2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Chiefs' Colquitt unsung star for losing team

By DAVE SKRETTA - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-27 14:43

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The job description alone should scare away all but the most confident of souls.

Must be able to kick an awkwardly shaped ball at least 50 yards. Must generate enough hang-time to enable proper coverage. Must do it all in the midst of thousands of screaming fans, with half a dozen defenders bringing pressure and the game's outcome hanging in the balance.

And the only time you'll receive any attention is when you make a mistake, when you mishandle a snap or shank a punt or hit one right into the end zone instead of spiking it at the 5.

Yes, it's a surprise anybody would be up for such a task.

Dustin Colquitt relishes it.

The veteran punter is arguably the Kansas City Chiefs' most unsung star. He's their inept offense's best friend for his ability to flip field position in a single snap, and their defense's secret weapon in pinning the opponent deep within its own territory.

``When you talk about field position, helping your team,'' Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel, ``he definitely does that.''

Finally, he's starting to get some attention for it.

Colquitt was one of five Chiefs players voted to the Pro Bowl on Wednesday. He'll be joined in Hawaii but better-known stars such as running back Jamaal Charles, safety Eric Berry and linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson, all of whom have made it to the all-star game in the past.

This will be Colquitt's first trip, though.

He's certainly deserving of it.

In his seventh season out of Tennessee, the Chiefs' punter has had the finest season of his career. He's averaging 46.9 yards on 75 punts for a team that's 2-13, doing his job superbly even while those around him have struggled to do much with the prime field position he's created.

``That's my job,'' Colquitt said. ``That's my role and you have to be comfortable with that, regardless of what the offense or defense is doing. You have to be special.''

He's been special at a record-setting pace, too. Colquitt has put 42 punts inside the 20 this season, which trails only Arizona's Dave Zastudil (44) for the most in the NFL. It also matches the record going into this season, shared by Ben Graham, Andy Lee and Steve Weatherford.

But the Cardinals' Zastudil has punted 106 times to break the record, while Colquitt has put an astonishing 56 percent of his kicks inside the opponent's red zone.

``It's awesome,'' Colquitt said of perhaps setting the record for punts inside the 20. ``It was cool setting the Kansas City Chiefs record and tying the NFL record, and it would mean a lot to me. My dad always told me, `If you do anything in football, be the defensive coordinator's best friend.' That's how I've always looked at it.''

Colquitt's father, Craig, should know. He won a pair of Super Bowl rings while punting for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1978-84. His uncle, Jimmy Colquitt, also appeared in a couple of games as a punter for the Seattle Seahawks during the 1985 season.

On Sunday, the first family of punters will have another reunion in Denver.

Colquitt will be punting for the Chiefs in the thin air of Sports Authority Field, while his younger brother Britton Colquitt will be hammering punts for the Broncos, who have a chance to earn homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with a win and a little help.

``We kind of play it off and say it doesn't matter,'' Dustin Colquitt said of the sibling rivalry, ``but at the end of the day, you get on the plane or bus, it's like, `Hey, let me see that stat sheet real quick.'''

Colquitt is in the final year of an $8.5 million, five-year deal with Kansas City, which makes his future a bit uncertain. Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli and coach Romeo Crennel could be out of jobs by Monday, so the chances of Colquitt signing an extension are slim at best.

He's good enough that some wonder whether the Chiefs will take the rare step of franchising a punter. Otherwise, he could be a coveted special-teams player on the free-agent market.

Colquitt isn't worried about that just yet. He's played his entire career with the Chiefs, and would rather focus on finishing up another lost season with one more solid outing.

Even if few people ultimately notice.

``We want to win this game, leave a good taste in our mouth this offseason,'' he said. ``Denver's already kind of set up with its postseason shot, so we have to put our minds to it, have a good game plan and execute it.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

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Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

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The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

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Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

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Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

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Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

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