Tempe, AZ—At the annual Owners Meetings in Tempe, AZ, new Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak was as candid and revealing as a NFL top man can be. He talked a lot about Peyton Manning and how he will fit with Kubiak’s offense.
He talked a lot about the offensive line, the priority of getting Bradley Roby on the field, his relationship with John Elway and more. One of the most intriguing nuggets he dropped was regarding second-year wide receiver Cody Latimer.
The Broncos traded up to select Latimer in the second round last season out of Indiana. At 6-foot-2, 216 pounds, Latimer has the size to be a weapon outside the numbers. And although he wasn’t able to impact the first team as a rookie, due to the logjam of talent at receiver, he did make an impression and proved that he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty in the running game.
Kubiak was asked about Latimer in Tempe and his words for the former Hoosier were glowing and replete with high expectations.
“He came by the office the other day,” Kubiak said. “I thought a lot about him coming out [of college]. I spent a lot of time with him in Baltimore. We were very interested in him going into the draft, so I knew him very well. It’s funny. I told him in Baltimore, ‘Hey, we might not end up with you, but our paths may cross some day.’ He walked into my office and said, ‘Hell, I didn’t know it would be this quick.’ He’s a fine player. He showed a lot of flashes from me watching him in practice. A lot of times being a rookie can be overwhelming. I think as the year went on he just showed that he’s got a lot of skill. I think it’s time for him to make a big jump, not just a little jump. I think it’s time for him to make a big jump and how we end up being built at receiver—I know that [WR] Wes [Welker] is still [a] free [agent] and there are some things that still need to pan out—but obviously his play time is fixing to pick up and it needs to pick up. We need him to make a big jump.”
The serendipity of the NFL. Latimer and Kubiak’s paths have converged in the Mile High City. With Wes Welker still in the wind (and likely to stay there), opportunity is going to come Latimer’s way. He faces the stiff test of attempting to crack the field, while stuck behind two Pro Bowlers on the depth chart, but that’s what training camp is for.
At the very least, we can expect to see the Broncos feature Latimer on a regular basis in 2015, whether it’s in base offense, or when the team rolls out 3-wide. Latimer is a physical freak. He has excellent hands and is a weapon after the catch.
One thing is for sure. The expectations are high for Latimer and the Broncos are going to give him every opportunity to succeed in 2015.
Check out the GIF below from our friends at Mile High Report, showing the vicious block Latimer laid on Niners safety Antoine Bethea. Latimer is lined up at the top of the screen. A slobberknocker, as the kids say.
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