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Albert O: ‘We have a lot of influence in this offense’

Denver TE gives recovery update on his ACL, discusses his experience (so far) in year two as a Bronco

DENVER BRONCOS TRAINING CAMP, NFL Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Following an off-day from training camp Thursday, the Broncos returned to the field and head coach Vic Fangio said he believes the break was good for the team, adding that Friday’s practice was better than the previous practice following an off-day.

And Fangio isn’t the only one feeling good.

Tight end Albert Okwuegbunam has high hopes for the Broncos’ offense this season, noting he’s looking forward to what “Shurm” (OC Pat Shurmer) has in store for both him and tight end Noah Fant.

“We can put a lot of strain on the defense just with our athleticism and our ability to stretch the field, create mismatches in size,” he said, “So it’ll be interesting to see what Coach Shurm does with us and the mismatches he’ll be able to create.”

Speaking of Fant, fun fact - Okwuegbunam has a faster recorded time than his fellow tight end. Asked about this, he claimed the two haven’t raced each other, and that’s something they should do.

“That’s something we need to do but, the time is what it is,” Okwuegbunam said. “We give each other a little crap about that sometimes, but I think we need to race for sure.”

Okwuegbunam, who suffered an ACL injury in the Nov. 8 game against the Falcons last year and was ruled out for the remainder of the season, said the benefits of watching last year’s tape have been “huge.”

“Unfortunately I got hurt last season, and it kind of got cut short a lot of things I wanted to accomplish and do,” he said, “The silver lining from last season was just the confidence instilled in me. Just being able to go out there and make plays against the best of the best...and that I can be a force in this league.

The tight end will carry that newfound confidence into the 2021 season.

He admitted that he doesn’t even think about his knee when practicing. Going into his second year and coming out of his recovery for the ACL tear, he is “feeling that competitiveness and just getting back in the swing of things.”

“I’d say as far as the way my knee feels, it’s a hundred percent,” Okwuegbunam added.

Finally, going into the 2021 season, Okwuegbunam expressed his love for the Broncos’ utilization of their tight ends, calling them “versatile.”

“I love how we’re used all over, heavily in the pass game, heavily in the run game, always at the point of attack,” he explained, “So, we have a lot of influence in this offense, and I love that.”