There’s shattered glass in the parking lot of the Denver Broncos practice facility. Some might call it a casualty, while others call it a success. Perspective is an interesting thing.
Kicker Matt Prater knocked the ball out of the park and straight into the parking lot. Right after the ball went through the uprights, it struck a vehicle shattering its windshield.
“That’s insurance,” Prater joked as to whether he will be charged for the damage. “That’s not my fault. I don’t pick where we kick so it better not come out of my paycheck.”
According to Prater, that’s the fifth windshield he’s shattered since arriving in Denver. One of his kicks hit Mike Klis’ car of the Denver Post years ago.
Windshields aside, Prater has become a fan favorite. He’s also become one of the team’s favorites as demonstrated by the team’s decision to give him a 4-year deal worth $13 million (including a $3 million signing bonus) in early July. That’s what happens when you kick the winning kick on the game’s final play in three straight weeks.
John Fox put Prater in all kinds of game-like scenarios Wednesday. The offense led the team into field goal range with seconds on the clock, and without using a “timeout,” Prater and the special teams unit rushed onto the field to kick the game winner.
“I guess it’s as close to realistic as it can be especially with the crowd out here,” Prater said of the pressure-filled practice.
Prater is in the unique position of not having anyone looking over his shoulder.
“I don’t mind either way,” Prater said of whether he likes having competition in camp. “In the NFL, you’re always competing whether it’s with somebody that’s in the building or there’s 31 other teams that they have other guys who can so you have to do your best because their always looking for someone better.”
Prater won’t lose his job over broken windshields. He’ll lose it if his kicks aren’t going through the uprights first.