Denver Broncos: A.J. Derby ‘sleepless’ after fumble vs. Titans
Denver Broncos tight end A.J. Derby said he had a sleepless night after the team’s loss to Tennessee, a game in which he had a costly fumble…
It was a sleepless night for Denver Broncos tight end A.J. Derby following the team’s loss to the Tennessee Titans. Derby’s fumble on the team’s final drive of the fourth quarter was incredibly costly, but you could point to a number of mistakes throughout the game that ultimately cost the Broncos a victory.
Derby was rightly sick after the fumble that would have put the Broncos near midfield with a chance to get into scoring position for a win or tie, and said as much in the Monday aftermath.
“[It was] definitely a sleepless night last night. I’m really pissed about that. It’s unacceptable. I can’t put the ball on the ground. They trusted me in the situation and that can’t happen.”
The fumble was an asterisk on an otherwise excellent performance by Derby, who has emerged as a great third option behind Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas in the Broncos’ passing attack. Derby caught all five of his targets in this game, and has very clearly developed a rapport with Trevor Siemian.
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He’s got soft hands, runs good routes, has quick feet for a big man, and is a very good blocker. Derby understands the game really well and has obviously transitioned very quickly and adapted very well to the Broncos’ system offensively.
In the last two games with Trevor Siemian at quarterback, Derby has nine receptions for 100 yards. There were plenty who questioned why the Broncos would give up a fifth round pick for the third tight end in New England, but after the injury to Rob Gronkowski, I’d be willing to bet the Pats would love to have Derby back right now to keep their two TE sets with Martellus Bennett.
Derby has been an excellent addition to the Broncos and looks like the type of player that could continue to blossom into a steady option in the passing game. Hopefully the Broncos will continue to look to get him opportunities, exploiting defenses with his quickness down the field and perhaps start using him in red zone situations.