TE  Joel Dreessen has been mostly a blocker so far for the Broncos. (Andrew Mason)

After spending 10 seasons in the AFC South, Broncos QB Peyton Manning knows the Texans well. But one teammate is even more familiar with them -- TE Joel Dreessen, who signed with Denver after spending five seasons in Houston.

But there's only so much insight into his former team that Dreessen can pass along to aid the Broncos' game-planning.

"I can tell them how a guy's gonna play it or a few tips here and there," Dreessen said. "But as far as me sharing some magic secret that's gonna help us win the game, that's not gonna happen.

"I'm six months removed from being a member of that team, so it is a little weird. But I've got a job to do. As far as I'm concerned, they're just jersey numbers. That's how I've got to look at it."

Dreessen has started both games, since the Broncos' base offensive package incorporates two tight ends, and has played 110 of the team's 136 snaps this year -- 34 more than fellow TE Jacob Tamme, who is more of a pass-catching specialist. Dreessen played 59 of 77 snaps Monday, while Tamme played just 27.

"The thing about Joel, he can play in both phases of the game," said Texans coach Gary Kubiak. "He blocks as well as catches balls. He's very smart. He was a fine player for us. He's just one of those pros that you got to have week-in and week-out. Special teams-wise, he does a lot things and it looks like he's doing the same for them."

Manning hopes that can include more in the passing game as he and Dreessen improve their timing.

"We've spent as much time as we possibly could together, throwing routes and talking offense; it's still part of the process," Manning said. "All of us are just trying to get comfortable and get on the same page, and when you have a guy with his kind of work ethic, that sure does help things."

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