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Broncos Hoping Jake Butt Can Break Out

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The Denver Broncos know how vital it is to have a productive tight end in their offense and how it benefits their dynamic receiving duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

They are hoping they found their guy in Jake Butt.

“We like the potential there, we like what he can bring to the offense,” president of football operations/general manager John Elway said of Butt this offseason (h/t ESPN).

“We know we need to make defenses play us fair,” Broncos head coach Vance Joseph explained. “To do that, we have to force them to honor other receivers, away from [Thomas] and Emmanuel. Our tight ends are part of that.”

The Broncos know that a productive tight end can be a game changer in an offense, much like Julius Thomas was when he was playing in the offense ran by Peyton Manning, which includes the famous 600-point offense in 2013, the first in league history.

Butt knows how important his role is, not only for himself, but for the Bronco receivers as well.

“We understand — [Thomas] and [Sanders], they’ve been doing it a while now,’’ Butt said. “They’re two really good top-notch receivers. They’re going to be getting a lot of attention on the outside. They’re going to be drawing some double-teams. So it’s our responsibility as tight ends and slots to win in these one-on-one matchups on the inside. Whatever that means … just to take a little bit of pressure off those guys on the outside.’’

Butt is finally healthy and the Broncos are excited to see him play at 100%.

“He looks healthy, finally,” Joseph said. “ … Right now, he’s totally healthy … We haven’t played a game yet, so I don’t know what Jake is going to be, but he’s very engaged, he’s worked hard, and he’s here every day.”

Butt is used to being productive, as he was with the Michigan Wolverines, and is confident that he can carry that over to this season for Denver.

“You have to have that kind of confidence, and I think we all do in the tight end room,” Butt said. “You’ve got to have a confidence to play in this league. That’s my goal … That you can be on that No. 1 spot.”

 

AFC

Bills’ Matt Milano Out for Season

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The Buffalo Bills will be without linebacker Matt Milano for the remainder of the season after Milano had surgery for a broken fibula on Monday.

Milano, 24, was a standout for the Bills’ defense during their upset victory over the Minnesota Vikings which earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Milano’s spot on the roster is likely to be filled by Deon Lacey.

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AFC

Raiders Fire Reggie McKenzie

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The Oakland Raiders have fired general manager Reggie McKenzie, according to NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden dodged questions regarding McKenzie’s job status following Sunday’s game; 

“I don’t have any comment on that,” Gruden said, according to Michael Gehlken of the Review-Journal. “We’re going to build this team back. I know that. We’re going to bring the Raiders back.”

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AFC

Raiders’ Jon Feliciano Done For Season

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The Oakland Raiders will be without left guard Jon Feliciano who suffered a calk injury that will likely shut him down for the remainder of the season, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal’s Michael Gehlken.

Feliciano suffered the injury during Oakland’s surprise win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Feliciano, 26, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and is a strong candidate to be re-signed by the rebuilding Raiders.

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