CINCINNATI — Time does not fly when you're waiting for the fun.
"When you come to a new team, you know it's part of the business, but you really want to show your (new) teammates, you're bringing something, that you can help," Trindon Holliday said. "I haven't been in Denver that long, but it seemed like forever to make a big play."
The Broncos claimed the 5-foot-5 Holliday off waivers on Oct. 11 after he had been let go by the Texans. The Broncos put Holliday back as their punt returner just days later, but Sunday was his first chance to be the team's kickoff returner.
And while he had what Broncos coach John Fox called "a little boo-boo" when the Broncos had to cover a kickoff at their 1-yard line after Holliday had misjudged the bounce, Holliday also constructed the longest play in Broncos' history.
Holliday, an eight-time track All American at Louisiana State, flashed every tick of that world-class speed to open the second half when he ran through a gap in the Bengals' kickoff coverage and didn't stop until he had scored a touchdown 105 yards later.
The play turned a 10-3 Broncos lead into a 17-3 lead.
"Getting that kickoff return for a touchdown was a great play," said Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. "We had talked about getting off to a fast start in the second half, and you can't start much faster."
"It was an outside call, but I saw those guys, they were playing the outside, so I saw the hole to the inside and that was it," said Holliday, who was untouched. "You have to be ready when they ask you."
And the "boo-boo"? Late in the third quarter Bengals kicker Mike Nugent put a kickoff inside the 5-yard line, near the Cincinnati sideline, that neither Holliday nor Lance Ball fielded. Eventually Ball simply fell on the ball at the 1. Two plays later Manning threw an interception the Bengals returned to the Broncos' 27.
Four plays later the Bengals scored, on a 2-yard run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, to take a 20-17 lead. .
"It was just an ugly ball, I've never seen a kickoff bounce and go the opposite way instead of coming back," Holliday said. "I had poor judgment on that one. It's a terrible, terrible feeling. I can't do that. I'm glad I could help a little bit too, though."
In the long run
Broncos kickoff returner Trindon Holliday had the broncos' longest kickoff return in franchise history Sunday — 105 yards — and it was the team's longest play of any kind.
Date Player Distance
11/4/12 Trindon Holliday 105
10/8/66 Nemiah Wilson 100
10/2/66 Goldie Sellers 100
1/2/11 Cassius Vaughn 97
12/21/98 Vaughn Hebron 95
11/2/08 Eddie Royal 95*
9/24/72 Randy Montgomery 94
10/19/09 Eddie Royal 93
9/14/63 Charlie Mitchell 90
12/3/61 Al Frazier 90
Jeff Legwold, The Denver Post