Is Cody Latimer the Broncos’ Secret Weapon?


Aug 17, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Cody Latimer (14) catches a pass before the start of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi

Cody Latimer is a throwback player.

He’s tough.

He’s nasty.

He’s mean.

But it doesn’t end there. Latimer’s hands are special. If Peyton Manning throws it anywhere near Latimer, he catches it. He’s a great route runner. He has good speed. He’s quick. He loves to get physical when he blocks and lay someone out.

At this point in the season, Latimer hasn’t gotten a chance to show it yet, for whatever reason. The first game against the Indianapolis Colts, he dressed but didn’t play. Against Kansas City, he wasn’t active.

That needs to change this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

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Seattle is known for the physical nature in which it plays. It wants to beat other teams up until they submit like the Broncos did in the Super Bowl. Denver had no answer for Seattle’s physical play – on either side of the ball.

Executive vice president/general manager John Elway sought to correct that this offseason. He got help from the guys who returned from injury, but also took the initiative to change that fact. That’s why he got TJ Ward, Aqib Talib and DeMarcus Ware.

Latimer falls into that group. And when you go against a physical team, you need all the tough guys you can get.

That’s Latimer.

Look no further than the preseason game against San Francisco when he blew up 49ers safety Antoine Bethea. Imagine what would happen if Latimer pulled that on Sunday in Seattle. It would send a spark through that whole Broncos roster.

The lone way that happens is if Latimer is active on Sunday.

Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) reacts at the line of scrimmage during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Give him the chance to leave his mark. At least you know he won’t drop a sure first down like Andre Caldwell. You know he won’t cower in the corner and hide when the Seattle defensive backs get physical with him like Eric Decker.

The talk at this point has been about the return of Wes Welker, and it should. He’s the best slot receiver in the game and this is the first chance he and Emmanuel Sanders will get to be on the field at the same time. That’s fun to think about.

On top of the physical nature of Latimer’s game, he’s another vertical threat for Manning and the offense. Latimer is an aspect of the offense Seattle has to defend. Perhaps that plays into why he wasn’t active against the Chiefs: offensive coordinator Adam Gase didn’t want to tip his hand.

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  • Since Latimer hasn’t played or even dressed so far, will the Seahawks game plan be ready for him? Or will all the focus go on the guys who have played?

    If that is Gase’s thought process, kudos. He kept that major wrinkle hidden. Let’s hope the Broncos use their “secret” weapon this Sunday. He’s just what they need in a game like this.

    Fans and those in the media often fall into a trap when they do comparisons. This is one instance where it works. Latimer reminds me of Rod Smith and Ed McCaffery.

    As with those Broncos greats, Latimer takes pride in all aspects of his game. He works at it. He wants to be the best. That’s why he stays after practice to work with Manning, and in some cases Smith. What better way to become the best than to learn from one of them?

    The best way to beat toughness is to have it yourself.

    If the Broncos want that and they want to send a message, give the throwback rookie a chance this Sunday.

    When they do, he may blow up a Seahawks defender in the process.

    Sep 21, 2013; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Cody Latimer (3) dives for a touchdown against Missouri Tigers defensive back Randy Ponder (7) during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports