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  • #61
    another Prater rocks article

    Found this article and thought it was a good read
    Elam’s successor making a name for himself
    By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Sports Writer 1 hour, 7 minutes ago
    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP)—Matt Prater is starting to make a name for himself. What the Denver Broncos’ new kicker would really like is to put his name in the record book.

    After kicking a 55-yard field goal that would have been good from 70 yards Sunday, Prater said he wants the chance to beat the NFL record of 63 yards held by Tom Dempsey and the man he replaced in Denver, Jason Elam.

    “I’d love to get the opportunity, especially here in Denver,” Prater said. “It would be awesome to get the opportunity to do it, and hopefully I can keep it straight.”

    Hardly anybody knew about Prater when the season started.

    Now, even Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden is gushing about him.

    Prater was the difference in Denver’s 16-13 win over Tampa Bay, producing touchbacks on four of his five kickoffs—the other was returned only to the 19 — and booming field goals of 55, 40 and 31 yards.

    “Have you ever seen a kicker kick a 55-yard field goal and make it by 25 yards?” marveled Gruden. “Honest to God, why work on your kickoff return when you come here? That guy was unbelievable.”

    The Broncos signed the 24-year-old kicker last December after Todd Sauerbrun wore out his welcome in Denver and they needed somebody to handle kickoffs for their last two games.

    Coach Mike Shanahan saw enough of Prater’s powerful right leg that he allowed Elam, the franchise’s leader in points and games, to bolt for Atlanta in free agency.

    Shanahan took a lot of heat for turning over the team’s kicking chores to a kid who had made just 1-of-4 field goals in the NFL. After all, the Broncos’ 7-9 season last year would have been much worse had it not been for Elam’s four game-winners.

    But nobody’s missing Elam now thanks to Prater, who has piled up a league-high 51 points and made all four of his field goals from 50 yards or more. He’s amassed 11 touchbacks, tied for the league lead with Carolina kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd, and made 12 of 13 field goals, including a half-dozen from 40-plus.

    Denver also leads the league in a key but often overlooked category: the number of opponents’ drives (10) that start inside the 20-yard line.

    “Field goals are how you keep your job,” Prater said Monday, “and kickoffs are something that’s good to be good at.”

    In that case, Prater is the double-whammy for opponents.

    He not only gives Shanahan the luxury of long field goals, adding to his options on offense, but he can negate good return specialists, often by kicking the ball right out of the end zone.

    While the league is just starting to learn about Prater, teammate Dre’ Bly has been singing his praises for a while.

    Bly was in Detroit when Prater came through in 2006 as an undrafted free agent from Central Florida. He was simply a camp leg, keeping Jason Hanson fresh for the season, and he was long gone by the time the season started, beginning a journey that would take him to Miami and Atlanta before landing in Denver.

    But he still managed to make quite an impression on Bly, who also joined the Broncos last season.

    “I mean, the dude, when he did kickoffs he always kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone,” Bly said. “When you’re doing it just about every kick, that’s not luck.”

    Bly even bestowed the ultimate compliment on a kicker: his very own nickname.

    “I called him ‘Boom-Boom’ in Detroit because that dude can kick,” Bly said. “He’s done a great job. He had big shoes to fill. Elam has been a legend here in Denver, he made a lot of field goals, broke a lot of records.

    “But the guy we have here, he put all that in the back of his mind and just looked at it as a motivational thing to try to live up to the hype and to just carry on in his own footsteps.”

    Prater proved Sunday that he’s got some pretty good powers of persuasion to go with his powerful leg.

    Facing fourth-and-7 from the Bucs’ 37, Shanahan was preparing to send out punter Brett Kern in the waning seconds of the first quarter. Prater glanced at the clock and had an idea.

    “I went out on the field and said, ‘Coach, let the clock run out and we’ll switch sides and have the wind at our backs and I’ll keep it straight and make it going this way,”’ Prater said.

    Prater made good on his promise, and Gruden and Shanahan both gushed over him after the game.

    His big leg is getting plenty of attention now, much to the amusement of some of his teammates.

    “This guy’s big-time now,” wide receiver Brandon Stokley teased.
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    • #62
      This is why my sig had to be changed today

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      • #63
        Great read

        The only thing he needs to work on is his accuracy. With time it will improve.

        I cant wait to see him break the record tho

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Broncos6FTW View Post
          Great read

          The only thing he needs to work on is his accuracy. With time it will improve.

          I cant wait to see him break the record tho
          umm 12-13 is pretty good to me
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          • #65
            Originally posted by SBboundBRONCOS View Post
            umm 12-13 is pretty good to me

            Dunno, I guess he sees a lot of room for improvement.


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            They're your teammates, now.
            Best of luck, TT!
            ...Always a class act - in any uniform.



            sbutk: i can see why Denver is taking TO's right now [trailing by 7, with 30 seconds left in the half]. but why Oakland???

            Captain Lori: You are trying to figure out the Raiders. Try figuring out women instead; it's probably much easier.

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            • #66
              Wait til the honeymoon is over, fans will turn on him.

              "I never liked him, trade Paymah for Elam"......Bet me......

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              • #67
                Originally posted by stnzed View Post
                Wait til the honeymoon is over, fans will turn on him.

                "I never liked him, trade Paymah for Elam"......Bet me......
                I'm not making that bet. They are making statements about trading Bailey as soon as a pass is caught against him

                The kid is playing GREAT. His KO's alone are helping this team. The fact that we can even ATTEMP a FG past 45 is nice.

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                • #68
                  I don't think we can truly see the value of Matt Prater until he is put into a situation where the game rests on his shoulders. When there are a couple seconds left and he is responsible for tying/winning the game.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by mx_stiles13 View Post
                    I don't think we can truly see the value of Matt Prater until he is put into a situation where the game rests on his shoulders. When there are a couple seconds left and he is responsible for tying/winning the game.
                    yes and no. We won this last game by three points.... and prater hit a 55 yrder. Last year we couldn't even attempt that kick. It wasn't at the last second, but nontheless it could be said that kick won the game.

                    Not to mention, Gruden himself said "why even practice your special teams when going against this kicker"...because he was constantly kicking them so deep that allowed NO return. That benefit is already felt.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Ravage!!! View Post
                      I'm not making that bet. They are making statements about trading Bailey as soon as a pass is caught against him

                      The kid is playing GREAT. His KO's alone are helping this team. The fact that we can even ATTEMP a FG past 45 is nice.
                      No doubt, Elam's leg strength just hasn't been there for years, and people like to pretend that Elam never missed a FG that cost the Broncos a game.

                      Because of his declining leg strength and his "Highest paid kicker in the league" attitude, I was ready to see Elam go long before he made those game winners last year and even longer before we knew who the new kicker would be, I'm just not a big fan, and Prater's performance so far has been Icing on the Cake.

                      The GM should be congratulated for finding Prater and for having the stones to let Elam chase the money.

                      This would be a good time to note that Elam has yet to miss a FG this year, good for him......

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by SBboundBRONCOS View Post
                        umm 12-13 is pretty good to me
                        he's probably think of the preseason where he was (only slightly) less acurate than now that the actual season has hit...he's got a pretty reliable leg and I hope he's just as good in the clutch.
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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Freyaka View Post
                          he's probably think of the preseason where he was (only slightly) less acurate than now that the actual season has hit...he's got a pretty reliable leg and I hope he's just as good in the clutch.
                          Sorry, I wasnt on a computer, but a palm thingy when I typed that. To hard with to explain myself with a small key pad thingy.

                          What I ment was, where his kicks are generally all down the middle, I think he is a great kicker with a hell of a leg. But on the 55 yd field goal, it could of easily been wide left. Thats all im saying, sorry if it came out like that.

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                          • #73
                            Lots of Prater Threads!! He must be popular!!

                            I just noticed that there a few Prater threads...just want to paraphrase my comments elsewhere. We are definitely lucky to have this young gun on our side, after losing one of the best in Elam. Imagine what New Orleans is thinking right now... two games lost, both involving late makeable field goal opportunities that were missed. 2 losses like that in the NFL are a major blow - to playoff chances and potentially jobs.

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Freyaka View Post
                              he's got a pretty reliable leg and I hope he's just as good in the clutch.
                              I am backing Prater and I like him but the thing that scares me is him missing the extra point to tie a bowl game at OT in college that would have forced another overtime, shanking a big kick like that is scary especially a extra point that is not clutch at all and a few times as a junior and senior hes missed some clutch kicks.

                              but lets hope those days are behind him because I am sure this team will be in the playoffs he may have to be clutch.

                              here is what I was referring to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cGMc1k9Nxs
                              Last edited by The Dyna$ty; 10-07-2008, 10:16 PM.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by The Dyna$ty View Post
                                I am backing Prater and I like him but the thing that scares me is him missing the extra point to tie a bowl game at OT in college that would have forced another overtime, shanking a big kick like that is scary especially a extra point that is not clutch at all and a few times as a junior and senior hes missed some clutch kicks.

                                but lets hope those days are behind him because I am sure this team will be in the playoffs he may have to be clutch.

                                here is what I was referring to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cGMc1k9Nxs
                                I remember reading somewhere that Prater never really had formal coaching on technique till he got to the pros...which is why he tended to miss a fair bit in college, and early in his pro career (he only made 1 of his first 4 kicks). If you look at his technique in that video vs. his current technique it is completely different. in the clip he is starting pretty much right behind the ball where as he now is to the side of the ball like most NFL kickers. Hopefully the coaching and technique adjustments will prevent stuff like that from happening.
                                Last edited by sdinner10; 10-07-2008, 10:48 PM.
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