ENGLEWOOD (Colo.) — Year after year, it's the same.Many have wandered through the wilderness of special forces in search for a successful returninger, with very little to show for it.
Their hopes of flipping the field in the third game are now a serious problem. Rick Gosselin, a long-time NFL journalist and columnist compilesThe league's 22 most important categories are listed in this article. He ranked them last in kickoff returns last year and 27th overall.
George Paton, Broncos general manger, said that special teams are an area where we need to improve. “We are aware of that.”
Enter the Broncos' smallest player: the 5-foot-8 7/8 inch, 181-pounderA rookie who is poised to make a significant impact. Washington, a rookie from Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama, averaged 11.1 yards per kick return with one touchdown in 2021. In 2019, Washington averaged 21.9 yards per kick return with a touchdown.
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Since 2013, the Broncos haven’t returned a punt for touchdowns and a kickoff in the same season. In fact, Trindon, a 5-foot-5 Broncos player, had an 81 yard punt return touchdown, along with a 105 yards kickoff return for touchdown. Even though he had his fair share of ball security issues in his time with the Broncos, Holliday was the last Broncos returner to make opposing teams worry.
Paton selected Washington in the Broncos' fifth round draft. Washington was not one of the 300+ invited players to the scouting meet, but the Broncos were excited about the potential.
Paton stated that he feels like he could be a duel-returner for us. “He's explosive. He is. It was a key point. I applaud [Broncos special teams coordinator]Dwayne Stucks for the work that he and [assistant special teams coach]Mike Mallory did their evaluations.”
Stukes claimed that Washington was first mentioned to him by Zach Azzanni (Broncos wide receivers coaches) in the weeks leading up to the draft. Washington's performance against Florida on Nov. 13, was what drew attention to Stukes.
Washington was the best player against Samford, an FCS school, and he caught 10 passes for 124 yards. He also completed a pass for 16 yards. Washington also returned a kickoff for 98 yards, which resulted in a touchdown.
“Coach Z stated, “I have a receiver I like, and he's small slot receiver. Would you mind observing him as a returner? Stukes said. “I put on the tape, evidently. I am sorry that there are so many Florida graduates. It is always a good thing to have a Samford kid who has production rather than a big program. … And I said, ‘This kid has talent.'”
Washington is the returner with the greatest expectations.The 2017 draft. After seven fumbles, McKenzie was only able to play 12 games for the Broncos.
Washington was a key part of Paton’s special-teams theme as the draft advanced through Days 2/3. Safety was also a fifth-round selection.Cornerback, too Special teams duties were at the top of their rookie list when seventh-round selection was selected.
Washington only wants to be part in a solution using his natural return skills.
Washington stated, “I don’t know what it is, I can’t really describe it. I would say that it’s just like backyard soccer.” As children, you throw the ball in the air and catch it. All your friends want to catch you. It's kinda like punt return for me when it's back there. It's like a game, and I'm back in my backyard. All I have to do is score.