Denver Broncos unsung heroes: Aaron Brewer


This week’s unsung hero is a guy who’s position can be defined as a group of unsung heroes.  Long Snapper Aaron Brewer has been one of the most consistent performers throughout his tenure in Denver, but for whatever reason, many fans forget his existence on the team.  As a long snapper, the less people hear about you, the better.  In a league in which every play is inspected and inflated, it’s the job of the long snapper to “be seen, but not heard”.

Long snapper is a position that has a long history of receiving little acclaim from its football brethren.  They may often be referred to as “player #53” on an active roster, one who only is activated on game days because they have to be.  For many years in the NFL, teams chose to carry an extra player who could long snap rather than keeping a player whose only job for the team was the snap the ball on place kicks and punts.  It wasn’t until recently that every NFL team made a priority to have a player dedicated to snapping the ball on special teams.

In what many consider to be one of the easiest jobs in the NFL, it’s  a fine line between regular employment and early retirement.  If you’re a good specialist, you can stick around for a long time, but make a few mistakes and you may never see the field again.  Fortunately for Brewer, his silence has proven to be a good indication of his success in the NFL.

Here’s some stats on the 4th year Bronco

Name: Aaron Brewer

Size: 6’5, 230 LBs

Age: 25

College: San Diego State

Went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft (signed by Broncos immediately after draft)

2015 Stats: Appeared in all six games, no tackles

Career Stats: Appeared in 54 of 54 games, eight tackles

The Story: Quite frankly, there isn’t a big story on Brewer.  Like I had mentioned earlier in the article, Long Snapper

Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos kicker Connor Barth (1) celebrates with long snapper Aaron Brewer (46) after a field goal in the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 47-14. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

just isn’t a position that generates interest in stats or big plays.  The only time you’d really hear about Brewer in a game is if he makes a mistake(which up to this point, he hasn’t had any in his four year career). Before coming into the NFL, Brewer had established his reputation for consistency at San Diego State. In his time with the Aztecs, he was a four time All-Mountain West Conference selection as a long snapper and racked up 15 special teams tackles.

When he signed with the Broncos as an UDFA in 2012, his signing was one that came with some question marks.

1. Why waste a roster spot on another specialist?

2. Why sign a snapper when we had one of the best snappers in the NFL in Lonnie Paxton?

Ultimately, I think the answers to those questions are simple.

1. They were not convinced that Paxton was worth keeping at his current price tag (he signed a 5 year, 5 million dollar deal with the Broncos in 2009).

2. Because of his proven consistency and track record in college, Brewer was able to provide equal, if not better production than Paxton for a fraction of the price.

After a brief time together in the 2012 training camp, Paxton was released in favor of Brewer as the team’s long snapper. Since then, the Broncos have not had to look elsewhere for a long snapper.  Brewer’s consistent performance rewarded him with a 4 year, 4 million dollar extension this past off-season.

He may never get recognition for his production, but his place on the team can’t be ignored.  It’s players like Brewer are why I decided to start the “Unsung Heroes” series.  This fourth year Bronco may never win over headlines, but I have a feeling his name will be on the active roster longer than many of his current teammates.   Everything should be taken in moderation and in Brewer’s case, moderation is the name of his game.

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