Denver Broncos wide receiver Cody Latimer may not be in line for 100 targets this season, but he could be an ‘All Pro’ on special teams…
The contributions of Denver Broncos former second round pick Cody Latimer at wide receiver have been few and far between.
But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been a major asset on special teams.
As Latimer approaches his fourth and potentially final season with the Broncos, rumors are swirling as to whether he’ll actually even be with the team when they open the season on September 11th against the Chargers.
Latimer’s inability to develop as a wide receiver has been very disappointing for the Broncos and their fans, but his contributions on special teams have certainly not gone unnoticed, and could be the key to him remaining on this team’s final roster.
Head coach Vance Joseph spoke about Latimer’s ability to contribute in the third phase, and how important those contributions are for this team.
“He’s responded positively. He’s worked hard as a gunner first of all. He can be an All-Pro gunner. He’s so big and fast. That’s a huge deal to have two receivers, with Latimer and [WR Bennie] Fowler, as dominant special teams players. That’s rare. As a third receiver, he’s competing. Again, if we’re in three receivers, who’s the starter? If we’re in four receiver sets, which we are going to be, who’s the starter? We’re going to have a five receiver set, who’s the starter? Those guys all have their role and who plays where, that’ll happen in the future.”
Vance Joseph (quotes via Broncos PR)
Latimer’s role in the offense will be entirely up to his performance throughout the remainder of training camp and the preseason. Based on what we’re hearing out of Camp, Latimer has pretty consistently made at least one or two big plays every day in camp, and is showing he’s capable of making contributions to the offense when called upon.
This may be just me beating a dead horse at this point, but with Latimer’s size and speed, I’ve often wondered why he can’t be effective on screen plays, or just chucking the ball downfield to see if he can go get it.
At least if he’s not developing in terms of his route running, give him a chance to make some plays in other areas.
The Broncos are trying to do that by giving Latimer the first shot at the kick returner position this year. Last season, Latimer frustrated a lot of Broncos fans with his constantly bringing the ball out from deep in the end zone on kickoffs, giving an already struggling offense even worse field position.
Latimer’s career path has taken on a similar look to that of Kayvon Webster with the Broncos, just on the offensive side of the ball.
In Webster, the Broncos felt they had a potential starter at the cornerback position, but after his rookie season, they signed Aqib Talib and drafted Bradley Roby, relegating Webster strictly to special teams duty and only emergency snaps on defense.
For Latimer, it’s been a bit different. He’s simply been unable to seize the opportunities given him to take ahold of the third wide receiver position in Denver, but he — like Webster — has developed into a heck of a special teams player.
He has a chance to be the Broncos’ special teams captain this year, and perhaps get re-signed to the team because of it.
If he can show anything offensively, there will be a spot on this team for Latimer with, as Joseph stated, his ‘All-Pro’ capabilities on special teams.