One thing that has remained consistent throughout the offseason, into Denver Broncos training camp, and now into the preseason is special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes raving about wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland. The third-year wide receiver is currently sidelined with a throat injury but he has a pretty big fan on the coaching staff.
Special Teams Coordinator Dwayne Stukes on his role in helping decide some of the players who will make the roster:— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) August 25, 2022
“I don’t know how much of a voice I have, but I am going to express my opinion.”
Special teams coordinator Dwayne Stukes met with the media today and was asked about wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland. Stukes reiterated to the media that Cleveland is a “core special teams player” and hinted that he will be banging the table for him to make the Broncos' 53-man roster.
“Working with [WR] Tyrie [Cleveland] in the preseason and a couple days in training camp, we know what we have in Tyrie as far as—and I’ll keep saying this. He’s athletic, he brings the physicality we’re looking for, and he brings the speed we’re looking for. My opinion on him has not changed since Day 1. I’ll say it again, he’s also being evaluated as a receiver. That’s going to play a part in it, but we want him to be a core special teams player. I’m going to keep saying that as well.”
Stukes has been continuing to say this as well. Hell, just one week ago he said: “There’s no secret about we want Tyrie to be one of our core special teams players” which basically echoes what he said today. He even said the same back in April when he named outside linebacker Aaron Patrick and Tyrie Cleveland as the core special teams players on the roster. So, clearly, Stukes wants Cleveland to be a key member to his special teams unit.
What likely hurts Cleveland’s chances of making the team is that they’re evaluating him as a wide receiver. The Broncos' depth at wide receiver is pretty deep and Cleveland is likely near the bottom on the current depth chart so that obviously hurts his chances a good bit. Especially when you have rookie Montrell Washington looking legit and undrafted rookies Brandon Johnson and Jalen Virgil both making serious cases to make the roster.
What also really hurts his chances is that he is injured. He was hit in the throat early during camp and has missed everything since suffering that injury. Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett told reporters yesterday that the throat injury Cleveland suffered was an “unfortunate accident”.
“I think he’s a guy—unfortunate incident what happened to him, and he’s done everything that we have asked. He has worked and done anything and everything he could think of. So, we’ll just continually evaluate him and everybody else and we’ll see where it lies at the end.”
Hackett’s quote wasn’t the most glowing endorsement of Cleveland, especially compared to Stukes comments about him, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
I think players like wide receivers Brandon Johnson and Jalen Virgil are more deserving of a roster spot, especially when evaluating them strictly as wide receivers. However, if they lean on special teams, it could have one of the Broncos' exciting undrafted rookie wide receivers on the outside looking in. It will definitely be interesting to see how it plays out in the coming days.
Should Tyrie Cleveland make the 53-man roster?
This poll is closed
Yes, special teams matters more
No, the rookies earned those spots