To Jeff Rodgers a roster is a puzzle.

The Broncos' special-teams coordinator tinkers tweaks. He looks at the list of heights weights and positions not as classifications but as possibilities. To Rodgers Joel Dreessen isn't a tight end. He's 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds of mass agile enough strong enough fast enough. Kayvon Webster is 5-11 and 198 his position as a cornerback irrelevant. Can he block? What's his speed? What else can he do?

Then there's David Bruton. Until last weekend when he ran a fake punt 35 yards from scrimmage avoiding a Denver three-and-out offensive series late in the third quarter against Jacksonville you might never have heard of him. Technically he's a safety but he's played only 39 snaps at that position this season.

In reality he's a puzzle piece. A very important one.

The puzzle when put together properly is the Broncos' special teams a unit that this season has been the best in the NFL. Sure there have been the eye-popping plays — Trindon Holliday's two touchdown returns Steven Johnson's blocked punt Bruton's big run — but the unit earns its keep on consistent performance and meticulous planning. Holliday isn't running for those touchdowns if it isn't for his blockers; same goes for Bruton and his gallop. Rodgers' puzzle has come together nicely and Bruton — he of the pink-streaked dreadlocks — fits perfectly grading out on Pro Football Focus as the best special-teams player with the Broncos and among the five best such players in the NFL this season.

Special-teams players apart from kickers punters and returners are broken down into two categories: interior core and outside core. Interior guys are bigger stronger: linebackers tight ends some running backs. Outside players are wide receivers cornerbacks some safeties and speedier running backs.