Leaving no stone – or dirt particle – unturned, Broncos kicker Brandon McManus called upon the Rockies and Coors Field in preparing for the game Monday night against the Oakland Raiders.
McManus, long-snapper Casey Kreiter and holder Colby Wadman paid a visit Monday to Coors Field where McManus practiced kickoffs, 33-yard extra points and field goals of 30 yards or longer from various parts of the Rockies’ infield.
A Rockies source tipped 9News about the unusual workout and while McManus confirmed it, he said he wouldn’t comment until after the game tonight in what will be the Broncos last trip to Oakland’s Black Hole.
The Oakland Alameda County Coliseum – recently renamed RingCentral Coliseum – is shared by the Oakland A’s and the Raiders. Virtually the entire infield dirt surface within the A’s ball diamond is part of the Raiders’ 100-yard football playing field.
McManus has never kicked off dirt during his six-year NFL career. The A’s were always finished playing for the season, and their infield sodded over, whenever the Broncos played in Oakland in recent years.
This time, the A’s have seven more regular-season home games remaining and it could be more if they can maintain their American League wild-card spot and then win a one-game wild-card playoff.
And so for the Broncos-Raiders game tonight, the infield dirt will come into play pretty much between the 20s and its unavoidable between the 30s.
Rockies esteemed public relations Warren Miller accommodated McManus’ kicking request after receiving a phone call from his Broncos colleague Patrick Smyth. While the rest of the Broncos’ team was practicing Monday at UCHealth Training Center, McManus and his two accomplices snuck off to Coors Field.
Using photos of the Raiders’ infield-dirt playing surface, McManus set up from various points of the Rockies’ infield. He kicked from the middle of the dirt and from dirt-grass seams where Kreiter snapped from the grass and Wadman placed the ball down in the dirt. And vice versa.
The way the Raiders’ field is positioned, McManus’ simulated kicks at Coors Field were directed toward the right field and left field foul area stands.
One of the league’s strongest-legged kickers, McManus has been with the Broncos since the 2014 season. His era was highlighted by his perfect postseason of 2015, when he was a perfect 13 of 13 on his field goals and extra points, including three field goals and an extra point in the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory.
Last season, McManus was 53 of 53 on kicks from inside the 50 (18 of 18 field goals, 35 of 35 extra points). It’s now clear part of his success can be explained by the attention to detail he pays to his preparation.
> Watch the Broncos vs. Raiders at 8:20 p.m. Monday on KTVD Channel 20 (5 or 657 on Xfinity).
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