FanPost

Let's Fix Special Teams!

There are 29 Denver Bronco players listed in the Sporting Charts dot com Special Teams snap count list. Only 7 of those were starters last year. Players with less than 50 snaps on ST were not listed.

Linebackers Steven Johnson & David Bruton played almost 80% of the ST snaps. Why not the other 20%?

3 Safeties, 3 Tight Ends, 2 Line Backers, 1 Wide Reciever, a Corner Back and Kicker Matt Prater make up the eleven guys who played the most snaps on Special Teams. That's 6 Defensive guys, 4 from the offense and the kicker.

I get the TE role since they are blockers, but what the heck is WR Caldwells' role? He didn't return 226 kickoffs or punts, he certainly wasn't hired as a tackling machine, and he's not going to get a pass thrown his way! Can he chase down Devin Hester from behind?

120703_rodgers_inside_medium

via www.denverbroncos.com

Is continuity an issue with ST?

Who decides what players will play special teams on any given week, and when does Special Teams Coordinator Jeff Rodgers find out? Does he have to constantly train new people each week for their role in the upcoming game?

Did we have way too many different people being "subbed" into roles that they were unfamiliar with? Six of the eleven "starters" on ST played fewer than 50% of the snaps available. Why?

It can't be because they were taking over for injured players could it? If so, then explain why 4 of them played in all 16 games, and the other two only missed 5 games between them. Prater is understandable since he's only out there for kickoffs, extra point & field goals.

Stats come from sportscharts.com.

BRONCOS' SPECIAL TEAMS - FIRST TEAM

NFL Rank

Player

Position

GP

Player Snaps

Team Snaps

% of total

2

Steven Johnson

LB

16

429

537

79.9%

3

David Bruton

S

16

428

537

79.7%

39

Nate Irving

LB

15

330

537

61.5%

40

Jacob Tamme

TE

16

329

537

61.3%

78

Virgil Green

TE

16

298

537

55.5%

118

Omar Bolden

S

16

265

537

49.4%

135

Mike Adams

S

16

252

537

46.9%

185

Andre Caldwell

WR

16

229

537

42.6%

196

Joel Dreessen

TE

13

219

537

40.8%

208

Matt Prater

K

16

215

537

40.0%

211

Kayvon Webster

CB

14

211

537

39.3%

*The NFL Rank is based upon the total number of snaps taken by a player on ST during the 2013 season.

Steven Johnson is the only guy (other than the kicker) who played exclusively on ST. We can all say what we want about Mike Adams, but he played 690 snaps on offense & 252 on ST (942 total), and if asked to help out on offense I'll bet he'd have been willing.

Mike Adams earned his pay checks, and there are only 3 players on defense who played more total snaps than he did. They were Danny Trevathan (1,046 combined snaps) and Chris Harris (1,040 snaps on D), & Adams said he'd take a pay cut to come back!

Double Duty Players – Defense & Special Teams

Position

Player

Games Played

D Snaps

ST Snaps

Total Snaps

LB

D. Trevathan

16

947

99

1,046

S

Mike Adams

16

690

252

942

LB

W. Woodyard

14

751

110

861

CB

Dominique R-C

15

775

83

858

CB

K. Webster

14

479

211

690

LB

Nate Irving

15

276

330

606

S

David Bruton

16

146

428

574

S

Omar Bolden

16

207

265

472

CB

Tony Carter

12

266

124

390

LB

Paris Lenon

14

236

136

372

CB

Q. Jammer

11

216

144

360

Britton Colquit had an easy year holding for Matt Prater. He really didn't have to punt much at all.

BRONCOS' SPECIAL TEAMS - SECOND TEAM

NFL Rank

Player

Position

GP

Player Snaps

Team Snaps

% of total

294

Britton Colquitt

P

16

171

537

31.8%

299

Aaron Brewer

LB

16

170

537

31.7%

393

Trindon Holliday

WR

15

151

537

28.1%

407

Terrance Knighton

DT

16

149

537

27.8%

419

Mitch Unrein

DT

16

147

537

27.4%

433

Quentin Jammer

CB

11

144

537

26.8%

471

Paris Lenon

LB

14

136

537

25.3%

502

Montee Ball

RB

16

128

537

23.8%

517

Tony Carter

CB

12

124

537

23.1%

534

Malik Jackson

DE

16

118

537

22.0%

562

Wesley Woodyard

LB

14

110

537

20.5%

*The NFL Rank is based upon the total number of snaps taken by a player on ST during the 2013 season.

I don't care what they were paying Holiday, at 28% of ST snaps he wasn't worth the gray hairs.

BRONCOS' SPECIAL TEAMS – SPOT DUTY

NFL Rank

Player

Position

GP

Player Snaps

Team Snaps

% of total

567

Steve Vallos

C

15

106

537

19.7%

585

Zane Beadles

G

16

101

537

18.8%

586

Louis Vasquez

G

16

101

537

18.8%

587

Chris Clark

T

16

101

537

18.8%

600

Danny Trevathan

LB

16

99

537

18.4%

701

Dominique R-C

CB

15

83

537

15.5%

858

Orlando Franklin

T

15

69

537

12.9%

*The NFL Rank is based upon the total number of snaps taken by a player during the 2013 season.

Only seven of the Denver Offensive Players (with at least 50 snap counts on O) had less than 50 snap counts on Special Teams. (Apparently Eric Decker didn't qualify with enough ST snaps to make the list.) They are:

Jeff Rodgers - "Don't Touch This" - Offensive Player List

Position

Player

Games Played

Snaps

QB

Peyton Manning

16

1,156

WR

D. Thomas

16

1,106

WR

*Eric Decker

16

1,050

TE

Julius Thomas

14

901

WR

*Wes Welker

13

770

RB

K Moreno

16

704

RB

Ron Hillman

10

157

*Both Decker & Welker played spot duty returning punts on ST. (Under 50 snaps)

Out of 1,207 offensive snaps Ronnie Hillman played on 157. Why wasn't he a FULL TIME Special Teams guy? Montee Ball put in almost as many ST snaps as Hillman played on Offense!

Does the fact that the players are constantly changing mess with Jeff Rodgers head? Does it screw with the continuity from play to play, game to game? We had a lot of injuries this year, so were some of the replacements snatched away from their ST duties?

Do the guys who play just a few snaps on ST remember what the heck they were supposed to be doing, or is their head still full of the offensive & defensive plays they must know for most of their snaps?

Ladies and gents, I came away from this with a ton of questions and very few answers. I admit that I know very little about special teams. To me it's just a bunch of guys that spread out and make sure the returner doesn't break one for big yardage.

I'm looking forward to all of your suggestions on what steps could be taken to improve the unit. I have heard some folks calling for the ST Coordinators head to roll, but I'm afraid that the "fire someone" first mentality isn't the one I cater to.

Mine is to find the solution and fix it. So, what is the solution? I haven't found it.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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