Earlier in the morning, I wrote about the preseason numbers comparison between punters Paul Ernster and Todd Sauerbrun.
By the time the Broncos took the field Tuesday, Ernster was not present. Nor was safety and fellow special-teamer Quentin Harris, as they joined eight other non-injured players who missed both practices the last two days.
“Paul’s worked extremely hard and hopefully he’ll catch on with another team,” Head Coach Mike Shanahan said. “Theres not very many people that can both kick off and punt, so he brings a lot to the table.”
Ernster’s departure leaves Todd Sauerbrun to handle punts and kickoffs.
“I’m just happy with the way it turned out and I’m thankful for the opportunity Mike Shanahan and Scott O’Brien gave me,” Sauerbrun said. I’m very appreciative and I’m going to do the best to make the most of it.”
“I need more reps in the games. I am where I want to be, but I just need more game reps, so to speak, so I think this week will be good for me. I’ll be able to take all the reps in (Thursday’s preseason) game. I think that’s exactly what I need.”
Among the others absent Tuesday, there were no changes from the day before, which meant that the defensive line absorbed the losses of tackle Demetrin Veal and end Kenard Lang, both of whom played in all 16 games last year.
“It’s always tough,” Shanahan said. “You take a guy like Kenard Lang; Kenard’s a veteran player (and) a first-round draft choice that gives you everything hes got. Obviously (we’re) going with some younger players. But (Lang is( a true pro, the way he practiced, the way he played, tried to help the young guys. We tried to be fair and let him go a little earlier just so hopefully they can get a chance to play for another team.
“Same thing for Demetrin Veal. Theres a guy that worked extremely hard. We let them go a week earlier than they would normally, so hopefully they can catch on. Thats the tough part of the job. Guys that worked extremely hard and maybe you get a little younger on certain positions and you go a different direction.”
Shanahan also commented on wide receiver David Kircus, who is no longer with the Broncos after a 20-month stint that saw him rise from Subway refugee to the active roster for all 16 games in 2006 before a 2007 season that saw an off-the-field incident and a tumble to the fourth team of the depth chart.
“David has got great speed; (he) was a competitor,” Shanahan said. “We just decided to go in a different direction, but he’s got some talent.”
The other players who missed both of the last two days included wide receiver David Terrell, running back Cedric Cobbs, fullback Troy Fleming, tight end Teyo Johnson and kicker Brandon Pace.