The Broncos biggest nemesis last year was not the dreaded Oakland Raiders or even the Indianapolis Colts. The biggest nemesis the Broncos had last year turned out to be their own special teams unit.
Let's face it, last years punters were not too familiar inside the 20 yard line. Enter Todd Sauerbrun, who was traded to Denver from Carolina in the off season, quite possibly the single most important acquisition the Broncos had this off season.
Many people consider Sauerbrun a liability because of his troubles off the field, but I trust the fact he's vowed to keep his nose clean, and more importantly. this guy can kick. I haven't seen a punter kick as many balls inside the ten yard line as Sauerbrun did today in years.
Yes, that's inside the ten yard line, versus the rarely seen 20 yard line of years past. Last season Sauerbrun placed 25 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Whether you like him or not, Sauerbrun has a great history punting the ball well. He is considered one of the best to ever play the game.
Before he came to the Broncos, Sauerbrun went to the Pro Bowl three times from 2001-2003 as a member of the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs. He also has the second highest gross punting average in his career among active punters with a 44.0 yard average, just behind Shane Lechler, and is the only player to lead both conferences in gross punting average from 2001-2003.
What's so special about Sauerbrun is that he doesn't need the thin air of Denver to be great. He is without a doubt the most consistent punter the Broncos have brought to camp in recent memory, and while there may be a few questions about his athleticism, the bottom line is he can punt.
Having a punter of his caliber will help the Broncos win, especially the close ones, with his ability to pin offenses inside their own ten yard line.
Imagine an already powerful defense, not having to work with a short field because Sauerbrun booted one inside the ten. His hang time gives the special teams unit a huge advantage, allowing guys the opportunity to get down the field and make tackles.
With his leg, and the thin air of Denver, Sauerbrun may be able to reach for the stars. Or at least that's how far his punts may go.
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Sauerbrun a Sweet Spot for Special Teams
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