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Broncos positional outlook: Special teams

McManus and Martin bring experienced legs. The hope is McManus is busier than Martin.
Credit: AP
Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus warms up before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER — A reflection of the Broncos’ 7-9 season last year was punter Colby Wadman was tied for sixth in punts while kicker Brandon McManus was tied for 24th  in extra points.

Among the Broncos’ goals in 2020 are fewer punts from new punter Sam Martin and more extra point attempts by McManus.

A look at the Broncos’ special teams:  

Credit: KUSA
Tom McMahon speaks at a press conference at UCHealth Training Center on Thursday, January 24, 2019.

Coach: Tom McMahon, Chris Gould

McMahon is entering his 13th season as the Broncos’ special teams coordinator, third with the Broncos.

Gould, the younger brother of longtime NFL kicker Robbie Gould, is in his sixth season as a Broncos’ assistant.

Credit: AP Photo/Jack Dempsey
Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus (8) celebrates after kicking the game winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Denver.

Kicker: Brandon McManus

Ranked 12th in the league in field-goal percentage (29 of 34, 85.3%) and 13th in 33-yard, extra point percentage (25 of 26, 96.2%).

One of the strongest kickoff legs in the league.

Credit: AP
Detroit Lions punter Sam Martin kicks the ball against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Punter: Sam Martin

After 7 years of punting for the Lions, Martin became a free agent and signed a three-year, $7.05 million contract with the Broncos.

He was 17th in the NFL with a 45.3-yard gross average last season and 11th with a 41.8-yard net. Wadman ranked 25th in gross punting, 27th in net.

Credit: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
Vanderbilt kick returner Trey Ellis (36) is stopped by Nevada long snapper Wes Farnsworth (42) as Ellis returns a punt in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.

Long snapper: Justin Bobenmoyer or Wes Farnsworth

The Broncos released Casey Kreiter, their long snapper from the previous four years. Farnsworth and Bobenmoyer were both part of the Broncos’ mid-December tryout last year. Bobenmoyer snapped for Northern Colorado; Farnsworth for Nevada.

Credit: AP
Denver Broncos wide receiver Diontae Spencer runs during an NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Returner: Diontae Spencer, KJ Hamler

Spencer was a fine returner for the Broncos last season, one of the team’s most consistent in years. He doesn’t have explosive speed but he makes good decisions, catches the ball well and has good quickness. He was third in the league in kickoff returns with a 29.1-yard average and tied for eighth in punt returns with an 8.0-yard average.

Hamler is faster and he returned both kickoffs and punts at Penn State, although the Broncos’ first hope is he’s too busy as a receiver to handle full-time return duties.

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