to the Gary Kubiak offense - it's a great fit... Gary Kubiak, historically, he always had more than one pass-catching tight end. But he is a great fit for the Broncos' scheme because they want to run the ball. They want to run a lot of bootlegs. They want to use the middle of the field. Vernon Davis will be good at that... But I think it's about the possibilities for the Broncos' offense altogether."
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