|10-19-2005, 05:34 PM||#1|
Chiefs > Broncos
Join Date: Apr 2004
Sauerbrun AFC special teams player of the week
Earns AFC Special Teams Player of the Week Nod
By Andrew Mason
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Another week, another honor for the Broncos.
This time, it's punter Todd Sauerbrun who earns the plaudits, as the league will name him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for a Sunday performance during which he averaged 52.3 yards on seven punts, posted a net average of 46.9 yards a kick, notched touchbacks on three of five kickoffs and uncorked punts of 62 and 66 yards.
He also dropped two punts inside the New England 20, helping offset the two punts by New England's Josh Miller that forced Denver to start inside its own 5-yard-line.
"Field position is so important," Head Coach Mike Shanahan said on Monday. "I think everybody sees how consistent (Sauerbrun) has been. He's been clutch and he loves situations where he's backed up and he goes out there with a smile on his face.
"Most of the guys I've been around, when you're backed up on the (5-yard-line), they're taking off hiding from me. He's smiling when he goes out there. It's good to have him with us."
Sauerbrun now has a gross average of 48.8 yards per punt and a net average of 39.9. If he maintains those numbers, he would set franchise standards in both categories, exceeding the gross-average standard of Tom Rouen (46.9 yards, 1998) and Mike Horan (38.9 yards, 1990).
But Sauerbrun doesn't take all the credit for his strong start; he deflects some of it to long snapper Mike Leach.
"He's doing awesome," Sauerbrun said last week. "I'm not moving to each side. I've got to give Mike a lot of credit for that. He's a big part of my success; he really is."
The special-teams award was Sauerbrun's first since 2001, but individual honors have become routine for the Broncos this month.
Linebacker Al Wilson won the AFC Defensive Player of the Week and cornerback Domonique Foxworth was selected as the Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week for their performances at Jacksonville on Oct. 2. A week later, Tatum Bell won the fan voting for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week after he scored on touchdown runs of 34 and 55 yards during the 21-19 win over the Washington Redskins.