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By LARRY VAUGHT
Changing teams is not something that Jacob Tamme says will provide extra motivation for him going into his fifth National Football League season, but he admits going from Indianapolis to Denver in the offseason has changed his approach to the upcoming season.
“It’s definitely something different because it is all new to me,” said Tamme. “A new place to live, new team, new teammates, new faces. At some point, you do feel that you need to prove yourself all over again to everybody because it is a whole new group of people you have been around.”
Tamme was an all-state football player as well as a baseball and basketball standout at Boyle County High School. Tamme, 27, started 37 games at tight end at the University of Kentucky and had 133 catches for 1,417 yards (10.7 average per catch.) with 11 touchdowns. His 133 receptions ranked first in school history and second in Southeastern Conference records among tight ends.
He was a fourth-round draft pick by the Colts (127th overall pick) in 2008 and his best season came in 2010 when he started eight games and set career highs with 67 catches for 631 yards and four scores. However, last season Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning was injured and did not play and Tamme caught only 19 passes. Manning signed a free-agent offer with the Broncos after the season ended and Tamme inked his own three-year, $9-million deal in March with the Broncos to rejoin Manning.
“We’ll be able to do a lot of things offensively and hopefully it will be similar to the tight end getting the ball in Indianapolis. As a group of tight ends, I think we’re all ready to do whatever we need to do to get the football and win games,” Tamme said. “I know I am excited. I really feel like this is a new opportunity for me. All you can ask for in life or the NFL is an opportunity to succeed, and I have that. That’s all I can ask for or expect. Now it is up to me.”
Tamme and his wife, Allison, found a home to rent in Denver and he says they are about “settled in” as the start of preseason training camp approaches. He’s spent time on vacation with his family and his wife’s family recently and will host his Swings for Soldiers, an annual golf scramble to raise money for Homes for Our Troops, Monday in Lexington. Shortly after that, it will be time to start the season.
“Working out on your own is always part of my job. It was nice to get away a bit and I love being with my family and Allison’s family,” Tamme said. “It’s going to be an interesting next few days, but starting on (July) 25th it’s back to football business and I’m really excited about that.”
One of his new teammates is former UK teammate Wesley Woodyard, who signed as a free agent in 2008 after going undrafted and started at linebacker last year.
“I know we have a tremendous fan base here in Denver, but I really have not had enough time to be out around the fans much yet,” Tamme said. “I know Wes is very well liked in the locker room and I am pretty sure he has really endeared himself to the fans from all I hear. He’s not changed his personality from Kentucky, so it’s impossible not to like him or appreciate the way he plays. I know I’m glad to be on his team again.”