So far in training camp, Lelie has been called upon to run a slew of 5-yard slants, 7-yard outs and the like. The Broncos have been pleased by his progress, particularly in the mechanics of running those kinds of routes, and have noticed the intense focus Lelie has shown.
"He's so talented," receivers coach Steve Watson said. "Obviously, you don't change people's personalities, but with somebody as talented as he is, he can be as good as there is."
Back off Lelie now and "eventually teams are going to get sick of him catching the 5-, 6-yarders," Plummer said.
Get in Lelie's face and his improved strength could allow him a smoother release off the line in bump coverage and create more opportunities for receptions.
"He can play the inside game," Smith said. "He's a basketball player. So he's used to posting up and body positioning and all that. And I think now with him putting on a little bit of weight and being a lot stronger, he's going to be able to have that physical presence in the middle."
Not that the Broncos want to remove the long bomb from the equation because Lelie is one of the league's best at that facet.
Not only that, Lelie's ability to get deep helps stretch defenses and clear many of the underneath routes for Smith and the tight ends. Or he can burn the blitz in man coverage.
Lelie had such a chance Monday with cornerback Domonique Foxworth covering man-to-man, but the ball was overthrown.
"The one thing that's kind of starting to scare me is I haven't caught one long ball yet this whole camp," Lelie said with a laugh. "I haven't had too many opportunities, but I have had some. But a lot of the underneath stuff is really coming along. And I'm really liking how I'm reading defenses and stuff like that."
Perhaps somebody needs to get kicked in the shin or blindsided to get that ire up again.