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DeCamillis details expectations for special teams


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – **At the conclusion of this week's mandatory minicamp, Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis announced that the coaching staff is looking to reduce the number of specialists for the 2015 season.

"Ideally you'd like to have one punter, one kicker and one long snapper," said DeCamillis. "That's the amount of specialists we'd like to carry going in and that's what the goal is going in."

Currently the Broncos carry two kickers in Connor Barth and Brandon McManus, with Barth used primarily for field goals and McManus for kickoffs. Rounding out the corps are punters Britton Colquitt and Karl Schmitz, and long snapper Aaron Brewer.

How did each of the Broncos' players come to Denver? Find that out for each member of the 2015 special teams.

Schmitz is the newest addition to the Broncos' specialists group after being discovered at a kicking camp in the offseason. Schmitz handled punts and kickoffs for Jacksonville University in 2008 before transferring to University of Missouri-St. Louis and graduating with a business degree in 2011. Since graduation, he had flown under the radar until being picked up by Denver.

So far this offseason, Schmitz has provided competition to the veteran Colquitt, who is a sixth-year punter with 80 regular-season and seven postseason-games under his belt with the Broncos.

"Yeah, it's been a good competition for those guys also," said DeCamillis. "We've had a lot of reps there and I think after the preseason's over we'll be able to decide who that best guy is. 

"It was a good day today for both of them from the standpoint that they were pretty even and that's the way it's been. It's a good competition so we'll see how it goes."

While OTAs and minicamp have been a good opportunity to work on sharpening their skills, DeCamillis has also tested kickoff duties.

"Karl is the only one that can really kickoff. Britton has never done that," said DeCamillis. "He's done some. But when we had a heavy day, as far as we did today, I think they had 10 punts apiece in team reps. He didn't kickoff today, but he has throughout the camp."

In 2014, McManus handled the kickoff duties and saw action in 15 regular-season games in his first season in Denver, accruing 64 touchbacks on 91 kickoffs. His 70.3 percent touchback percentage ranked fourth in the NFL.

Barth was the field goal specialist last season after arriving in Denver in November. He made an immediate impact in his five regular season games, connecting on his first 11 field goal attempts in 2014 to tie the team record for most consecutive field goals made to begin a Broncos career.

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