On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 3:00 PM - 6:30 PM MDT Orange Night Ride

    The year's Orange Ride is scheduled for Oct. 23, 2014 with a start time of 4:30 p.m. from the Denver City and County Building. We have put together a list of activities leading up to that night's Broncos game against San Diego. We hope to see you there!
    3-4 p.m. Pregame fan rally in front of Denver City and County Building
    4:30 p.m. Ride departs Denver City and County Building to Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5:00 p.m. Ride arrives at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    5-6 p.m. Orange Ride pregame tailgate party at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
    6:00 p.m. Orange Ride departs stadium to Tavern Downtown to watch the Broncos game
    6:25 p.m. Watch the Broncos game while enjoying Tavern Downtown’s food and drink specials
    And don't forget that the Broncos and Denver B-cycle have teamed up to offer a new bike valet service for home games for the 2014 season, giving fans a place to park their bike in a secure place staffed by B-cycle volunteers!
  • Thu., Oct. 23, 2014 6:25 PM MDT Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers The Denver Broncos take on AFC West opponent the San Diego Chargers on Thursady Night Football on NFL Network.
  • Sat., Oct. 25, 2014 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM MDT Broncos Bunch Trick-or-Treat

    Broncos Bunch Trick-or-Treat

    Sign up at http://broncosbunch.com

  • Sun., Nov. 02, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos at New England Patriots The Denver Broncos travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots in a rematch of the 2013 AFC Championship. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 09, 2014 2:05 PM MST Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders The Denver Broncos face their AFC West foe Oakland Raiders on the road. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 16, 2014 11:00 AM MST Denver Broncos at St. Louis Rams The Denver Broncos face the St. Louis Rams on the road at 11 a.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Sun., Nov. 23, 2014 2:25 PM MST Denver Broncos vs. Miami Dolphins The Denver Broncos take on the AFC East Miami Dolphins. The game will be broadcast on CBS.
  • Tue., Nov. 25, 2014 6:00 AM - 4:00 PM MST Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution Denver Rescue Mission Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution
  • Sun., Nov. 30, 2014 6:30 PM MST Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs The Denver Broncos travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face AFC West foe the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football on NBC.
  • Sun., Dec. 07, 2014 2:05 PM MST Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 Tribute Game Play 60/Fuel Up to Play 60 tribute game. Teams will be recognized before the team's game against the Buffalo Bills.

News & Blogs

Print
RSS

Saccomano: Minicamp Starts the Process

Posted May 19, 2014

Jim Saccomano recalls a rookie minicamp that saw 478 players try out for the team -- and kicker Rich Karlis made the cut.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos' 2014 rookie minicamp is over, and each player has had his first opportunity—the first of many, they hope—to impress Broncos coaches.

It has been said by many coaches that, “I do not cut players. I give them a chance, and they cut themselves.”

There is a lot of truth to that, but there is a reverse to the saying as well.

Sometimes, when you give them a chance, they never cut themselves. They have a good practice, pay attention at meetings, learn the plays fast, have another good practice, move up on the depth chart, get a chance in a preseason game, and the next thing you know, they are…..

Terrell Davis. Karl Mecklenburg. Shannon Sharpe. Steve Foley. Rod Smith. Chris Harris Jr.

The list goes on and on.

It goes back to the very beginning when one of the free agents that the Broncos took a look at did not even go to college, but had played on some of those fine United States Navy base teams of the 1950s. He claimed he was a running back and placekicker as well, and he was right.

It was Gene Mingo, of course, the first African-American placekicker in pro football history and one of the four leading scorers in all of pro football during his five seasons (1960-64) with the Broncos.

Another time, also in the 1960s, the team took a flyer on a guy who had played minor league baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals chain after a brief college football career.

John “Bull” Bramlett was the American Football League defensive rookie of the year and pretty much wrecked havoc for the Broncos as one of the most feared hitters at linebacker in the AFL.

I remember a rookie mini camp in which I was seeking out the fellow who had just run the fastest time in the 40s—I expected to find a 5-10 sprinter, but he turned out to be a lithe, 6-4 wide receiver: Steve Watson.

Like a lot of them, Watson worked out pretty well.

I also remember the day the player personal department cleaned out its files by sending a form letter to everyone who had sent in anything, advertising a one-day tryout camp.

All in all, 478 wanna-be, hoped-to-be, and absolutely never-will-be players showed up to get a quick look from the scouts.

Really, it was like the “Star Wars” bar scene in football—players so hopelessly old and out of shape that we truly had to stifle chuckles as you did the necessary serious work.

But among all the guys who showed up that day, one was a soccer-style kicker who had never played soccer, who felt he had a better feel for the football if he kicked barefoot!

It was Rich Karlis, who survived the 478-player tryout, came to camp, made the team and became a Super Bowl placekicker for the Broncos, as well as one of the classiest players we have ever had working within the community.

So you never know.

And never tell yourself that it cannot be. Trust your eyes. When somebody plays better than somebody else, that is a good thing for the guy doing the playing.

I have always said that we have little interest in having the fastest player. We want the guy who gets there fastest, and makes the play.

Players play.

So we have moved past the first minicamp with a lot of the players—most of them, really—still pretty much unknown to most fans.

But never assume it will stay that way.

We all know the phrase, “Put me in, Coach.”

That is what every one of these young guys is saying right now, and there are players who will amaze and delight us all when they get their opportunity.

The offseason will continue at its own pace, but the pot of player performance and evaluation has started to boil.

Facebook Comments

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