Marvin Mims Jr.: An ideal blend of speed, quickness — and patience
Nov 19, 2023, 4:02 AM | Updated: 4:09 am
(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Being the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his work against Buffalo last Monday night wasn’t a big deal to Marvin Mims Jr.
“I thought it was cool. That’s pretty much it, honestly,” Mims said in the Centura Health Training Center locker room this week. “It was a cool moment, honestly. But you keep building and see what else comes from that.”
What could come? History, if he remains on his current pace.
Number of players since the Broncos entered existence in 1960 to average at least 30.0 yards per kickoff return and 15.0 yards per punt return (minimum five returns each) over the course of a season. Two-time Hall-of-Fame finalist Devin Hester is the only other player with both of those averages in the last 64 seasons.
Marvin Mims Jr. leads the NFL with a 20.7-yard punt-return average and is second with a 33.6-yard kickoff-return pace.
Could Mims have seen this kind of start on returns coming?
“Probably not,” he acknowledged Friday. “It’s kind of crazy, but the guys have really went all out for me, blocking for me, and the coaches have done a real good job of drawing it up, so, I’ve just gotta go out there and execute, and that’s what I’ve been doing.”
So far, so good.
But on offense, chances remain scarce.
That represents the number of passes targeted to Marvin Mims Jr. in the last five games. That comes after Russell Wilson targeted Mims 11 times in Weeks 1-4.
Still, Mims isn’t discouraged — and even said Friday it was “kind of easy” to stay patient despite the lack of receiving opportunities on offense.
“I mean, you’ve got Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton out there — and those are two great receivers,” the magnanimous Mims said. “And everybody wants the ball, you know what I mean? That’s the thing that everybody wants to do.
“And it’s only my rookie year, so patience isn’t really a problem for me. Just go out there and do whatever I can to the best of my ability. I know it’s going to come on later in my career, for sure.”
Marvin Mims Jr. isn’t concerned about a lack of pass-catching opportunities so far. “… Everybody wants the ball, you know what I mean? … And it’s only my rookie year, so, patience isn’t really a problem for me. Just go out there and do whatever I can to the best of my ability.” pic.twitter.com/8joTa0hsyx
— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) November 19, 2023
To that end, Mims continues to refine his craft on the practice field. And in the last two months, he notices a difference in how he’s playing based on what he’s absorbed.
“Yeah, definitely playing faster,” Mims said. “Just hearing things out of the huddle, going to get lined up, instead of thinking about what I have, different stuff like that, just seeing the defense, knowing kind of what’s going to happen before the play starts. I think that’s probably the biggest thing.
“And whenever that starts happening, that’s when you can play faster.”
Considering how fast he moves already, that’s a bold statement.
That is the Vikings’ defensive EPA (expected points added) per play over the last five weeks, according to rbsdm.com. Only the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns have better defensive EPA/play figures in that span.
(Incidentally, the Broncos rank 10th in this metric over the last five weeks, which includes both games against the Chiefs, as well as the wins over the Green Bay Packers and Bills.)