ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Less than 24 hours after being traded from the Giants, new Broncos kicker Brandon McManus was on the Dove Valley practice fields Wednesday, working on chemistry with holder Britton Colquitt.
"We just wanted to get the snap, hold and kick, me get used to the timing, everything like that," McManus said. "What nuances that I like to do, compared to Matt [Prater], for Britton to understand."
McManus will travel with the team to Dallas for Thursday's game against the Cowboys. He should have some opportunities to show off his big leg, which has produced 10 touchbacks in 11 kickoffs this preseason.
He said it was "bittersweet" to be traded, news that he learned after the Giants initially told him he was to be waived in the cut down to the 75-man roster limit. Based on calls to his agent, McManus knew there would be interest from other teams on the waiver wire, but he was pleasantly surprised to be traded instead.
"It's exciting to have a team put a little, not prize, but put something worth you coming here," he said. "So it puts some merit and value to their interest in me."
The trade happened a few hours after the NFL officially announced a four-game suspension for kicker Matt Prater to start the season. With the Broncos also waiving Mitch Ewald on Wednesday, McManus will now have the first opportunity to fill Prater's role during the veteran's suspension.
The first-year kicker from Temple said he is especially excited for the chance to further build his NFL resume, which reads 3-for-3 on preseason field-goal attempts (all from 46 yards or farther) but lacks volume.
"The big knock (on young kickers) is these older guys have experience in the game," McManus said. "Well, at some point, everyone has zero experience. You just have to put him out there and see what he's able to do in the high pressure situations."
Spending his rookie training camp with the Colts in 2013, McManus worked next to perhaps the NFL's best clutch kicker of alltime in Adam Vinatieri. McManus says he prodded the four-time Super Bowl champion for tips that helped produce his most memorable kicks.
"I was able to pick his brain even more and sponge up, because that's the reason I love kicking is the high-pressure situations," McManus said.
If the Broncos' new acquisition performs well enough, he might just see a few of those situations in the regular season.