On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 7:00 PM MDT Broncos Bowl Youth Football Recognition

    All youth football teams that participated in the 2014 Broncos Bowl will be in attendance for the Broncos' preseason game against the Houston Texans to be recognized pregame in celebration of their participation in the event and youth football.

  • Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 7:00 PM MDT Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans The Denver Broncos take on the Houston Texans for the third preseason game of the 2014 season. The game will be televised on KTVD and broadcast on 850 AM KOA and 103.5FM The Fox.
  • Thu., Aug. 28, 2014 6:00 PM MDT Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys The Denver Broncos travel at AT&T Stadium to face the Dallas Cowboys in the final preseason game of the 2014 season. The game will be broadcast on KTVD (TV) and 850 AM KOA & 103.5 FM The Fox (Radio).
  • Sun., Aug. 31, 2014 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM MDT Broncos/Sports Authority Back to Football 7K

    Get Back To Football with the Broncos 7K!

    Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 9 a.m.

    • Meet alumni players, cheerleaders, and Miles the Mascot!
    • Run through the team tunnel and onto the 50 yard line!
    • T-shirt and finisher’s medal.
    • Win prizes like game tickets, autographed merchandise, and more!

    Sign-up today at www.broncos7k.com.

    The 7K is presented by Sports Authority, Rocky Mountain Popcorn, Maxx Sunglasses, Elements Massage and 9News.

  • Wed., Sep. 03, 2014 5:00 PM MDT Gatorade Junior Training Camp Play 60 Fall Kickoff Kickoff event for Play 60 with local Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Thu., Sep. 04, 2014 5:00 PM MDT Gatorade Junior Training Camp Play 60 Fall Kickoff Kickoff event for Play 60 with local Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Sun., Sep. 07, 2014 6:30 PM MDT Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts

    The Denver Broncos open up the 2014 season when they host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football on NBC.

  • Sun., Sep. 14, 2014 2:25 PM MDT Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs The Denver Broncos host the Kansas City Chiefs in the first AFC West matchup of the 2014 season. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Sep. 21, 2014 2:25 PM MDT Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks The Denver Broncos face the Seattle Seahawks in the team's first road game of the 2014 season. The game will be televised on CBS.
  • Sun., Oct. 05, 2014 2:05 PM MDT Denver Broncos Pink Game The Denver Broncos annual Salute to Survivors halftime recognition, celebrating breast cancer survivors at the team's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

News & Blogs

Print
RSS

Broncos Position Breakdown: Specialists

Posted Apr 18, 2013

Andrew Mason writes that the Broncos are close to claiming the league's best special-teams unit.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There's no position group less likely to be the target of a draft pick this year than special teams.

Oh, the Broncos will surely find multiple players who will work on the coverage and blocking teams for punts, kickoffs and returns, but they will be asked to complement the leaders already on hand -- particularly key veterans like Wesley Woodyard and the recently re-signed David Bruton.

But at the specialists of the third phase, the Broncos appear to be in solid shape overall.

The last of the burning questions around the unit was answered by waiver pickup Trindon Holliday last year, who overcame a bout of the bobbles to become the league's most explosive returner; including the playoffs, he scored four times -- two on kickoffs; two on punts -- in 12 games.

That's phenomenal production, especially given that the Broncos had just eight return touchdowns in the previous 10 seasons combined. Even if Holliday doesn't contribute a snap on offense and even if his fumble ratio -- one every 9.6 returns, including playoffs -- remains the same, he will be valuable because of his absurd production rate.

For the Broncos, he scored once every 12 total returns and averaged 12.5 yards per punt return and 36.9 yards per kickoff return (including playoffs). If that production continues, he will have a long, bright future in Denver.

Punter Britton Colquitt has not officially signed his restricted free-agent tender, but when he does, the Broncos will have their most productive punter back in the fold. His 42.1-yard net average last year was the best in club history, breaking his previous record, and led the AFC. Only three other punters dropped a higher percentage of their punts inside the 20-yard-line.

Aaron Brewer handled the long-snapping duties flawlessly as a rookie after making the team ahead of Lonie Paxton. Brewer was more adept at getting downfield after the snap, and finished the season with two tackles. But perhaps just as important in the overall salary-cap calculus is his cost; the Broncos paid Brewer a standard rookie salary, saved more than a half-million dollars and received comparable production.

But to maximize the potential of the unit, the Broncos need kicker Matt Prater to become more accurate, particularly in the second half of the season, when he slumped after a perfect first eight games.

Although Prater remained among the league's pace-setters on kickoffs, his field-goal percentage of 81.3 percent ranked 25th among kickers with at least 15 attempts, and he was 27th in accuracy outside 40 yards, going 8 of 13 (61.5 percent).

The ability of Prater to deliver a last-gasp kick was established in 2011, and the Broncos wouldn't have made the playoffs that year without his flawless overtime work in wins over Miami, San Diego and Chicago, which included three game-tying or game-winning field goals from 50 or more yards. Those kicks demonstrate Prater's ceiling; if he finds more consistency, then the Broncos can legitimately claim to possess the league's best special teams.

Facebook Comments

Let us know your thoughts. Comment below through Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts.