Holliday is a bolt of lightning channeled through a 5’5, 170 pound frame.
Hester is a 225 pound force with a penchant for lowering his shoulder.
But beyond the glaring differences in their playing styles, Holliday and Hester have much more in common than the ‘H’ they share in their last name.
They were college teammates at LSU, they both were midseason additions to the Broncos in 2012, they both made key contributions and scored touchdowns late in the season.
And they both are versatile options capable of impacting games in a variety of ways for the Broncos in 2013.
Holliday had a sizeable impact on several games last season – none more so than the last time he stepped on an NFL field, when he returned a punt 90 yards and a kickoff 104 yards for touchdowns in the Broncos’ divisional playoff game against the Ravens.
After that performance, Holliday’s capabilities as a returner are apparent – but his less-frequently showcased abilities at receiver also could come into play in 2013.
Holliday took snaps at receiver in OTAs and minicamp – and Broncos coaches indicated that the team could try to utilize his speed at receiver in certain situations in 2013.
“I think Trindon Holliday can get in the game in spots and we can exploit defenses with his speed and running abilities,” Wide Receivers Coach Tyke Tolbert said during minicamp.
Holliday’s late arrival to the team in 2012 – he joined the Broncos in mid-October – forced him to cram a brand new offensive playbook in a short period of time and limited his ability to contribute on offense.
Although Holliday caught only two passes for 17 yards in 2012, Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase noted during OTAs that the Broncos will try to find ways to utilize Holliday’s athleticism on offense.
“We’re bringing him along. I know last year was hard for him,” Gase said, emphasizing the difficulty of the learning curve that Holliday faced. “I know the return game is really important for what we do with him and we’re trying to find a role for him to get him on the field.”
Hester was an even-later arrival to the Broncos in 2012, but he didn’t wait long to make an impact.
After joining the Broncos as a free agent on Nov. 26 of last season, Hester promptly scored a pair of touchdowns in December victories over Baltimore and Cleveland.
He also picked up a season-high 55 yards on seven carries in the season finale against Kansas City.
However, Gase believes that it’s Hester’s ability to adapt to different roles and line up all over the field that makes him so valuable to the Broncos offense.
“It’s hard to find guys like that. To be able to play halfback, fullback – we throw him on the wing every once in a while, we can spread him out,” Gase said. “His versatility is huge for us.”
Gase indicated that Hester’s hard-nosed running style could be valuable to the Broncos’ offensive attack in short yardage situations.
“It should help our short yardage, goal line, four-minute packages,” Gase said. “It’s been a big point of emphasis this offseason to figure out how we get him on the field and use him a little more, whether he’s playing tailback, fullback, an F-tight end and H-back.”
“We’re going to try to use him as many ways as possible.”