2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos' Holliday hoping for a bigger role in 2013

By ARNIE STAPLETON - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-05-15 02:30

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Trindon Holliday quickly put his historic playoff performance behind him just as he did all those gasping defenders scattered in his wake.

The former college track star dashed across TV screens in January, Denver's diminutive returner racing right into history when he piled up an NFL-record 248 yards in returns against the Baltimore Ravens. He became the first NFL player ever to take back both a punt and a kickoff for TDs in a playoff game. Moreover, those touchdowns were the longest punt (90 yards) and kickoff (104 yards) returns for scores ever in the postseason.

Holliday's breakout, however, was relegated to a footnote by Rahim Moore's big blunder on Jacoby Jones' long TD catch in the waning seconds of regulation that led to Denver's stunning double-overtime loss to the Ravens.

If not for that, it might have been Holliday and not Jones putting his fingerprints on the Lombardi Trophy in New Orleans, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel's late show and prancing across the floor this offseason with Karina Smirnoff on ``Dancing With The Stars.''

``I mean, I don't really look at it like that. It happened for that guy,'' Holliday said Tuesday in his first comments since that historic and heartbreaking night in Denver four months ago. ``They did what they had to do to win it and he got a chance to be a part of that. It's not nothing major to me. I just have to work at it this year to try to do the same thing they did.''

Holliday was a perfect 16-0 in the regular season last year. He started his season with the Houston Texans, but after their 5-0 start, they jettisoned the returner and the Broncos grabbed him off waivers, then won their next 11 games with Holliday leading the league with a 32.5-yard kick return average and a 10.8-yard punt return average from Week 6 on.

The 5-foot-5 sprinter was an eight-time All-American in track and field at LSU, winning the 2009 NCAA title by running the 100-meter dash in 10 seconds flat. But he really made himself a household name on Jan. 12 - until the Broncos blew their late lead and were sent packing by the eventual Super Bowl champs.

``It's been really tough being that we came out and gave it all we had in that game,'' Holliday said. ``I look back on it sometimes. But it's nothing that I can dwell on. We lost it as a team, so we've just got to come back, get ready this year and try to make it better.''

Holliday, who also returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in consecutive games during the regular season, figures he can be even better in 2013 with a full offseason in Denver's system. He's also hoping to play more than a cameo role on offense after being used sparingly last season, when he caught a pair of passes from Peyton Manning.

``Yeah, I would like to be used more on offense, but it's the coaches' call. Whatever coaches need, whatever my team needs, I'll be ready to go,'' Holliday said.

Even on an offense loaded with the likes of Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Jacob Tamme and newcomers Wes Welker and Montee Ball, the Broncos would love to get the ball into Holliday's hands as much as possible.

``I'm glad I'm not kicking to him anymore and he's on our team now,'' teammate Matt Prater said. ``He's a fun guy to watch because any time he touches the ball, it's exciting. He can score on any play.''

He can also put it on the ground at any time, part of what led to the Texans giving up on him.

Holliday said he's working hard on ball security - he fumbled five times last season, often making fans, teammates and coaches cringe as much as celebrate whenever he touched the ball and turned on those jets.

``Oh yes, that's the main priority. You can't go anywhere without the ball,'' Holliday said. ``So, starting Monday in OTAs, we're going to work on more ball security than anything.''

With Holliday, Prater and punter Britton Colquitt, who is the franchise leader in career gross (46.1) and net (39.5) punting averages, the Broncos sport one of the most dynamic special teams in the league.

After slumping down the stretch last season, Prater said he expects greater consistency this season because this is the first offseason he's spent in Denver after missing 2011 (lockout) and 2012 (holdout).

This is Prater's first offseason working with Broncos strength coach Luke Richesson, whom Prater said ``is doing a great job with all the core stuff, which for kickers and punters is huge. A lot of it is core and legs, feet and everything else. So, hopefully that'll get me stronger and I'll have a bigger leg next year going into the season.''

Colquitt ranked third in the NFL last season in net punting with a 42.1-yard average, second with a 6-yard return average and second with 45 punts inside the 20 with only seven touchbacks.

He signed a free agent tender this spring that will pay him $1,323,000 next season, although the Broncos have told Colquitt they hope to discuss a long-term contract before the season.

It won't be anything like what his older brother, Dustin, got with the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason: five years and $18.75 million, making him the highest-paid punter in the NFL.

``I pinch myself every day driving to work that I'm blessed to do this job. The fact that you get paid to do this is even better,'' Britton Colquitt said. ``So I think that's just icing on the cake. Dustin played eight years in tough situations with tough records. ... So he's earned it.''

Notes: The Broncos are showing interest in former Packers DB Charles Woodson. Broncos front-office boss John Elway told 5,000 season ticket-holders in a call last week that he felt good about the safety position but didn't close the door on adding another veteran. ``We're always looking and we're not totally done with anything,'' Elway said. ... Longtime NFL offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, 72, has returned to Denver to serve as offensive line consultant, primarily working on technique with the Broncos' young linemen.

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Zach MettenbergerOct 21 04:18p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (thumb) will start at quarterback when he's healthy, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. QB Charlie Whitehurst has filled in for Locker twice this [ More ]

Bene BenwikereOct 21 04:13p

Carolina Panthers CB Bene Benwikere (ankle) will return as the starting nickel cornerback when he's back from his injury, according to head coach Ron Rivera. If Benwikere can't play [ More ]

Martavis BryantOct 21 04:06p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant cut into WR Markus Wheaton's workload in Week 7 against the Houston Texans, and QB Ben Roethlisberger took three 'shot' plays down the field [ More ]

Andre EllingtonOct 21 04:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington had 88 yards rushing and 72 yards receiving in Week 7, and only four players in franchise history since 1960 to have more yards [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 21 03:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) did not practice Tuesday, Oct. 21, and is not expected to play Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos.

Donald BrownOct 21 03:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) did not practice Tuesday, Oct. 21, and is not expected to play Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos.

Michael SamOct 21 03:33p

The Dallas Cowboys cut DE Michael Sam from the team's practice squad Tuesday, Oct. 21.

Charles GodfreyOct 21 03:13p

The Carolina Panthers released CB Charles Godfrey Tuesday, Oct 21.

LaRon ByrdOct 21 02:33p

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent WR LaRon Byrd (Cowboys) and re-signed DT Deandre Coleman Tuesday, Oct. 21.

R. Griffin IIIOct 21 02:13p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will not be ruled out for Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys, but he has a long way to go in order [ More ]

Brian HoyerOct 21 02:13p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could see some action in Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders, according to head coach Mike Pettine. However, Pettine said Monday, Oct. 20, that [ More ]

C.J. SpillerOct 21 02:13p

The Buffalo Bills placed RB C.J. Spiller (collarbone) on short-term Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Oct. 21.

Ray RiceOct 21 01:33p

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) will have the appeal of his indefinite suspension from the NFL heard Nov. 5-6, according to media reports. A decision on whether commissioner Roger [ More ]

Jason KelceOct 21 01:23p

Philadelphia Eagles C David Molk will remain the center for now, with C Jason Kelce (hernia) nearing a return from his injury.

Shamarko ThomasOct 21 01:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Ryan Shazier (knee) and SS Shamarko Thomas (hamstring) 'have a pretty good chance' of returning in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

Darren SprolesOct 21 01:23p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles (knee) returned to practice Tuesday, Oct. 21.

Phillip TannerOct 21 01:13p

The Buffalo Bills are signing free-agent RB Phillip Tanner (Cowboys) Tuesday, Oct. 21.

Calvin JohnsonOct 21 01:13p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) said he is back to running Tuesday, Oct. 21. Johnson sat out in Week 7 against the New Orleans Saints and appears to [ More ]

Terrelle PryorOct 21 01:13p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor (Seahawks) is working out for the New York Giants Tuesday, Oct. 21, according to a person familiar with the workouts. It appears as though Pryor [ More ]

Reggie WayneOct 21 12:53p

Updating previous reports, Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne's (elbow) injury isn't believed to be serious, but it could cause him to miss a game or two, according to a [ More ]

Phil TaylorOct 21 12:23p

Cleveland Browns DE Phil Taylor (knee) is expected to miss his third straight game in Week 8 after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Oct. 8.

A.J. GreenOct 21 12:12p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) said his return from a toe injury is 'still up in the air' heading into Week 8 against the Baltimore Ravens. However, Green [ More ]

Le'Veon BellOct 21 12:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell became the first running back in team history to start the year with seven straight games of 100 yards of total offense. Bell ran [ More ]

Antonio AndrewsOct 21 11:03a

Tennessee Titans RB Antonio Andrews was promoted to the 53-man roster Tuesday, Oct. 21.

Dwayne AllenOct 21 10:33a

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (hip) said he is still working his way back to pre-injury form, but he looks a lot better than he did in training camp, [ More ]

Reggie WayneOct 21 10:33a

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) could miss time with his elbow injury. Beat writer Stephen Holder tweeted that he isn't receiving good vibes from the situation, but it [ More ]

Terrance WestOct 21 09:43a

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West was benched Sunday, Oct. 19, after failing to pick up a first down in two short-yardage situations. He had room to run on both [ More ]

Ben TateOct 21 09:43a

Cleveland Browns RBs Ben Tate, Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West were held to 69 yards on 33 carries in Week 7, and head coach Mike Pettine suggested a change [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 21 08:53a

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks due to a shoulder injury, according to sources.

Trindon HollidayOct 21 08:23a

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free-agent WR Trindon Holliday (Giants) to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, Oct. 21.

Tharold SimonOct 20 11:04p

Seattle Seahawks CB Tharold Simon (ankle) and CB Byron Maxwell (calf) may be able to play in Week 7, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

A.J. GreenOct 20 10:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) said he will play Sunday, Oct. 26, against the Baltimore Ravens, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group