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

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

Ray McDonaldMar 24 02:02p

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (49ers) is signing an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24.

Stephen BowenMar 24 01:32p

Free-agent DE Stephen Bowen (Redskins) is signing an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, March 24.

Geno SmithMar 24 01:22p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback ahead of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp this summer, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. 'You [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerMar 24 01:12p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is a realistic option for the Tennessee Titans with the second overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt is impressed [ More ]

Jarvis JenkinsMar 24 10:42a

Free-agent DE Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) agreed with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24, on a one-year deal.

Johnny ManzielMar 24 08:52a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is expected back with the team for offseason workouts April 20 after completing more than two months of treatment.

Adrian PetersonMar 23 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said Monday, March 23, that he doesn't think 'it's in Adrian's best interest to play in Minnesota' in 2015 and beyond. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to be part of the Vikings next season, according to general manager Rick Spielman. 'Adrian's a member of our football team,' Spielman [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 23 01:22p

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees will not be traded, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. Recent speculation said that Brees may be on the trade block after his [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 12:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's preference is to play elsewhere than with the Vikings in 2015, according to a league source. He is under contract through the 2017 season [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 22 08:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's future remains unclear, but head coach Mike Zimmer recently said that the Vikings are 'excited' to have him back. Zimmer had previously said that [ More ]

James HarrisonMar 22 12:42p

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Branden OliverMar 21 03:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Branden Oliver is penciled in as the starting running back at this point.

EJ ManuelMar 21 12:52a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is not locked in as the starting quarterback. Head coach Rex Ryan said Friday, March 20, that the quarterback competition will be open. 'It's [ More ]

Kevin VickersonMar 20 05:52p

Free-agent DT Kevin Vickerson (Chiefs) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 20.

Matt MooreMar 20 04:32p

Free-agent QB Matt Moore (Dolphins) re-signed with the Miami Dolphins Friday, March 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonMar 20 02:42p

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is clearly wanted back by the organization, and general manager Rick Spielman once again stressed that they will make every [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group