MHS Rapid React: Special teams improved…ish

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In a game that featured a total of eight field goal attempts and eight punts, specials teams were much of the story in the Broncos-49ers preseason Week 3 matchup. With former kicker Connor Barth now in Tampa Bay and the kicking job fully Brandon McManus’s, it appeared that at least one aspect of the special teams phase had been decided. But it was another rocky game for the returners, who again had a muffed punt and also totaled just 94 yards on kick and punt return yards combined in five attempts.

There were highlights, however. Omar Bolden had a kick return of 33 yards and Isaiah Burse added one of 28 himself. In coverage, Denver was solid, allowing just 16 total yards on punts returned. On kicks, San Francisco had two returns for a net gain of 50 yards.

In his postgame press conference, head coach Gary Kubiak said ball protection was not what he wanted it to be on special teams and alluded to the fact that Emmanuel Sanders needs to get healthy and may contribute once he is at or near 100 percent. In a perfect world, Sanders – Denver’s No. 2 receiver – wouldn’t be forced into punt return duties, but if that is the only option Kubiak feels comfortable putting on the field, be prepared to see it.

As always, the MHS team was keeping a close eye on the game, offering this feedback about the special teams play as it unfolded against the 49ers…

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