Exclusive Interview With Broncos WR Cody Latimer


The Denver Broncos made a bold move in the 2014 NFL Draft to trade up in the second round and take Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer. He showed pretty quickly in camp why the selection was warranted, and developed an incredible almost cult following among Broncos fans.

Latimer was dazzling with plays he made in the short time training camp was open to public, and all the things we kept reading about him from first-hand reports had fans giddy that he might overtake Wes Welker as the Broncos’ number three receiver as a rookie.

Things didn’t quite turn out the way the fans might have liked.

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Latimer played less than 40 snaps offensively and was a game day inactive for much of the season. Almost inexplicably, even with some injuries and inconsistency from Wes Welker and primary backup Andre Caldwell, the Broncos couldn’t get Latimer on the field.

I don’t think that contributed directly to John Fox agreeing to mutually part ways with the Broncos, but the fact that Latimer was kept on the bench was staggering to me personally given his talent. The Broncos had to transition to a run-heavy offense later in the season, and John Elway considered Latimer the best run blocking receiver in the entire 2014 draft class.

So why didn’t he see the field?

The answer to that question might never really be known, but Latimer made the most of it.

“It was a good learning experience,” Latimer said, in an exclusive interview with Predominantly Orange.

“At first it was tough but at the end of the day I had to understand there were 12 Pro Bowlers on the roster. Pretty much just seeing how the pros take it every day, learning the offense, taking it day by day. I just waited my turn because I know my opportunity is eventually going to come.”

That opportunity will come sooner rather than later. Latimer was a pre-draft favorite of new head coach Gary Kubiak, who was with the Baltimore Ravens a year ago. According to reports, the Ravens worked him out privately, and Kubiak ‘really, really’ liked him coming out of Indiana.

The Broncos retained wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert, who worked with Latimer all last season. The players and coaches can’t talk much in the way of football at this point of the offseason, but Latimer knows there’s something bigger in 2015.

“Well you can’t talk about much right now, but speaking to my receivers coach there’ll be a spot for me this year, so we’ll see how it goes.”

The toughest thing for Latimer might have been watching the rest of his wide receiver peers in the 2014 NFL Draft class have such great, early success. He says he didn’t care about it all that much, but a player of his caliber is obviously competitive, and probably felt like he could make a difference on the field when the Broncos didn’t have him out there.

“I knew my situation and it ended up being a good situation. I just had to know my place, and I knew my time would come…I didn’t really care about it too much, I know everyone has ‘their year’ and hopefully mine’s coming soon.”

This season, Latimer is expected to be the Broncos’ No. 3 receiver along with franchise player Demaryius Thomas and 2014 Pro Bowler Emmanuel Sanders. Latimer has a really intriguing skill set for the slot with his deep speed and ability to overpower defensive backs with his size.

The Broncos should have a lot of fun putting Latimer into the game plan, and getting on the field is just one of his major goals for the season. He has his sights on bigger things yet.

“Just to play more than I did last year, and go for a championship. It was good to make the playoffs my first year but we want to go further and win a championship. I want to hopefully be more active and help take this group to the next level.”

Part of getting to the next level is going to be creating chemistry with Peyton Manning. Latimer wasn’t on the team yet at this point last year, so he didn’t get to go to the coveted Duke University workouts, where Manning routinely spends time in the offseason.

Since coming to the Broncos, Manning has worked out with select teammates at Duke and Latimer should undoubtedly be among that group this season. I asked Latimer what it’s like being around Manning everyday, and what he appreciates most about him as a teammate.

“His leadership. Just knowing how to be a pro, being in the game so long. He knows how to take on meetings, practice everyday, extra work, extra film time — just watching him be a pro has helped me out a lot.”

One part of being a pro is making a difference in the community you’ve been selected to be part of. Latimer’s popularity and reach extends to Denver and beyond, and he’s launched a website to further that.

As Latimer walks through a time of transition in his life where he lost his aunt – someone he was very close with – to cancer, he has created a website with official merchandise, and decided that all profits of sales on his website will go to the American Cancer Society. His custom logo is also more than meets the eye.

Tough and resilient, the shield is a stalwart of strength. The three connecting edges reinforce that feel and serving as a reminder of reliability and steadiness — two essential characteristics of a wide receiver.”

That’s what Latimer represents not only as a Denver Broncos football player, but as a person. He is such an incredible presence for the fans off the field, which he says is really important to him. He wants people to know that he cares about them and appreciates the fact that they root for him and his career.

We’re certainly rooting for Cody, and have picked up a shirt already. You should too.

It’s going to be fun watching this guy have a breakout season in 2015.