5. Montrell Washington benched for Kendall Hinton
One of the final major changes made was actually one of the bigger surprises. We had heard Jerry Rosburg speak in the days leading up to the Broncos’ matchup against the Chiefs about some potential changes to the special teams after he had fired coordinator Dwayne Stukes, replaced him with Mike Mallory, and then said he’d be getting hands on with that unit.
Rosburg knows special teams well — he has coached them for a really long time at the highest level.
He spoke on Montrell Washington and his growth as a young player, his skill set and his abilities out there, and it seemed like we would see a different approach from Washington himself on Sunday. What we actually saw was Kendall Hinton out there returning punts with Washington deactivated. Hinton did a fine job helping the Broncos in the field position battle, returning three punts for 37 yards.
That was a substantial change to the special teams operation which ranked 32nd in the NFL this season.
We also saw more Alex Singleton out there, and that paid huge dividends as well as Singleton popped the ball loose on a punt return from Kadarius Toney of the Chiefs to set up the Broncos’ first touchdown of the game.
The Denver Broncos are apparently going to be taking a big swing at their next head coach, but there are only so many big swings to take.
The special teams operation, overall, was just better from the Broncos in this game. It was merely one area where we saw massive differences between the way Hackett was running things and the way Rosburg wants to run things. Perhaps it will continue to be even better in Week 18 against the Chargers.