Jim Brandstatter, the play-by-play announcer for Michigan Wolverines football and color announcer for the Detroit Lions, told The Afternoon Drive on Tuesday that the tight end Denver is getting in Jake Butt is “a great one.”
“Denver got a great player, a great leader, a great citizen and an outstanding tight end,” Brandstatter said, highlighting the fact that Butt played in the Orange Bowl to help his team and never regretted it even though the ACL injury he sustained in the game “probably cost him four rounds in the draft.”
The entire conversation is worth a listen because the Michigan announcer clearly believes in the tight end’s talent.
Brandstatter was quick to point out that Butt “is not Gronkowski” but then again, no one is - “If you’re looking for that, you’re looking in the wrong direction because that guy is a freak.”
Butt is “no road grader” when it comes to blocking for the run, but he’s definitely a guy that won’t back down from giving it his best shot.
“He’s not one of those guys you say, ‘OK, we drafted him to block for the run,’” Brandstatter said. “You drafted him because he’s an all around guy. He will get in there and mix it up. He’ll play in the pit. He’ll get after people. He’ll put a helmet on them and block them...he’ll get in their way and give the [running] back a chance, a crease.”
A “crease” would be a welcome change for the Broncos’ running backs, and with the addition of Jamaal Charles plus the promise of some holes - even a “crease” - the Denver running game seems to have improved already.
That toughness from Butt coupled with his ability to run great routes and catch balls, “makes him a quality tight end,” says Brandstatter, noting that he’s “excellent in the red zone.”
But more importantly, Butt is the kind of tight end that will always make a play. For a team with a bunch of young quarterbacks fighting for the starting position, a tight end like that will be a huge asset.
“Jake is a guy that will never hurt ya. He’ll always make plays. Third and 6, he’s the guy that’s going to make a catch,” Brandstatter said. “The quarterback can throw anywhere near him, and he’ll make the play. He’ll get you the first down and keep the chains moving. He’s not going to make stupid penalties, not going to get many drops...he’s just a solid every down player.”
Brandstatter stopped short of comparing Butt to Jason Witten but said he could be that kind of “impact” player for his team.
“Jake can be that security blanket for a quarterback,” the announcer said (probably not realizing how well-received that comment would be in Denver). “Jake Butt is a guy that becomes an integral part of anybody’s offense. He’s that good.”
Part of him being “that good” is the fact that Butt has a high football IQ, according to Brandstatter - something that’s practically a requirement for any skills player in a Jim Harbaugh offense.
“He’s a guy that’s going to be great in the locker room. He’s a guy who can basically run an offense,” Brandstatter said, adding that Butt and Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock would go over the offense together. “I don’t think you can play for Jim Harbaugh without really getting an understanding of the game and being able to sit there, go to the huddle, look at the defense and call a play.”
And as if that weren’t enough to get Broncos Country super excited about this draft pick, Butt posted this outstanding story on Twitter yesterday - a thank you letter he had written in sixth grade to a guest speaker who talked about becoming a pro athlete.
Yeah, he’s pretty much an all-around guy.
Almost 10 years later and this was returned to me. Top 5 gift I've ever received pic.twitter.com/8kX2SZoGjM— jbooty (@JakeButtTE) May 3, 2017
Former defensive coordinator Wade Phillips also stopped in to The Afternoon Drive to chat about his new book and say hi to the city and fans he loves dearly.
Oh, and he also noted that the Broncos’ acquisition of Jamaal Charles “sounds like a good signing to me.”
“He’s such a great kid as a person, and he’s still the all-time leader in average per rush running back in the league,” the L.A. Rams’ new defensive coordinator said. “Could be a dynamic player for [the Broncos].”
Phillips noted that he’s enjoying Los Angeles and getting to know his new team, but he’ll always have a special place in his heart for Denver.
“The first time I was in Denver I wanted to stay there forever. It just isn’t the way it goes in the league,” he said. “You’re kind of an Army brat [as a coach], go where you have the next opportunity. What I’ve done my whole career.”
Phillips is doing a book signing at Tattered Cover at 7 p.m. MT today for his new book, “Son of Bum,” about his dad’s influence on his life and career. “Son of Bum.”
“I grew up a coach’s kid. Pretty much my whole career was influenced by him,” Phillips said, noting he played high school and college football for his dad and then worked with and for him for 11 years. “He was my hero, and he influenced me in the football part of it, but football teaches you a lot of things about life anyway.”
In true Wade style, the coach had a funny story to tell. During his junior year in college, when he was playing linebacker for the University of Houston, he went out to San Diego where his dad was coaching and watched a practice.
“I saw the linebackers who were 230 pounds and could run, and I was 220 pounds and couldn’t run, and I thought, ‘what am I going to do when I get through playing ball?’” Phillips said. “That’s when I started thinking about coaching.”
Which "strength" for Jake Butt has you the most excited?
This poll is closed
Being a "security blanket" for the QB
Being a dependable "3rd-and-6" player
You said he can run an offense? Yeah, that one.
Any help creating a running lane sounds good to me.
"Whorfin" (all of the above)
"jmac-31" (some of the above)
"Shasta" (new suggestion)