After years of mediocrity at the position, the Denver Broncos may just have the punter they wer searching for.
It was a facepalm-worthy couple of years for the Denver Broncos regarding their punter situation. The team had previously gone through two years of horrible punting with Marquette King and then Colby Wadman.
But now—and I feel good about saying it after just one game—the Broncos may just have their punter of the future in Sam Martin, formerly of the Detroit Lions.
In his Broncos debut, Martin punted five times, pinning the Tennessee Titans inside their own 20-yard line three times, including a beautiful one at their own 4-yard line.
On their first punt of the night, the Broncos lined up at their own 37-yard line. Titans returner Kalif Raymond caught the ball around the 12-yard line. That’s a punt of around 50 yards. Raymond returned it to the Titans’ 22 or 23-yard line but there was a penalty on Tennessee. Ball on the 13.
The Broncos were stopped on the Titans’ goal line after failing to score a touchdown on 4th-and-goal. That’s got nothing to do with the punting but still an example of “pinning” their opponent deep in their own end.
The Broncos’ first punt in the 2nd half came after just 49 seconds at their own 32-yard line. Raymond caught the ball at the 12-yard line and returned it to the 21.
Following the next drive, the Broncos punted from their own 28. The ball traveled to Tennessee’s 20-yard line and Raymond was tracked down right away by Malik Reed.
With 5:05 left in the game and the Broncos up by one point, they punted at their own 43.5-yard line, figuring to get the ball back with enough time. The ball traveled through the air for a while but the Broncos ended up rolling from around the 15-yard line down all the way to the Titans’ 4.
That would end Martin’s magnificent day.
The Broncos did not lose because of giving the Titans good field position every drive. In fact, it was fantastic field position as far as the Broncos are concerned.
There just has to be better management on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball going forward.
So what about Marquette King’s claim?
At some point following his release by the Broncos, punter Marquette King claimed that the Broncos made him change the way that he punts the football.
That ended up being his reasoning for his poor performances and also the injury he suffered that landed him on injured reserve.
In came Colby Wadman, who also failed as the punter.
I don’t know the specifics on the mechanics change but it appears that Martin was the upgrade. Was Martin asked to do the same thing and has been successful at it? Or did McMahon completely scrap the idea and just let Martin do what he does?
Either way, the Broncos’ punt game appears to be on an upward slope. Let’s hope it continues.