With the self-imposed silence of Denver Broncos punter Todd Sauerbrun in effect, it was left up to head coach Mike Shanahan to speak for the oft-troubled Pro Bowl punter, and with typical Shanahan sarcasm, the coach did just that, answering a barrage of questions on how the new Bronco is adjusting to playing in the Mile High City.
"My leg is fine," Shanahan joked. "I've been working extremely hard the last few weeks here in Denver. I feel very good about myself, that I can just focus on my job and show what I can do on the football field, without getting myself in trouble."
As funny as Shanahan's quotes were, it's even funnier that a punter, of all people, would declare a moratorium on speaking to the press. As a general rule punters are the guys you have to step around in a crowded locker room on your way to interview somebody real important.
I can't even remember the last time I even wanted to interview a punter - and considering the baggage he brings to the Broncos, his silence makes perfect sense.
Maybe the guy is afraid someone may question the $40,000 in fines he racked up with the Panthers for being overweight. Or maybe he's afraid of answering any more questions on how he and former teammates Jeff Mitchell and Todd Steussie had illegal steroid prescriptions filled by a doctor in South Carolina.
Maybe it's the fear of explaining how he blew nearly twice the legal limit when he got popped with a DUI, speeding and driving with a revoked license last December near downtown Charlotte.
Whatever his reason, personally I could care less. What I do care about, what Mike Shanahan, Pat Bowlen and the entire Denver Broncos Organization care about is his ability to elevate a pathetic special teams unit that ranked 22nd in the league in punt return average last season.
In reality, Sauerbrun could end up being the single biggest weapon brought into Dove Valley this off season. Toss in the thin air of Mile High, a 44.0-yard gross average per punt and you just might have what it takes to avoid a fourth consecutive one-and-out playoff bust.
So if Sauerbrun wants to keep his mouth shut – more power to him, in fact I think it's a great idea. The last thing the Broncos need right now is for the three-time Pro Bowler to injure himself attempting to pull his foot out.
Schon can be reached at Schon@prostarmediagroup.net
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Schon: The Silence of Sauerbrun
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