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Monday, October 19, 2015

Denver Broncos Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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October 18, 2015 - Brandon McManus kicks OT game winner over Cleveland
"The Broncos are still perfect on the season thanks in part to kicker Brandon McManus, even if he isn't. With the game-winning 34-yard field goal, along with three other successful attempts, McManus continued to have an integral impact on the Broncos, though he did miss his first field-goal opportunity of the season. With FirstEnergy Stadium right off Lake Erie, the wind sliced through the deep architectural divisions in the northeast and southeast corners of the stadium and provided McManus with a challenge from the first steps he took on the field. 'That first half and the warmups, the ball was moving from one upright all the way to the other, even at 40-yard distances,' McManus said. "It was pretty unbelievable."...  He figured the Browns would take a last-second timeout in an effort to ice him, but that just gave him an opportunity to test the waters. 'Usually they try to ice the kicker, especially a younger guy,' McManus said. 'I'm one of those guys who likes to get his practice rep in, and see if my ball go through the uprights on the distance and kind of see what the wind is doing.' The second attempt was as true as the first, and the Broncos escaped the Dawg Pound with their sixth victory in as many games. '[The offense] did a great job of getting me down the field, making a very easy kick at 34 yards, and that's the hash I wanted it to be on based off the wind in warmups,' McManus said. 'But [that was an] unbelievable team win. We fought together to seal this thing on the road to get to 6-0'." - Broncos

October 4, 2015 - Brandon McManus kicks game winner over Minnesota
"Brandon McManus kicked three field goals, including a 39-yarder with 1:51 remaining, and the Broncos hung on to beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-20 Sunday to remain undefeated.... McManus has converted all eight of his field-goal attempts this season, including a 33-yarder and 47-yarder prior to the game winner. 'We're trying to get it down there as close as we can and put us in touchdown position; if not, make it as short a field goal as possible,' Peyton Manning said. '(McManus) has been outstanding. He is kicking with a lot of confidence. It's great to have him on the team'." - UPI

September 13, 2015 - Brandon McManus kicks often & long in win over Baltimore
"The Denver kicker, now in his second stint with the Broncos in as many professional seasons, booted field goals from 57, 56, 43 and 33 yards to help the Broncos to a 19-13 win Sunday over the Baltimore Ravens. It was just the second time in NFL history that a kicker made two kicks from at least 56 yards in the same game, the first time since St. Louis Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein did it in 2012. 'Obviously, that’s a random stat kind of dragged out there from the moon,' McManus said. 'I’m just more interested in making the kicks than stats or records at the end of the day. I’m just excited that I started off the season on a good foot'." - Pueblo Chieftain 

August 31, 2015 - punter Spencer Lanning released
"Spencer Lanning was signed two weeks ago as a punter to challenge incumbent Britton Colquitt, but Colquitt will keep his job." - BSN Denver

August 26, 2015 - Brandon McManus wins kicking job, Connor Barth released
"The team released Connor Barth on Wednesday morning, leaving Brandon McManus as the only placekicker on the roster. Barth supplanted McManus on field goals and extra points after 10 games last year following a midseason skid for the then first-year kicker. Barth hit 15 of his 16 field-goal attempts down the stretch, but struggled on kickoffs in his first game as a Bronco, which brought McManus back to the 53-man roster to handle kickoff duties. Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis studied McManus' work in the weeks after he was hired, and felt that his slump was easily explained. 'He's just like any other player -- young,' DeCamillis said Aug. 18. 'Unfortunately, you look at kickers and they should make everything, right, whoever they are. If they haven't done it a bunch yet, they're going to have those hiccups. You have to be able to come back from it and hopefully he did.' As the offseason progressed, DeCamillis consistently stated that he would prefer to only keep one punter and one placekicker, and not carry a kickoff specialist. That loomed over the competition between McManus and Barth and lingered throughout training camp." - Broncos

August 14, 2015 - claim punter Spencer Lanning off waivers
"The Denver Broncos have been awarded punter Spencer Lanning off waivers from Tampa Bay. The Broncos waived punter Karl Schmitz — who was subsequently signed by the Buccaneers — last week to make room for tackle Matt Hall, who elected to retire. Lanning, who will compete with Britton Colquitt, is a third-year pro who appeared in 32 games for the Browns in the past two seasons, posting a 38.6-yard net punting average. He also kicked off 12 times for the Browns." - Idaho Statesman

August 5, 2015 - punter Karl Schmitz released, Connor Barth working on kickoffs
"Three days after punter Britton Colquitt agreed to a reduced salary for 2015, the Broncos waived punter/kicker Karl Schmitz.... Schmitz, a 28-year-old rookie punter who gained a following with his kicks on YouTube, signed with the Broncos in March, but hadn't played a game since 2008. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis reiterated Tuesday that the team didn't want to keep four players for kickoffs, and with Colquitt having signed a restructured deal, his place appeared to be secure for the season. 'It stresses your roster in other places,' DeCamillis said. 'We want to have a guy that can kick off and kick field goals, or a guy that punts and kicks off.' DeCamillis said kicker , which could make him the dual kickoff/field-goal threat the team is seeking." - Denver Post

August 3, 2015 - punter Britton Colquitt takes pay cut
"Britton Colquitt is no longer the highest-paid punter in the First Family of Fourth Downs. That honor belongs to brother Dustin. Two years after becoming the league's highest-paid punter, Britton agreed to a $1.4 million pay cut from the Denver Broncos. He'll get $1.6 million instead of $3 million. Dustin is making $2.95 million.... Colquitt's production slipped last year, and in the offseason the Broncos brought in kicker/punter Karl Schmitz, a strong-legged 28-year-old from Jacksonville University who hasn't played since 2008. Colquitt's three-year, $11.7 million extension that he signed in 2013 included $3 million up front and averaged $3.9 million a season." - USA Today

March 12, 2015 - punter Karl Schmitz signed
"Karl Schmitz, who grew up in Bermuda and graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2011, has signed with the Broncos, the team announced. 2015 will be his rookie season. He handled punts and kickoffs for Jacksonville University in 2008 before transferring to UMSL, per the team's official website." - Mile High Report

March 5, 2015 - long snapper Aaron Brewer re-signed 
"On Thursday afternoon, the Broncos reached an agreement in principal with longsnapper Aaron Brewer on a four-year contract.... Brewer's deal features a $740,000 signing bonus and makes him the NFL's 11th-highest-paid snapper.... The multiyear deal with Brewer was expected as he was eligible for restricted free agency, where the minimum right of first refusal tender is $1.542 million — or nearly 40 percent greater than what the highest-paid long snapper makes. Brewer, 24, has been the Broncos' longsnapper since 2012." - Denver Post

January 20, 2015 - Joe DeCamillis named special teams coordinator 
"DeCamillis, who is entering his 27th NFL season, has coached special teams for 22 years, most recently with the Chicago Bears from 2013-14. He began his NFL career with Denver in 1988, spending two years in football administration before becoming a defensive quality control coach for the Broncos from 1990-91. During his two seasons in Chicago, DeCamillis’ unit allowed a league-low 18.3 yards per kick return while generating two touchdown returns (1 PR, 1 KR) and three takeaways. Prior to his arrival in Chicago, DeCamillis spent four seasons (2009-12) as special teams coordinator for Dallas, where he oversaw punter Matt McBriar’s Pro Bowl campaign in 2010 (NFL leader in gross/net average – 47.9/41/7). He was named the Cowboys’ Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2009 as voted by his players. DeCamillis, who also coached special teams with Jacksonville (2007-08), Atlanta (1997-2006) and the N.Y. Giants (1993-96), was born on June 29, 1965, in Arvada, Colo." - Broncos

December 31, 2014 - kicker Connor Barth named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month
"This represents the first such honor of his career and the eighth in Broncos history since the award was initiated by the NFL in 1993. Barth made 10-of-11 field goals (90.9%) and all 13 extra point attempts in four games during the month of December. Accounting for 43 points in those contests, Barth recorded two games with at least four field goals made, including a 5-for-5 performance at San Diego in Week 15 to tie the team record for field goals in a single game." - Broncos

December 14, 2014 - another day, another five field goals for Connor Barth
"For now, in the afterglow of a 22-10 win that clinched the Broncos' fourth consecutive AFC West crown, they're happy about extending their division dominance, matching the 1987-90 49ers' league record of road division wins and of crossing off the first item on their 2014 checklist.... And one of the newest Broncos, Connor Barth, ensured that the Broncos got something from their red-zone forays, just like he did against Kansas City two weeks ago. Sunday, Barth matched his 5-for-5 performance on field goals at Arrowhead Stadium. He's racked up 39 points in three weeks with the Broncos -- outscoring the 49ers, Raiders and Browns in that span. No kick had more riding on it than the 49-yard attempt with 4:58 remaining in the game and the Broncos clinging to a six-point lead. A 13-yard Peyton Manning-to-Demaryius Thomas pass on the previous play got the Broncos out of a third-and-20 hole and moved the football to the San Diego 31, turning a punt into a viable shot.
Pressure mounted, and Barth responded. 'That's kind of what we (kickers) live for,' Barth said. He hit one more field goal to cap his perfect afternoon, which stood in contrast to San Diego's Nick Novak, who missed two of three attempts. Novak had a new holder, recently signed punter Mat McBriar, and while Novak refused to blame that for his misses, it usually takes time for a holder and kicker to become comfortable. The emphasis is on 'usually.' That has not been the case for Barth, holder Britton Colquitt and long snapper Aaron Brewer. Barth praised them after his first day of practice, and their timing has only sharpened in the two and a half weeks that followed. 'They're great at their craft,' said Barth. 'I mean, it eases me into it, because I don't have to worry about a ball spinning when I'm looking at it. It's always really good with the laces. And Britton does such a good job getting it down. It's just true professionals. It's an honor to be in the locker room with these guys, and hopefully we'll continue to play well'." - WWAY

December 6, 2104 - Brandon McManus will handle kickoff duties
"Needing greater length on their kickoffs, the Broncos promoted kicker Brandon McManus from their practice squad to 53-man roster Saturday. McManus will kick off in the Broncos’ game Sunday against the Buffalo Bills while Connor Barth will handle the field goal duties. " - Denver Post

December 4, 2014 - kicker Brandon McManus re-signed to practice squad
"Last week, after releasing Brandon McManus, Broncos Head Coach John Fox suggested that the cannon-legged first-year kicker would get another shot at some point. 'He just needs to go back and work on his swing, so to speak, and I think he'll be back,' Fox said. That work will be in Denver, as the Broncos signed McManus to their practice squad Thursday, giving him a chance to develop and, perhaps make another run at the full-time job. When the Broncos waived McManus to make room for Connor Barth, he was deep in a slump that saw him make just five of his last nine field-goal attempts, including a pair of misses in which he hit the upright. But as he struggled on placekicks, he remained among the league's leaders in touchbacks, ranking third in the league with a touchback percentage of 75.0." - Broncos

November 30, 2014 - new kicker Connor Barth ties team record in first game
"Barth made a memorable first impression, tying a franchise record with five field goals in Denver’s 29-16 trouncing of the Kansas City Chiefs. Jason Elam last accomplished the feat in October 2002. Barth wears No. 1, in part, because he grew up idolizing the Broncos great. 'It’s awesome. It’s an honor. I hope I did him proud tonight,' Barth said. 'I haven’t met him. I hope to someday. But hopefully he’s OK with me representing him. That’s all I am trying to do with his number because he was my role model.' Barth joins Elam, Rich Karlis (1983) and Gene Mingo (1963) as Broncos with five field goals. While he lacked distance on his kickoffs, Barth was straight down the fairway on chipshot drives, converting from 22, 24, 30, 33 and 37 yards." - Denver Post

November 25, 2014 - kicker Connor Barth signed, Brandon McManus waived 
"In choosing their next kicker, the Broncos went with experience in one sense, youth in another. Meld them together and Connor Barth is the newest Bronco. A former clutch field-goal kicker with the Tampa Bay Bucs, Barth on Tuesday signed a two-year contract that will keep him with the Broncos through 2016. Barth, 28, was selected over Jay Feely, 38, in a kickoff Tuesday at the Broncos' new indoor field house. The winner was to replace first-year kicker Brandon McManus. Feely went 14-of-15 in field-goal attempts with a long of 60 yards during his audition but was told by the Broncos they wanted to go with the younger option. To make room for Barth, the Broncos waived McManus, the first-year kicker whose fate was sealed when he clanked a 33-yard field goal off the right upright Sunday in a 39-36 win against the Miami Dolphins." - Denver Post 

November 23, 2014 - kicker Brandon McManus mad at himself 
"It hasn't hurt them yet, but the inconsistency of first-year kicker Brandon McManus remains a concern. McManus kicked too low on the ball as his 33-yard field-goal attempt Sunday against the Dolphins was a bit of a popup before it clanked off the right goalpost to spoil the Broncos' second half-opening drive, which lasted 13 plays and nearly seven minutes. 'It's completely inexcusable,' McManus said. 'I was mad at myself after that miss because I knew I had to stay in it because of the game situation we were in. I know my capabilities. I hit the first one good, and I needed to make the second one.' McManus made a 38-yard field goal to finish the Broncos' game-opening drive and was 5-of-7 in kickoff touchbacks." - Denver Post 

November 16, 2014 - Broncos forego long field goal attempts
"The Broncos may still feel strongly about McManus’ potential over the long haul, but presently they are not letting him attempt kicks Prater would have been asked to make. In the 22-7 loss to the St. Louis Rams Sunday in the Edward Jones Dome, the Broncos passed up opportunities for 54- and 55-yard field-goal attempts indoors. Following the game, Fox said he would have let McManus attempt kicks from as far away as the Rams’ 33-yard line. So after watching McManus warm up, the Broncos had capped his game-day range at 50 yards. 'We never got to that range,'’ Fox said following the game. '… I don’t know that was really the difference.' In the first instance, the Rams were holding a 3-0 lead and the Broncos had fourth down on the Rams’ 37-yard line. Instead of attempting a 54-yard field goal, they opted to go for it and did not convert. The Rams connected on a 63-yard touchdown play on the next snap to take a 10-0 lead. In the second instance, on the Broncos’ first possession of the second half and with the Rams leading 13-7, the Broncos sent the punt team out with the ball on the Rams’ 38-yard line. Linebacker Lerentee McCray committed a false start penalty, which moved the ball back to the St. Louis 43-yard line. Britton Colquitt then punted 28 yards to the Rams’ 15-yard line." - ESPN

November 2, 2014 - Britton Colquitt takes blame for punter return TD 
The snap was perfect but the wind was tricky. Britton Colquitt took the snap for granted and may have been thinking a bit too much about how to play the wind. 'I've got to do a better job with ball security and get a clean ball off, get good hang time and give our guys a better chance,' Colquitt said. The Broncos' punter dropped the snap, then rushed his punt a tad and didn't get his usual air under it. But still he booted it 53 yards. And shouldn't a delay from a dropped snap help the punt coverage? Apparently not. There was something counterintuitive about the 84-yard touchdown punt return by New England's Julian Edelman in the second quarter.... Colquitt knew the breakdown started with him. 'The wind was doing its thing and I'm probably instead of thinking of the basics ... you've got to pay more attention to details and I obviously didn't,' Colquitt said." - Denver Post 

November 2, 2014 - kicker Brandon McManus connects with upright
"The Broncos, who released kicker Matt Prater before the season, have first-year former undrafted free agent Brandon McManus doing their kicking. After Edelman’s score, he had a chance to cut into the Patriots lead with a 41-yard field goal. The ball clanged off the right upright. 'I thought I hit the ball well but unfortunately I left it open a little bit, so I didn’t hit it as well as I wanted,' McManus said. 'The wind may have pushed it over there to the upright'." - MetroWest Daily News

October 22, 2014 - kicker Brandon McManus injury update
"McManus, who was held out of Tuesday’s practice because of a groin injury, practiced Wednesday and will kick in Thursday night’s game. Get the latest NFL injury news NFLWho's out? Who's good to go? Who's questionable? We've got all the latest injury news from around the NFL. Injury Wire McManus’ injury is to his kicking leg and he has appeared on the Broncos’ injury report since Oct. 1. The Broncos had held McManus out of practice one day last week as well." - ESPN

October 3, 2014 - kicker Matt Prater released
"This was the Broncos — a team with Super Bowl-or-bust aspirations and a 38-year-old star quarterback — who essentially fired Matt Prater on Friday, three days before he was to be reinstated from his four-game suspension. 'I'm a little surprised,' Prater said from Florida. 'The Broncos look like they're going to do some great things this year. It's too bad I won't be a part of it'.... McManus didn't arrive in Denver conceding the job to Prater after four games. But he was a bit surprised the Broncos made their decision before his fourth game audition against Arizona. 'Yes, I am. Matt had a great year last year,' McManus said. 'He's done very well for himself. I still consider him a top three kicker in the NFL so it's a chance the Broncos are giving me, it shows the confidence they have in me and I'm excited for that opportunity.' The Broncos chose to release Prater on Friday to protect themselves against the league's termination rules. Waiting to release Prater after the Broncos' game Sunday could have subjected the team to paying the rest of his $2.117 million salary this season. The tiebreaker between Prater and McManus may have been an issue of trust. Prater was suspended after he tested positive for alcohol during the offseason. One more similar infraction would have meant a one-year suspension.... Broncos coach John Fox said keeping McManus instead of Prater 'was a football decision.' He also admitted the team took a 'leap of faith' by keeping McManus. 'He's good,' punter Britton Colquitt said of McManus. 'We've seen him in practice. I guess it got to the point where they've seen enough in the game and they've seen a lot in practice. He's real consistent and has a really strong leg'." - Denver Post 

September 8, 2014 - long snapper Kevin McDermott released
"The Broncos released long snapper Kevin McDermott from their practice squad. He was the San Francisco 49ers' long snapper last year and was brought in last week to compete with Aaron Brewer. Brewer apparently won the right to keep his job. " - Daily Camera 

September 2, 2014 - long snapper Kevin McDermott signed to practice squad 
"McDermott is considered one of the best pure snappers in the league. He snapped every game for the San Francisco 49ers last season and was a surprise cut last week, beaten out by Kyle Nelson, who doubles as a fourth tight end. The new practice squad rules made McDermott eligible despite playing in 19 games, counting playoffs last season. McDermott worked out Monday with the New England Patriots, then Tuesday morning with the Broncos. McDermott likely will compete this week with Aaron Brewer, who has been the Broncos' longsnapper the past two years." - Denver Post 

August 30, 2014 - kicker Brandon McManus remains
After a whirlwind arrival to the Denver Broncos, which saw Brandon McManus kicking field goals for the team just two days after being acquired by the team, the Broncos have decided to keep McManus around for a bit. The Broncos worked out another kicker Saturday -- former Washington State kicker Andrew Furney -- but when the initial cut to 53 players was made, McManus was still the kicker tabbed to fill in for Matt Prater." - ESPN

August 28, 2014 - kicker Brandon McManus debuts
"Rookie place-kicker Brandon McManus remains a possibility to replace the suspended Matt Prater, but cracked the door open for the Broncos to bring in competition this week. McManus missed 52- and 54-yard field goals, which Prater has made a career of converting. McManus nailed a 20-yarder and 39-yarder. His six kickoffs were touchbacks, bringing his total to 16-of-17 this preseason." - Longmont Times Call

August 26, 2014 - Mitch Ewald waived, more on Brandon McManus
"The rookie from Indiana saw Tuesday that he wasn't in the Broncos' plans. They released him after acquiring first-year kicker Brandon McManus from the New York Giants for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2015. Ewald was unimpressive at Broncos camp, never quite finding a rhythm at altitude despite working alongside Prater, whom he studied while in college.... Josh Brown had high praise for McManus, who scored a school-record 338 points at Temple and was in the Colts training camp last season. 'He's one of those guys that's going to be a lifer,' Brown said. 'He's going to be a 10-year guy, easily. He's got that kind of talent and he's got that kind of head on his shoulders.' For now, the Broncos plan to use McManus only until Prater returns in early October. Because the Broncos have their bye in Week 4, Prater won't be allowed to practice with the team until Oct. 6 in advance of their game against the Jets. The Broncos decided to go with a youngster rather than an experienced kicker such as Jay Feely, who was released by the Cardinals this week. A vested veteran would put the Broncos on the hook for his entire 2014 salary even if he's only around for the first four games." -  Indy Star 

August 26, 2014 - kicker Brandon McManus acquired in trade with Giants
"With Matt Prater's four-game regular-season suspension looming, Denver acquired New York Giants' kicker Brandon McManus for a conditional seventh-round draft pick, according to an NFL source. Denver moved quickly before McManus was placed on waivers, working a deal as multiple teams were expected to place a claim on the former Temple product, including the Eagles. The Giants' Josh Brown beat out McManus, despite McManus' strong preseason. McManus, 23, made both field goal attempts (46 and 47 yards) and 10 of his 11 kickoffs were touchbacks. The Broncos are expected to give Indiana rookie Mitch Ewald a look Thursday in the final preseason game. He missed his only field-goal attempt last week. Ewald admitted Monday that 'at the end of the day, there's an opening there. Is it for me? Who knows? It might be. And it might be for someone else. I have to just keep working hard.' The conditional pick means the Broncos might not surrender anything if McManus doesn't make the final 53-man roster which is set on Saturday. McManus fits the profile for what the Broncos were seeking, a young kicker with a big leg capable of handling kickoffs." - Denver Post 

August 23, 2014 - kicker Matt Prater suspended first four games
"Prater will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season for a violation of the NFL's substance-abuse program, multiple team sources confirmed following the team's 18-17 preseason loss to the Houston Texans. Prater, who has been in the league's program since an August 2011 DUI arrest, acknowledged the suspension to the Broncos and confirmed the four games to The Denver Post on Saturday night before he left Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The suspension is alcohol-related, according to the newspaper.... rater played in Saturday night's game, making a 32-yard field goal and missing a 49-yard attempt.... The Broncos will give the waiver wire a close look in the coming days and do have a rookie in training camp, Mitch Ewald. Ewald missed his only attempt Saturday night -- a 36-yarder that he pushed left. Prater's suspension is for four games, so, because of the Broncos' bye in Week 4, he wouldn't be eligible to return until the Monday before the Broncos face the New York Jets on Oct. 12 at MetLife Field." - ESPN

July 23, 2014 - kicker Mitch Ewald signed
"Ewald played 48 games for Indiana University and is the program’s all-time leader in field goals (53), field goal percentage (80.3%) and extra points (161). During his four seasons with the Hoosiers, he hit 53-of-66 field goals (80.3%) and 161-of-162 (99.4%) extra points. He ranks second in school history with 320 points scored." - Broncos

June 13, 2014 - kicker Matt Prater healthy again
"At long last, the best place-kicker in football is feeling like himself again. Matt Prater, who set NFL records last year with a 64-yard field goal and 81 touchbacks, caught a debilitating virus in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Then he started the offseason with a stitched lip from a golfing accident (he caught a backswing while delivering instruction) and a personal medical issue that caused him to miss some of the Broncos' organized team activity (OTA) sessions. 'I feel great now,' Prater said. 'I'm happy to be out here and kicking and getting to know all the new faces. Team looks good. I'm not getting younger. I'm actually one of the oldest guys on the team now. Which is crazy'." - Denver Post 

June 4, 2014 - kicker Matt Prater returns to practice
"Whatever it was, it apparently wasn’t that serious. Broncos kicker Matt Prater was back with the team Tuesday and Wednesday and participated in the closed offseason team activity (OTA) practices. Prater had missed the first four OTA sessions because of a personal medical issue." - Denver Post

May 19, 2014 - punter Steven Clark released
"On Monday, the team announced six transactions to reach the offseason roster limit.... In addition, defensive end John Youboty (Achilles) was designated as waived/injured, while defensive tackle Mister Cobble and punter Steven Clark were waived." - Broncos

May 10, 2014 - punter Steven Clark signed
"Steven Clark was not drafted, but the former Auburn punter will still get a shot in the NFL. Despite being ranked as one of the top punters in the draft class, Clark had to wait and sign a deal in free agency with the Denver Broncos, he confirmed to Early reports had Clark agreeing to a deal with the Miami Dolphins, but Clark confirmed to at the time he was still weighing his options. He agreed to a deal with the Broncos an hour later." -
See Clark's profile here.  

May 10, 2014 - long snapper Tanner Hedstrom to tryout
"Tanner Hedstrom, CSU's long-snapper, also will get a shot with the Broncos during a rookie minicamp that begins Thursday, he said....  Hedstrom doesn't yet have a contract with the Broncos but hopes to earn one with his performance in the minicamp. The 6-1, 230-pound Fort Collins native has been the Rams' long-snapper for the past 3½ seasons and had the opportunity to showcase his skills in an all-star game after the season, the Medal of Honor Bowl in Charleston, South Carolina. Hedstrom said Broncos' long-snapper Aaron Brewer is one of the best in the business, and he hopes he gets the chance to compete with him during training camp. ' feel like I'm at least ready to compete with somebody at an elite level,' Hedstrom said. 'I'm feeling pretty confident right now, and hopefully I can prove that I can be the guy'." - Coloradoan

May 6, 2014 - Gene Mingo added to Ring of Fame
"Until Tuesday, just one player known mostly for his special-teams work was in the Ring of Fame: kicker Jim Turner. Rick Upchurch and Gene Mingo change that. Students of the history of the Broncos and pro football should always have a place of affection for Mingo. He scored the winning touchdown in the first game in AFL history, racing 76 yards with a punt return in the third quarter of a 13-10 win over the Boston Patriots. But Mingo was also the placekicker, the role for which he would be best known, and before he caught his breath, he had to line up for the kick. As he would later recall, 'I kicked this big divot; my leg was so dead'. But in the years that followed, Mingo had no such worries. Pro football's first African-American kicker became one of its best, leading the AFL in field-goal percentage in 1960 and 1964 and in total points in 1960 and 1962. His 137-point season in 1962 was a Broncos record until Terrell Davis amassed 138 points on 23 touchdowns in 1998 -- but took two more games than Mingo had to do it. Mingo's return at Boston was the first of 12 touchdowns he would score for the Broncos in four-plus seasons; he added eight rushing and three receiving. 'You know, what people said – for what I did with the Broncos, being the first black field goal kicker, scoring the winning touchdown against New England, leading the league in scoring, still hold the longest touchdown run from scrimmage -- they were questioning why wasn’t I one of the original ones going into the Ring of Fame. And, I couldn’t tell them,' he said." - Broncos

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