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2007 Best and Worst Broncos' Moments #12

Moment #12 -- One of the Absolute Worst

--Idiot Punter

Its tough for me to say that Todd Sauerbraun biggest failing was kicking to Devin Hester in the Chicago game. The reason that it is tough is that we may never be sure who is ultimately responsible for that decision. Was the decision dumb? Maybe not the first time, but definitely the second time. But was Sauerbraun dumb to do it? Not if he was just taking orders.

Regardless of what the above situation was, the Devin Hester returns were not the reason we lost that game.

The Broncos had marched up and down the field at will against the Bears all game. The defense had stymied the Bears best offensive efforts all game. And with only six minutes left to play in regulation the Broncos were sitting on a comfortable 14 point lead. Hester had returned a couple of kicks for TDs, sure, but up to that point in the game, that was the ONLY thing that CHI had managed to do, and the Broncos were firmly in control. The only way CHI was going to have a chance was if they had the game handed to them on a silver platter. Enter idiot punter, who could have pinned the Bears deep in their own territory, forcing them to chew up the majority of the last six minutes with a drive.

And he let them block the punt.

Worse yet, he claimed that he never even saw Charles Tillman, who snuck through the line and straight into Sauerbraun. Before you can kick it to or away from someone, you have to actually kick the ball, and in a game that saw him embarrassed by Hester multiple times, idiot punter put the icing on the cake by embarrassing himself. There are no excuses for blocked punts. It is on the punter to be prepared for the defensive coverages, and to execute quickly if need be. Not seeing someone is a pitiful excuse. He should have seen Tillman, that is his job.

That blocked punt gave the Bears the momentum they needed and they would go on to score 17 unanswered points and win the game. But they couldn't have done it if not for the gift that Sauerbraun delivered so nicely to Charles Tillman.

Out with the bad, in with the ______?

There's two ways you can look at the punter position going into 2008: you can be worried that we don't have any recognizable names, or surefire talents.

Or, you can relax a little and say, "Well, at least Todd is gone." I try to get my concern up because we have unproven prospects at punter, but all I can find is that I am terribly excited to be watching kids who actually have a future in this league, and who can be counted on to answer for their actions.

I just can't help having that feeling. Our punters have zero games of NFL experience? None of them have the complete package, accuracy/power? Fine. Great. Fantastic even. At least Todd is gone.