Good morning, Broncos Country!
Brandon McManus is all too aware that last season’s kicking stats did not live up to his “McMoney” moniker given to him during the Super Bowl season for his consistency and accuracy even at long range.
Because his 24 field goals made out of 32 attempts last season equaled only a 75 percent success rate - a 10 percent drop-off from his previous two seasons and barely above his rookie year percentage of 69.
So the fifth-year kicker is looking to get back to the stride he hit in 2015 - which conveniently coincided with the team’s Super Bowl run and was a big part of the offense’s success that year.
As a Broncos sophomore in 2015, the kicker out of Temple University went 30 of 35 for an 85.7 percent success rate, including owning the NFL’s longest three kicks through Week 2 after booting a 57-yarder and a 56-yarder in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens and adding another 54-yarder on Thursday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs.
It was even more impressive considering the season before he nearly lost his job when the Broncos brought in Connor Barth for some competition due to concerns over McManus’ inaccuracy. But McManus made some adjustments in technique by taking out the jab step from his motion, then stormed through the season about as perfect as he could be - boasting a 71 percent success rate for kicks beyond 50 yards.
The following year was almost as impressive with only a slight drop-off to 85.3 overall percent in field goals made, including a perfect 19 of 19 in kicks shorter than 39 yards and 7 of 9 for kicks between 40 and 49 yards.
But McManus’ performance last season followed the pattern of the rest of the offense by failing to live up to its offseason hopes and hype - and No. 8 says he is determined to get away from that this season.
“I did self-reflection during the season. I started off terribly. Then throughout the year I continued to make more and more kicks, so I was happy with that,” McManus said, adding he is aiming to be one of the best kickers in the NFL. “This year I’m looking forward to a huge rebound year. ...Coming up short as I was last year motivates me more than ever.”
Having a new special teams coach may help with that motivation too.
Tom McMahon worked with McManus briefly at the Colts where McManus started out as a UDFA in 2014.
“To me he’s more of a whole special teams group, with kickoffs, kick returns, punts and punt returns,” McManus said. “I’m excited to have him. He brings a different energy to the practice. He’s a bit of a yeller (laughing). He’ll let people know if they’re doing things right or wrong. I’m excited for him to be here as well.”
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