In Denver, John Schneider will be looking for a fun little trifecta, maybe even a superfecta.
He already won the 2016 draft-day trade with the Broncos, who dumped Paxton Lynch after just two years, and now he will watch for his team to win this game and for his punter to get the last laugh.
When the Seahawks swapped fifth-round spots with the Broncos in April, giving them a seventh-rounder to move up six places, and then picked Michael Dickson, Broncos execs reportedly laughed among themselves.
Coach Vance Joseph is not laughing now, though — not after seeing Dickson net 43.6 yards per punt in preseason (second in the NFL) and not when he knows Dickson will bring his boom stick of a foot to the light air of Mile High Stadium. Joseph knows Dickson could play a huge part in beating his team.
“He’s special,” Joseph said. “With a defense like the Seahawks, if you can flip the field with your punter, that’s a perfect complement. It’s going to be a challenge to obviously move the ball so we can have a fair field position all day; because, with that guy, having to go (70-80) yards each drive is going to be tough. He’s definitely a special player, and he’s proven that so far in his short career.”
Meanwhile, Schneider will eagerly watch the performance of the two guys he got in the 2016 trade down that enabled the Broncos to draft Lynch. Denver gave Seattle a third-round pick to move up from 31 to 26 to take Lynch, who went from future franchise QB to off the roster in just two years.
Schneider used Denver’s picks to select Germain Ifedi and Nick Vannett, whom Schneider and company are hoping will finally have breakout seasons — starting with this game.
In addition to Dickson, Ifedi and Vannett, Schneider brought in another guy with ties to Denver: Brandon Marshall. Surprisingly, this will be his first game in Denver since being traded to Miami in 2010 (Schneider and Pete Carroll also had explored acquiring him then). You can bet Marshall will want to play well in front of his old fans, against the team that dumped him long ago.
So, if all goes perfectly, Marshall will make a couple of big plays, Dickson will pin Denver deep all game, the Hawks will win — and Schneider will have his superfecta.