Surprise players who have filled longstanding needs for Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos general manager George Paton. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos general manager George Paton. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sam Martin, Denver Broncos
Nov 1, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos punter Sam Martin (6) takes a snap from long snapper Jacob Bobenmoyer (46) in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Sam Martin, Punter

Previous Punters (including Super Bowl ’50s): Colby Wadman, Marquette King, Riley Dixon, Britton Colquitt.

No team should have to go through as many punters as the Denver Broncos have in the last 6 seasons.

Riley Dixon was with the team the longest, punting for the team from 2009 to 2015. He held several team records including punts in a single regular season, punts in a playoff run, and punts in a single playoff game.

He also has the record for Punt Yards in a single season (4,783 in 2011), playoffs (2,104), playoff season (1,072 in 2015), playoff game (423 on January 24, 2016, against the New England Patriots).
Yards / Punt: career (45.17), season (47.36 in 2011), game (55.83 on 2011-09-18 CIN), playoff season (48.8 in 2012)

Colquitt holds the Broncos’ previous record of 45.17 yards per punt. Martin beat that mark at 46.8 yards per punt last season. This year, Martin is at 46 yards per punt even.

Colby Wadman actually had more punts inside opposing 20-yard lines (29 and 22) than Martin has had with the Broncos (19 in 2020 and 20 in 2021).

Let’s talk about Marquette King for a second.

King was an All-Pro punter with the Oakland Raiders and signed with the Broncos in free agency. The Broncos did not get “All-Pro” out of King. Allegedly, King suffered from an abductor injury and his punting techniques were altered by Broncos coaches.

Take a look at this quote from King, via Yardbarker:

"“We have our first couple practices of OTAs, and it’s like, ‘Alright, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna change some things in your technique. We are going to punt regular to the right, and when you want to punt left, you gotta drop the ball like this and swing the ball across your body,’” said King. “My whole career I’ve always walked the same direction I was going to kick the ball to. And now they are telling me to walk this direction and kick the ball over here if I want to kick it that way. And the more I kept doing it, the more my leg started to hurt. “This whole offseason I put all this work in to do things the way I normally do it, but then all of a sudden, you’re asked to change it right before the season starts, and it just throws everything off,” he went on. “You start getting scared, like I really started getting scared. I wasn’t comfortable. I even told the head coach, ‘I don’t feel comfortable doing this. I’m going into this season with no confidence because y’all are basically asking me to make every punt a special situation.'” (Former Broncos punter Marquette King)"

This was a very unfortunate circumstance. What if the Broncos had different coaches? Things could have been a lot different with King.

Needless to say, the Broncos have had their fair share of punters through the years. If everything goes the way they currently are heading, Martin could be a Denver Bronco for the long run and not just a fill-in, temporary player.