As John Fox always puts it, it’s a ‘next man up philosophy.’ It’s next man up until it’s last man up. That’s the rule.
With Eric Decker sitting out Saturday’s game with a sprained MCL, other receivers are going to have to step up just like Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal did last week.
One guy who can and will play every spot at some point is Matt Willis.
“It’s great to have players like Matt Willis on your football team because every game that we’ve asked him to do something, or he’s had an opportunity to do something, he’s made a big play for us or just done what we’ve asked him to do,” Mike McCoy said.
Willis is in his second season with the Broncos after coming to the league as an undrafted rookie and playing his first season with the Baltimore Ravens.
Willis has played in all 16 games this season, and has 18 receptions for 267 yards and 1 touchdown.
“He’s a role player that knew he wasn’t going to get a ton of snaps throughout the year,” McCoy said. “He knew he was going to play X number of snaps, he was the next guy in whenever anybody would go down.”
That Willis’s role. The 6’0″, 190 lb. receiver out of UCLA embraces any opportunity that he gets.
“The great thing as coaches, you never have to worry about it because you know he’s going to do it exactly the way you ask him to do it. He’s just a guy that shows up everyday. Matt Willis is a true professional. He does it exactly the way you ask him to do it, and it’s full steam ahead.”
Those are the kind of backups that the Broncos have on this roster. That’s one of the reasons why this team has gone as far as it has. It’s the unselfish role players that quietly pick up the slack when necessary.