|08-11-2005, 07:52 AM||#1|
Never say Always
Join Date: Jan 2003
Special Teams - Punter/KO
Looks like we may have lost some threads in the move. Wanted to post this article on Sauerbrun, but couldn't find the thread we were talking about him and Ernster.
HOUSTON - Todd Sauerbrun looked straight ahead and walked briskly off the practice field, declining an interview.
"I'm just happy to be here, man," he said. "I don't talk to media."
That's been his policy since joining the Denver Broncos in May via trade from the Carolina Panthers. None of the print or broadcast reporters who cover the Broncos are known to have interviewed him -- a drastic change for a player who once said it was "cleansing" to air his thoughts publicly.
"That's his decision. I don't ask anybody not to talk," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said after Wednesday's practice with the Houston Texans. "What he wants to do is let his play do the talking."
Sauerbrun has a new beginning with the Broncos after four turbulent seasons with the Panthers. Though he was selected to a Pro Bowl twice with Carolina, he pled guilty to driving while impaired, was linked to a still-ongoing steroids investigation, and sometimes infuriated team officials with bizarre comments.
So far with Denver, Sauerbrun appears to be making a positive impression.
"He's been doing great," said kicker Jason Elam. "I'm a firm believer that sometimes you just need a fresh start and have a different environment that you're around.
"Mike (Shanahan) is real good about letting the kickers and punters do their thing. I don't know if this is right or not, but I think it was a little more strict at Carolina. I think Todd will thrive in this system a little bit better."
Elam is a close friend of Panthers kicker John Kasay. He said they've discussed Sauerbrun.
"John's advice was `Hey, be a friend to him,' " said Elam. "That's what I planned on doing anyway."
But Elam said he hasn't tried to have an in-depth conversation with Sauerbrun about the punter's past problems.
"If it comes up, I want him to be the one" who initiates the conversation, said Elam.
Sauerbrun has been wowing the Broncos with his booming kicks in practice. He might be kicking the ball even farther and higher because of Denver's mile-high altitude.
"The altitude will help him," said Shanahan. "It's the reason a (golfer) who hits the ball 300 (yards) can hit it 350."
Elam said the altitude will benefit Sauerbrun in the preseason and early fall, but not necessarily after winter arrives.
"We can get some nasty snow games and the wind gets cranking in there," said Elam. "But we talked the other day about if he can get off to a real good start and sort of endure toward the end, he's got a chance to average maybe 50" yards per punt.
The only punter in NFL history with a 50-yard season average was Washington's Sammy Baugh (51.4) in 1940. Sauerbrun's career best was 47.5 in 2001.
Broncos star cornerback Champ Bailey said he's never seen a punter kick in practice like Sauerbrun.
"Anytime a guy kicks a 70-yarder, you're like `Whoa!' " said Bailey.
Sauerbrun has gained Bailey's favor off the field, too.
"I borrow his phone charger every day," said Bailey. "I like talking to him. I've liked the addition so far."
But will the harmony last?
Shanahan said he doesn't see any risk in trading for Sauerbrun.
"It's not very complicated," said Shanahan. "If you handle yourself the right way, you stay with us. If you don't, you don't.
"We've got a Pro Bowl punter who is handling himself as good as anybody could handle himself. Hopefully, he keeps on doing that and punts well.
That's what we're looking for."
|08-11-2005, 10:22 AM||#2|
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Tampa Bay
Let's hope he keeps behaving himself, I like this addition so far.
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