The Denver Broncos have some glaring issues on offense. Peyton Manning seems off, the offensive line is porous and the running game is non-existent, to name a few. Another less-than-subtle weakness is the play of the tight ends. In recent seasons, albeit in a different offense, the tight end has not only thrived but been a huge weapon for the Broncos. This year that simply has not been the case.

Entering the season, the expectations for the tight ends was not to catch 12 touchdowns, as Julius Thomas did in both 2013 and ’14, but to block for a consistent running back and make plays in the play-action game. Owen Daniels has made two big touchdown grabs but the confidence and chemistry with Manning and his tight ends, like many things in the offense, is a work in progress.

“I don’t know exactly what it is. Owen and Peyton were out there today doing a lot of extra things to get on the right level,” tight end Virgil Green said Wednesday. “I think it is going to take a little time and I think we will get everything figured out. We just need to keep trucking along. We are definitely not panicking. We know we have the guys, D.T. [Demaryius Thomas], Emmanuel [Sanders], myself, Owen [Daniels], the running backs. We got the guys and if you watch film we are inches away from busting a big run.”

Daniels was targeted five times in the win Sunday over Oakland, but was held to zero catches, including one of Manning’s two interceptions. The failure to connect consistently has been an issue and one both Manning and head coach, Gary Kubiak commented on Wednesday.

“With Owen [Daniels], I didn’t get him as involved. I didn’t get him involved last week, but he’s made big plays down in the red zone for us. Any game could be anybody’s day, but we’re certainly looking to spread the ball around and keep defenses from keying on any particular guy,” Manning stated.

Through five games, Thomas and Sanders are dominating Manning’s completions. Both players have over 30 receptions to only 12 for Daniels and Green’s three. The tight end can be a security blanket for any quarterback, especially one that is under constant pressure, like Manning has been.

Daniels and Manning both had the day off Wednesday but, as Green stated, were out on the field getting some throws in. Despite connecting on two touchdowns, their chemistry appears to be off. Kubiak has seen nothing day-to-day to explain why it has happened on game day.

“I don’t think that there was anything that was going on in practice that keeps it from happening. There just weren’t many opportunities for O.D. [Daniels] the other day and we need to find a way to get him the ball more.”

Those statements have been a weekly occurrence since the start of the regular season and despite the team’s emphasis to get Daniels the ball, more often than not it is landing on the ground instead of in his hands. The extra work Manning and Daniels were getting on a “day off” only reinforces the importance that they get on the same page. The 10-year veteran’s statements from five weeks ago still, unfortunately, ring true.

“We could play a ton better. There are plays to be made, inches here or there,” Daniels said following the week one win over the Baltimore Ravens. “You have to look at the positives obviously and clean up what we can clean up. I don’t think anyone is panicking. If we can play like that and still get a win it is very encouraging for our team in general.”

Manning, Kubiak, Daniels, Green and many more people will be hoping that this week, in Cleveland, is the week the offense plays “a ton better.”

*All stats provided by the Denver Broncos Media Relations

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