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Old 05-18-2010, 05:41 PM   #1
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http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.ph...&storyID=10128

Get to Know: Marquez Branson
By Gray Caldwell
DenverBroncos.com

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In just two years at the University of Central Arkansas, Marquez Branson finished his collegiate career ranked fifth in school history with 18 receiving touchdowns to go along with his 82 catches for 1,236 yards. That production from the two-time All-Southland Conference player earned him a spot with the Broncos as a college free agent in 2009.

The tight end spent the season on the practice squad, soaking in all he could while serving on the scout team, doing his part to help the defense prepare for each week's opponent.

Now, Branson has high hopes for the 2010 campaign, and so does Head Coach Josh McDaniels.

"You didn't see him last year, but we have very high expectations for him," McDaniels said. "He's a guy that has matured and is doing great in our offseason program right now. He did a great job last year and we were fortunate to get him after the draft last year. There were some teams that were even interested in getting him off our practice squad as the season went on, and we were fortunate to keep him. We're excited about his progress."

We had a chance to sit down with Branson for a quick Q&A session as the team is hard at work during OTAs.



How different are OTAs for you this year compared to last year?
"They're a lot different. I actually get to do some of the stuff that I was learning last year. So it's all coming together pretty well for me."

What was last season like for you?
"A lot of learning on the run. I was doing a lot of scout team stuff, so I learned more technique stuff and things of that nature instead of just what our plays were exactly. I knew our playbook, but instead of me repping what we were doing, I was doing a lot for the defense. I learned a lot of the techniques that I have to use while I'm out there, so all I have to do is put it together now."

As a practice squad player, is it tough working all week long but watching the games at home?
"That's probably the toughest thing. That's what's discouraging the most, because you'd be out there working your butt off, and then come time to play the game, you can't even dress out and put the jersey on. I haven't done that in forever."

Did spending last season on the practice squad help your development?
"It gave me a lot better chance to develop and understand the game, understand the speed of the game and how things work. How everything is correlated out there looking at a defense. It taught me a whole lot. So this year, everything comes a little faster to me."

Coach McDaniels said you always acted as Antonio Gates and the big-time tight ends on the "look team" last season -- do you take pride in being able to represent those high-caliber guys?
"I like the opportunity it gave me. I was working hard and I tried to do the best I could to show them that I could play in this league. At least it would give me an opportunity for this year."

He said you're a great blocker but you could also be spread away from the formation and act as a pass-catcher. What are your strengths as a tight end?
"I improved my blocking a whole lot. That was a lot of dedication just getting in the weight room. Passing and catching the ball is what I've done my whole life, so that comes kind of naturally to me. I'm just trying to work and improve the best I can."

On the other hand, he also mentioned you've been taking some reps at the fullback spot along with Spencer Larsen. Is that something you're getting more comfortable with?
"I got used to that last year on the practice squad because I had to do a lot of that stuff. So that's coming a little easier to me, too, now."

What kind of leader is Daniel Graham?
"DG, he's a really good leader. He's a good professional. He comes to work every day with the attitude that it's work, it's a job, make sure you do things the right way, know what you're supposed to do, be accountable -- all that good stuff."

Is he a hands-on teacher with you? Or is it just 'Follow my example?'
"Some of both. He'll show us some things, but then he's kind of like, 'You're a grown man, so you need to go ahead and pick it up yourself and pay attention.'"

Are you and Richard Quinn close, the two second-year tight ends last season now looking for bigger roles this year?
"Me and Richard are real close. We used to study every night together. We became real close last year, and we've got a real tight-knit group."

What is Tight Ends Coach Bob Ligashesky like?
"He's very meticulous. He wants you to do everything right. That's how it's supposed to be. He's always coaching you up on the little things -- footwork, steps, make sure you get your leverage, width on routes, coming back to the ball, being quarterback friendly -- stuff like that. He's a really good coach and I'm going to enjoy working with him this season."

Going back to your college career -- when did you start to believe you could be a player in the NFL?
"People used to tell me that a lot, but I was a humble flashy guy. In my head, I knew I was good, but I wouldn't really ever tell anybody that. People would always come to me and say, 'You're going to play in the league one day.' I just kind of brushed it off. But when I talked to my first scout from the NFL, that's when I realized it could be a dream that could come true for me."

What would it mean to get on the field in 2010?
"That's going to be the big-picture dream come true."

What are your goals going into this season?
"My goals right now are just to learn the playbook and make sure I know the ins and outs, and just to work as hard as I can to make sure I'm on that field."

With so many players in the locker room, can you feel a camaraderie already building?
"Oh yeah. We have a really good team. We have good vets that look out for the young guys, so it's going to be good. I feel that. I do."
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:45 PM   #2
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What's Wesley Duke up to these days?
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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What's Wesley Duke up to these days?

He's chad mustard's agent.


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Old 05-18-2010, 06:38 PM   #4
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Don't we allready have a blocking 10M TE and another 2nd rounder?
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:40 PM   #5
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What's Richard Quinn up to these days?
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:40 PM   #6
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I thought our next kick ass tight end was that rugby player from down under?
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:58 PM   #7
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Branson will be an H-back.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:10 PM   #8
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This thread reminds me of the time when Romo said Matt Dominguez was the best TE he ever practiced against.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:14 PM   #9
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This thread reminds me of the time when Romo said Matt Dominguez was the best TE he ever practiced against.
Did he break his arm too?
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:12 PM   #10
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This thread reminds me of the time when Romo said Matt Dominguez was the best TE he ever practiced against.
I don't think Branson will be all that amazing, but I do think he'll be a solid utility player. This isn't another street free agent D-lineman who likes to play basketball with teammates that everyone says will be awesome, or another Wesley Duke thing. They legitimately like Branson and will use him throughout the season.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:56 PM   #11
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who needs a TE when you got Tebow, lol. He'll just fake throwing it to the TE and run it up the gut for 20 yards.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalBronco View Post
This thread reminds me of the time when Romo said Matt Dominguez was the best TE he ever practiced against.
[Omane]You could compare Marquez Branson to Matt Dominguez, but he reminds me of Tony Gonzalez. [/Omane]
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:20 AM   #13
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No clue.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:19 AM   #14
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I'm not going to hold my breath on this one. I really hope Quinn is good enough to see the field this year
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylore View Post
I don't think Branson will be all that amazing, but I do think he'll be a solid utility player. This isn't another street free agent D-lineman who likes to play basketball with teammates that everyone says will be awesome, or another Wesley Duke thing. They legitimately like Branson and will use him throughout the season.
To be fair, we were pretty high on Duke and he was getting some respectable play time late in the 2005 season, but then he suffered that injury that pretty much ended his career.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:09 AM   #16
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Encouraging to hear that he's been working on his blocking.

Hopefully he and Quinn can come along and be solid role players for us this year.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:33 AM   #17
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This guy doesn't strike me as a very bright individual. One of many comments and choices of words that rubbed me the wrong way....

"...., but I was a humble flashy guy."
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:12 AM   #18
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Thought this was going to be a another Tebow thread.
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:09 PM   #19
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Branson will replace Sheffler. Quinn is Graham's backup. Branson is a receiving TE with good hands who runs very good routes. McD probably felt that Branson could do what Sheffler was doing at a reduced price with less headaches.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:56 PM   #20
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Guys like this always seem to get hurt for the season sometime before week 1..hope he can stay healthy and produce for us!
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Guys like this always seem to get hurt for the season sometime before week 1..hope he can stay healthy and produce for us!
No you are thinking of Tony Scheffler. We traded him.
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:42 AM   #22
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I'm with the guys seeing flashes of Duke and Dominguez. Now I remember Branson making some nice catches in camp last year, but I'm not going to get excited.
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:53 PM   #23
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Old 06-07-2010, 09:27 PM   #24
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Dang, he made some NFL seam routes and NFL catches. Anyone can make highlights, but the QB lo9oked off othe recievers.

Average speed and WR hips. Maybe better ATC than Scheff.
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