Punt returning in the NFL involves a lot more than just catching a football and being a physical specimen, whether it be by size or speed. There is an obvious mental aspect of catching a football that’s falling from the sky while 11 massive men come flying at you at full speed.

That mental aspect is what Denver Broncos wide receiver/returner Jordan Taylor is learning on the fly, and week by week since taking over return duties from rookie Isaiah McKenzie.

Too often, returners underestimate the relative violence in their role, and in an interview with Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro of Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 inside the Broncos’ locker room, Taylor says there’s been much to learn.

“It’s definitely been a learning curve,” Taylor said. “It’s been an interesting experience; like I said. it’s definitely new to me. I’m just trying to go out there and learn everyday and try to do something a little better than I did the week before. It’s been an interesting experience, to say the least.”

But while facing that learning curve, there can also be a mental side of returning footballs that get into the heads of returners; a fear that many live with, and some cannot. Taylor doesn’t have that problem. “Not for me, personally. I’m not ever afraid of anything, I mean, there’s nerves — you obviously want to make a play and make a right decision for your team.”

“Once the ball is in the air and you see that ball coming, all of that kind of just goes away and you go back to what you know, and that’s playing football. [You] catch the ball, and if you can make a play, make a play, and if not, make a smart decision by fair-catching. That’s kind of been my thought process behind it.”

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