7 Days to Camp: Dustin Colquitt

Photos: John Rieger USA Today Sports

If there’s been a singular consistent offensive weapon the last eight NFL seasons in Kansas City, it’s been Punter, Dustin Colquitt. His booming left foot and coffin corner precision has won the battle of field position many times in this career. Entering his ninth season for the Chiefs it can be argued successfully he’s already the best punter in franchise history.

I’m not big into statistics. I’m of the belief the only item of importance is wins and losses. However, the game still has to be played and within that format, players have to step up their game to insure victory.

For much of Dustin Colquitt’s career in Kansas City, his job has been to bail out a struggling offense. It’s been a long time since the Chiefs have showed consistency moving the ball, and with the battle for field position so vital in the NFL, the Chiefs punter has become a specialist pinning teams inside the twenty-yard line. Last season he did it 35 times.

In 2012, he was finally recognized as a Pro-Bowl special teams performer and made his first trip to Hawaii. But last season, might have been one of his best overall seasons. He punted 87 times and opponents averaged a modest 6.5 yards per return.

Colquitt has been the bridge from offense to defense for so long now in Kansas City hardly anyone notices. He’s consistent, never gets injured and hardly ever shanks a punt. As the holder on field goals, his value to this franchise is invaluable.

So much to that extent, Colquitt signed a five-year extension in 2013, that at the time made him the highest paid punter in the NFL. In fact, when General Manager, John Dorsey arrived in Kansas City, he was adamant about getting a deal done with arguably one of the NFL’s premier punters.

Colquitt is that rare NFL player who is the same on the field as off. His jovial nature, high-octane personality is a breath of fresh air in the Chiefs locker room. Off the field, his faith and family values are impeccable. But his confidence under game pressure might be the singular item that sets him apart from other punters in the league.

Maybe that mental focus had something to do with the fact he comes from a long line of punters. His father, Craig Colquitt, earned a pair of Super Bowl rings in the 70’s punting the ball for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His brother, Britton Colquitt, punts for the Denver Broncos.

All three of them plus uncle, Jimmy Colquitt, punted at the University of Tennessee. So to say punting is in his blood would be an understatement.

Still even though the position isn’t physically demanding, the mental discipline you must possess to stay sharp on the sidelines, might be the most difficult in the NFL. And not many people do it better, than the Chiefs punter.

Even though Colquitt always has a football in his hands on the sidelines whenever KC’s offense begins a drive, he has to be mentally prepared he could go into the game in a few minutes or not at all on any given series. That means he’s always on call.

Further, if you add his duties as a placeholder for Kicker, Ryan Succop that just heightens his dual role and increases his overall value with the Chiefs. No matter how you slice up his spot on the roster, it takes a highly confident person to do what he does in the course of every NFL game.

Still there’s one thing that Colquitt has yet to do in the NFL, he’s yet to throw a pass. It’s something we’ve talked about since his rookie season back in 2005. It drives him crazy, the play that’s in the special teams repertoire, has never been called on any of his 689 career punts.

Perhaps this year special teams coach, Dave Troub, will call his number and actually run the play they’ve worked in practice so many times through Colquitt’s tenure in Kansas City.

If that happens, all I can say is this; he better complete the pass because it’s probable that play will never be called again in his NFL career.

Next Up: Eric Fisher

How valuable is Dustin Colquitt to the Chiefs?

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