There’s no denying the Bolts were dealt a blow last month when Hunter Henry suffered an ACL injury.
There’s also no denying the team needs some of their young, up-and-coming tight ends to step up as a result.
It’s a good thing the team brought in Virgil Green during free agency.
After all, the seven-year veteran is the perfect person for the unproved youngsters to emulate as he’s been in their shoes.
“For me, it’s telling these guys to not stress out,” he explained. “I’ve been at (their) position before. I was a seventh-round draft pick and every year, they said this guy is not going to make the roster. But somehow, I made the roster. (I tell them), ‘Don’t stress about what’s said on the outside. Just focus on your job. Do what you do and go have fun.’”
The Chargers inked Green on the first day of free agency to a three-year deal to provide that type of veteran stability in addition to his talents on the field.
A 6-5, 255-pounder primarily known for his blocking prowess, the 29-year old hauled in 71 passes for 807 yards and four touchdowns in 100 career games for the Denver Broncos. He started all 16 games a year ago in Denver, catching 14 passes for 191 yards and one TD. His most productive season came in 2016, when he set career-highs in receptions (22) and yards (237).
Green is also proud to be a tight end, stressing to his young teammates the importance of the position.
“I always tell people the tight end position is, next to the quarterback, the toughest position to play. You’ve got to know how to do run-blocking stuff. Pass-blocking stuff. Routes. Recognition of coverages. So many things going on. So, from the moment you get here it’s like your attention to detail has to be on point.”
It’s also clear he’s passionate about blocking, embracing the dirty work required to be a complete tight end.
“I love blocking,” he said with palpable conviction. “It’s a man’s thing. The guy across from you says he’s going to whup your tail, and you say you’re going to whup his tail. Somebody’s got to give. I love that side of it. I love being a dog. I love burying people. I can’t wait to get the pads on.”
It’s obvious that Green is a steady presence for his fellow tight ends to look up to in the wake of Henry’s injury. The Bolts are grateful to have him as a valuable resource for the young players to learn from even though Green is new himself to the team in 2018.
“(Virgil) is a good player,” said Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. “One thing that he does bring, and you can see it, is he’s got credibility from having played. He’s been a good player. He’s made plays against these guys, and they know it. So that brings a lot to the table.”