Jaguars see ex-Bronco McManus as “one of the best kickers in the league”
May 30, 2023, 2:28 PM
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
For Brandon McManus, Denver’s cold shoulder quickly became Jacksonville’s warm embrace.
But it took reaching out to the Jaguars to make his quick, soft landing possible. The 10-year veteran told North Florida-area media Tuesday that he initiated contact with the Jaguars, getting the phone number of their special-teams coordinator, Heath Farwell, from former Broncos special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis.
That said, it wasn’t the first time McManus connected with his new boss.
“I try to talk to all the coordinators pregame each game … just in case something like this happens,” McManus said to media covering the Jaguars after practice Tuesday.
“He was a guy that wanted to play here,” Farwell added at a press conference Tuesday. “This is a guy that gives us a lot more flexibility. Not only on kickoffs, to be able to pin ‘em deep and do some different stuff, but it gives us a longer, you know, kickoff line on Sundays.”
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) May 30, 2023
That said, the connection wasn’t the No. 1 reason why he leapt to Jacksonville after the Broncos cut him.
“Even though I love Heath and loved the conversation, I don’t know if he was the draw,” McManus said. “Obviously, this team is up-and-coming. A lot of young roster here. Phenomenal run to close out the season as the AFC South champions.”
And that leads to the one thing he hopes the Jaguars provide: a chance to kick in the postseason.
McManus hasn’t attempted a playoff kick since Super Bowl 50. During the Broncos’ title run, he was a perfect 13-of-13 on placekicks, drilling all 10 field-goal attempts and 3 extra-point tries as the Broncos defeated Pittsburgh, New England and Carolina to win their third world championship.
“Everyone dreams of kicking game-winning field goals, and it’s great, but it’s also better to be in the playoffs doing those things,” McManus told the media covering Jacksonville’s OTA on Tuesday. “I’m just trying to bring my leadership and my tenure here to push us over the edge.”
McManus’ first Jaguars practice came two days after he took out a full-page advertisement in The Denver Post thanking Broncos staff members past and present for their role in helping him during nine seasons in which he became the second-highest-scoring player in club history.
The 31-year-old kicker hit field goals for John Fox, Gary Kubiak, Vance Joseph, Vic Fangio, Nathaniel Hackett and Jerry Rosburg. He became the last player standing from the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 roster.
He was a survivor — until the new Broncos coaching staff saw otherwise. But the Jaguars see McManus — who struggled at times last year — as one of the league’s best.
“It just gives us a lot more flexibility to add a very good kicker — one of the best kickers in the league — to our roster,” Farwell said. “We had to take advantage of it it — especially for a guy who wanted to be here.”