Lucas Krull‘s promotion by the Denver Broncos in Week 10 was a “big decision,” according to Sean Payton. Over the past few games, the Denver Broncos’ offense has had trouble producing big passing plays. Sean Payton, the play-caller and head coach, was able to work some magic with Russell Wilson on some downfield daggers despite the unit’s early-season inconsistency.
It’s no accident that there haven’t been many of those spectacular passing plays during the current quarter-season since Broncos receiving tight end Greg Dulcich has been out of the lineup.
Not that Dulcich was the one making those huge plays in the beginning, but his impact as a route runner on opposing defenses undoubtedly made room for players like Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Marvin Mims Jr. to make an impression.
Krull’s Skill Set Praised By Sean Payton
While Dulcich has been on injured reserve, Albert Okwuegbunam might have been useful, but he was traded away this summer. Apparently, Payton’s fix is to include tight end Lucas Krull from the practice squad.
For Week 10, Krull was added to the gameday roster. Although he didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard, it was evident that his skill set differs greatly from that of the plodding receiving corps of Chris Manhertz, Nate Adkins, and Adam Trautman. Krull is a 6-foot-6, 253-pound man who can run.
The Broncos’ 24-22 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Monday night featured that 4.6-speed. Krull received 20 snaps out of 71, despite only being targeted once, and his quickness had a role.
Wilson was unable to take advantage of that circumstance, but based on what Payton said during his media conference call on Tuesday morning, Krull may have a greater influence in the future. Payton said
“He brings a different element. He’s a guy that can run with speed vertically,” “He brings more of a receiving threat, maybe. We’ve been working with him for the last several weeks. We felt it would be a good change-up relative to some third downs, red zone targets… So, a little different type of athlete, maybe than Nate, or even ‘Traut’ or Chris. That was a big decision.”
Although Wilson had chances to find the young tight end in those circumstances, the Broncos’ desire to use Krull in the red zone was never realized. Krull blew right by the Bills defensive backfield on one play, and Wilson would have had a wide-open score if he hadn’t been so fast to drop his eyes, bring the ball down, and run off. Instead, he saw the rookie tight end.