CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – For Virgil Green — and, presumably, every other Bronco — watching the Super Bowl on TV will be tough to swallow.
A year after Denver played in the championship game, the Broncos tight end said he’ll be rooting for New England over Seattle — even after he was reminded the Patriots are the Broncos’ biggest rival.
Considering the prospect of a New England win, Green hesitated a bit, asking, “Do we got any Pepto-Bismol around here? Somewhere? Anywhere?”
It’s a joke, sure. But the implication is the same: The idea that the Broncos won’t play in the Super Bowl is hard to chew on.
Green did watch parts of the AFC championship game. But “I did get sick to my stomach” knowing the Broncos weren’t playing for a Super Bowl berth, he told CBS4’s Vic Lombardi on Xfinity Monday Live.
Yet that’s where the Broncos are a week after departing the playoffs sooner than expected: Still feeling a bit ill. Excitement for next year seems to be the only salve.
Thinking about the 2015 season began in earnest Monday after the team announced that Gary Kubiak, once a Broncos quarterback and later an offensive assistant, will replace John Fox as head coach.
Green, who said he’s going to try to meet with Kubiak on Tuesday, hopes the Broncos try to sign him for the 2015 season.
“I think I’ll fit in well,” Green, who is an unrestricted free agent, said. “I think I can fit well into his system and do the same things I was doing in the last offense. With the confidence that I’m starting to have, I think I’m going to be a lot more efficient.”
Kubiak — whose offense relies much more on zone-blocking schemes, play-action and bootlegs — will likely install a new offense in Denver. It’ll be one that Green, should he return, and quarterback Peyton Manning, should he return, will need to learn.
“I’m a versatile guy,” Green said. “A lot of people do see me as that big, physical threatening tight end. But I’m also very athletic. I love to exploit my talents. I’m definitely excited to see what this offense has to offer.”
Green is one of 17 free agents on the Broncos roster. He’ll vacation in Bora Bora and then speak with his agent when he returns.
“I would love to come back and play in Denver. Denver gave me an opportunity, drafted me when a lot of people passed me up. I’m very thankful for that,” he said.
In 2014, Green often played second fiddle — at least in splashy plays — to fellow tight end Julius Thomas, who is also a free agent. But it’s possible the Broncos will look to re-sign both because they play different roles. Thomas is more of a pass-catcher, while Green excels in run-blocking.
“I do think we could both return,” Green said. “With the way we work, we understand each other’s lingo when we’re talking out there on the field, so for us to come back together would be a great fit for us.”
Also on his mind — other than his Bora Bora vacation — is whether Manning will return.
The team’s general manager, John Elway, said last week he’ll speak with Manning in about a month to gauge how he feels about returning for a fourth year with the team. Manning suffered a thigh injury that bothered him enough to affect his performance down the stretch and in the divisional-round loss to Indianapolis.
Green said he knew Manning was injured and receiving treatment but didn’t know how hurt he was.
“It was news to me,” he said.
But he said Manning, should he return, will know how to rehab.
“He’s a true pro. He knows what to do to get his body in line. I think he can come back and have a very effective year,” he said.
Regardless, Green said the team is in good hands with Elway at the helm.
“John Elway does a great job constructing the Broncos and making sure he has not only the high-caliber guys, but the guys who can go in on special teams and make an impact,” he said. “That’s what you want to surround your team with, and that’s what John Elway does.”