Login  |   Register
On Now
Coming Up
  • Wed., Mar. 01, 2017 2:00 PM MST Deadline to designate Francise or Transition Players Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
  • Tue., Mar. 07, 2017 12:00 AM MST Teams may negotiate with their own Unrestricted Free Agents

    During the period beginning at 12 noon, New York time, on March 7th and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9th, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2016 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9.

    During the above two-day negotiating period, no direct contact is permitted between a prospective unrestricted free agent and any employee or representative of a club, other than the player’s current club.

  • Thu., Mar. 09, 2017 12:00 AM MST 2017 League Year and Free Agency begin

    The 2017 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

    The first day of the 2017 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9.

    Trading period for 2017 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2016 contracts.

  • Sun., Mar. 26, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Annual League Meeting Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Mon., Apr. 03, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Clubs with new head coaches may begin offseason workouts Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2016 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
  • Fri., Apr. 21, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
  • Fri., Apr. 21, 2017 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM MDT Salute to Fans Tour
    Salute to Fans Tour: Cortez
    April 21, 2017
    Parque de Vida in Cortez, CO
    Click here for more information.
  • Sat., Apr. 22, 2017 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM MDT Salute to Fans Tour
    Salute to Fans Tour: Del Norte
    April 22, 2017
    High Valley Community Center
    1210 Grand Ave, Del Norte, CO 81132
    Click here for more information.
  • Wed., Apr. 26, 2017 12:00 AM MDT Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents. Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
  • Thu., Apr. 27, 2017 12:00 AM MDT 2017 NFL Draft The 2017 NFL Draft begins in Philadelphia and runs through April 29.
Print
RSS

Unrein Shows Off Hands

Posted Dec 2, 2012

Defensive tackle Mitch Unrein, lined up as a fullback in the Broncos' goal line package, hauled in his first career reception in the end zone.

DENVER – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clearly didn’t view No. 96 in the Broncos goal line package as a threat to get out of the backfield as a receiver.

On first-and-goal from the Tampa Bay 1-yard line, the Broncos lined up defensive tackle Mitch Unrein as the fullback in their heavy package. But instead of clearing the way for an inside handoff as he did on a Willis McGahee touchdown run against New Orleans, Unrein slipped out into the flat, where he found exactly what he hoped for – open space.

“At first, I was like, 'I hope to God he doesn’t cover me,'” Unrein said of his thoughts before the play. “If that guy would have turned around and covered me, (quarterback) Peyton (Manning) wouldn’t have thrown it to me. Luckily, they thought it was run all the way and that guy came down really hard and I gave him a little chip and ran out in the flat.”

For most players, being wide open in the end zone means a sure touchdown. For a 290-plus-pound defensive lineman, however, the hard part was seemingly yet to come.

“It’s a lot harder than it looks – those wide receivers, that’s pretty tough stuff,” Unrein said. “There is a lot of pressure on you. It feels like that ball is coming really slow, especially for me.”

“It felt like a really long time when that ball was floating toward me,” Unrein continued. “I was like, 'Oh, just don’t drop it, just don’t drop it.' Luckily, it hit my hands and I caught it and wrapped it up with both hands. I kind of stood there for a second and I was like, ‘Dang, I just scored a touchdown. That’s pretty cool.’”

Though Unrein’s touchdown grab certainly seemed to surprise the Bucs and perhaps even Unrein himself, it didn’t catch any of his teammates off guard for even a second, as the play has been successfully executed in practice throughout the season.

“I knew he was going to catch it,” defensive end Derek Wolfe said. “Peyton put that little soft touch on it and it fell right into his hands.”

Clutching his first career touchdown reception on his first trip to the end zone since his freshman year of high school, Unrein found himself in a situation he never imagined.

“No, not in a million years,” Unrein said of whether he ever expected to be a red zone target of Manning’s.  “I never even thought I’d be in the NFL in high school. It’s been a great experience so far and hopefully I’ll have many other opportunities to catch passes from him and to play for Denver.”

Even after proving to have reliable hands in practice, getting the right look from the defense, and completing the all-important step of hanging on to the football, Unrein’s work wasn’t done.

He had some celebrating to do.

“Then I had no dance afterward, no skills like (linebacker) Von Miller,” Unrein said. “It was a great experience.”

“I have two left feet, as they say,” Unrein laughed. “I can two-step a little bit, country dance, but it all happened so fast. I really didn’t know what to do.”

Fellow defensive linemen Elvis Dumervil said Unrein’s ‘Who, me?’ response to the celebration was misleading.

“That’s a lie,” Dumervil smiled. “He’s been practicing since practice.”