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

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

Roddy WhiteJul 24 08:33a

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White signed a four-year extension with the team that will keep him under team control for the next five years, according to sources.

Donald ThomasJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (hip) and OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps, biceps) have been cleared to practice.

Josh GordonJul 24 08:23a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will have his appeal hearing for his one-year suspension Aug. 1.

Greg OlsenJul 24 01:43a

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen said he is tired of hearing criticism about Carolina's new receiving corps, which is largely made up of journeymen and unproven commodities. Olsen added [ More ]

Aldon SmithJul 24 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is expected to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the near future, which likely would lead to a decision on any discipline for Smith.

Anthony BarrJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was with the team for just a few days during offseason workouts due to NFL rules. Head coach Mike Zimmer is eager to see [ More ]

Sharrif FloydJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd had a good offseason, but head coach Mike Zimmer thinks the defensive tackle is trying to be too fine. 'Sharrif has a lot of [ More ]

C. PattersonJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will remain on kickoff returns despite an expanded role in the offense this season. 'We want our best players to get their hands on [ More ]

Montell OwensJul 23 11:23p

Detroit Lions FB Montell Owens has company, as the team will employ a more traditional fullback in the offense. They signed FB Jed Collins for the role. Owens is [ More ]

Harrison SmithJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will be battling during training camp and the preseason for the starting job opposite FS Harrison Smith. 'That will be interesting, [ More ]

Matt CasselJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel saw a majority of the snaps during spring workouts, but QB Christian Ponder has a chance to start, and head coach [ More ]

Chad GreenwayJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway could be used as the starting middle linebacker, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. 'It's a possibility. We keep working him in there. We're [ More ]

Troy NiklasJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (hand) has been cleared to participate in training camp, and was working Wednesday, July 23.

Dan WilliamsJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams will open training camp as the team's starting nose tackle with NT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list.

Johnny ManzielJul 23 10:23p

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine thinks QB Johnny Manziel needs to increase dedication to earn the starting job. 'I think he knows that in order to compete well, [ More ]

Theo RiddickJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick has the chance to break into the rotation at tailback, and he has drawn considerable praise from his teammates and coaches for his development [ More ]

Joique BellJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (nee) missed most of the offseason due to a knee injury, although he has said his condition is minor and he expects to be [ More ]

Jed CollinsJul 23 10:23p

The Detroit Lions are re-incorporating the traditional fullback into their new offensive scheme this season, and that's why they went out and signed FB Jed Collins.

Cheta OzougwuJul 23 07:23p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) cleared waivers and was transferred to the Saints' Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, July 23.

Billy WinnJul 23 06:53p

The Cleveland Browns placed OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed), DE Billy Winn (undisclosed) and LB Tank Carder (undisclosed) on the non-football injury list Wednesday, July 23.

Kyle OrtonJul 23 06:33p

Free-agent QB Kyle Orton (Cowboys) does not want to retire and wants to play in 2014, according to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Conner VernonJul 23 06:23p

The Cleveland Browns placed CB Royce Adams, LB Brandon Magee and WR Conner Vernon on the no-recall waivers list Wednesday, July 23.

Terrance WestJul 23 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed) said on his Twitter page that he passed his conditioning test and people need to 'stop making up your [ More ]

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