Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie found himself unable to get out of his own head after one fumble turned into five turned into six. Finally, and mercifully, the coaching staff put McKenzie on the bench for the remainder of the season and asked Jordan Taylor to take over the job.
Taylor had never returned a punt in his athletic career and now he was receiving punts for an NFL team wary of special teams disasters by the return man. Now that is a pressure situation.
“I’ve never done it before,” Taylor said. “I didn’t do it in high school or college. It is a new thing to me, but I think I’m learning. I’m looking forward to getting out there and doing it some more.”
That’s amazing to me. Well, not the fact that he began returning punts, but the fact that he did it so well from the very start.
Jordan Taylor, aka Sunshine, did an awesome job fielding punts while averaging 12.4 yds per punt return! pic.twitter.com/HySbxR26hJ— Tyke Tolbert (@CoachTykeT3) December 11, 2017
Taylor jumped into the role and made good decisions when it came time to either return it or fair catch it. The big return yards were key during Sunday’s victory as it set the offense up with short fields to work with.
“It’s a tough job to catch punts back there,” Taylor said. “You have a lot going on in a short amount of time and you have to make sure you make good decisions. That’s really what I’m focused on and it takes some effort to make those good decisions. I’m going to keep trying to do that.”
So far so good for Jordan Taylor. Broncos Country can breathe a sigh of relief knowing the guy back there fielding punts is going to be a little more reliable with the football moving forward.