Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Keeler: With Pat Suren II injured, Kyle Fuller was the hero the Broncos needed in Dallas. Can he be cowboy against Jalen Hurts?

Who knew that burnt toast had a second life?

“Yesterday’s a guy who had never played a nickel in his entire career,” Vic Fangio said Monday about Broncos cornerback Kyle Fuller, a game-ball recipient and one of the heroes of the Cowboys’ 30-16 thumping in Dallas, Denver. I said when asked. in week 9.

“He got a three-day crash course on it and was ready to play. Then he had to go to the left corner first, and then he had to go to the right corner, or vice versa. He was ready.”

The NFL is a fun league run by people with no sense of humour. A week ago, Broncos Country wanted No. 23 to go. Fuller, a holy terror with Fangio in Chicago, couldn’t cover a twin bed here. In one month, the cat looked like a flaming, $9.47 million mistake.

The business deadline has arrived. Trade expired. Fuller remained at the Broncos Blue, and may be the best business general manager George Patton ever made. The rookie in particular is likely to be on the shelf with standout Pat Suren II when the Philadelphia Eagles tour on Sunday.

“Kyle is a pro. He hasn’t been happy with his role here of late,” Fangio said of Fuller’s October, which mainly consisted of watching from the bench as the Broncos went 3-0 at the start of the season .

“We’ve talked about it, but he was ready to go. He accepted the challenge of playing a nickel with a week’s preparation.

After turning on all four snaps combined in the Broncos’ last three games against the Raiders, Browns and Washington, Fuller appeared in 60 of 62 possible defensive plays at Jerry World, according to Denver Post charting.

With Bryce Callahan on injured reserve, Fangio decided to try Fuller, who was more of a traditional border guard, throughout the secondary. Nickel. right corner. Left corner. Get out more

Sure enough, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott made it a point to find No. 23, as did Ben Roethlisberger, Trevor Lawrence, and Daniel Jones in September.

Only one funny thing happened on the way to the first-down marker: Fuller got the last laugh every time.

Prescott went 0-for-3 on a pass targeting the Broncos veteran, while Fuller Man was in coverage, according to the Denver Post charting.

That oh-so included a nifty break-up from a high throw to CD Lamb late in the third quarter. The 6-foot-2 Lamb tosses the ball to high point, but 5-11 Fuller, in a sensible experienced move, punched it with his right hand, loosening the rock before wideout could secure it.

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For a man who was burned by opposing QBs for at least six completions of 20 yards or more during his first three games as a Bronco, and for two touchdowns from at least 25 yards Discovered for, Dallas felt like sweet redemption.

“He never got down on himself,” Fangio said of Fuller after the Broncos’ second straight win. “He was disappointed.

“But (if) you keep watching the wood, you will be ready when your number is called. And he was ready.”

From here on out, Fuller will also have to be prepared. Ready to play anywhere. anytime. at any place.

Only two seasons have been removed from the former Virginia Tech standout back-to-back Pro Bowl berths. But he will turn 30 in February, with a mile of film already this season showing that legs won’t always compensate for what the eyes might initially miss.

Coming out of the bye, the stakes — and the challenges — cranked up several notches in Weeks 12 and 13, when the Broncos hosted quarterback Justin Herbert and the Chargers (November 28), followed by a feud with Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City. (December 5).

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