In a day of big hits, flashy celebrations, and underachieving superstars, a rookie defensive back slowly made a name for himself amongst veterans like Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey.
Darcel McBath, a second-round pick out of Texas Tech, may be one of the most overlooked players that have helped turn the Broncos around this season. The Broncos over the past few years have been horrible tacklers on special teams and McBaths' 28 tackles this year have come almost exclusively on the third side of the ball.
Twenty-eight tackles, 22 of them solo, is quite a feat for a near exclusive special teamer. Eleven of these solo tackles came in his two games against San Diego. This is absolutely spectacular considering San Diego's knack for breaking big plays with speedster Darren Sproles. I have a feeling he will be sorely missed when the Broncos play big-play-man DeSean Jackson and the Eagles in two weeks.
Josh McDaniels had this to say about rookie Darcel McBath: "He's the personal protector on the punt team, which is no small chore. He handles all the communication there. He's our leading tackler, very unselfish, plays great on all of the teams. He has been a great addition in that regard and he will be missed."
Steve Tasker is in the conversation for the one of the greatest players to not make the Hall of Fame and apart from 51 career receptions, he was a exclusive special teams player for the Bills back when they almost won all those Super Bowls. A form tackler with great speed and an unselfish attitude;that is who McBath reminds me of when he plays.
Studying under arguably the best safety and cornerback of this decade, Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey, I think McBath has an opportunity to grow into much more than just a hard-nosed special teamer. He has two interceptions this year with limited defensive playing time.
One of those picks came this last weekend against Peyton Manning's undefeated Colts and gave Kyle Orton and Brandon Marshall a short field to work with unfortunately, McBath will be on IR for the remainder of the season with a broken right forearm he acquired in the fourth quarter of Sundays game.
Perhaps, just perhaps if he had stayed in, Peyton would not have been able to make a game ending drive at the end of the fourth quarter.
McBath will be missed, but veteran Vernon Fox has been signed in his place and hopefully, will help the Broncos not miss a beat against a hungry Raiders team this weekend.
Sometimes it is the players you don't see who make the biggest difference; hopefully McBath will be a productive player for the Broncos for many years to come.
Also, big shout out to Brandon Marshall and his record 21 receptions this weekend. Keep it up big boy!