Colquitts Put Punting in Spotlight … Friday Cup O’Chiefs

The First Family of Fourth Down will make NFL history on Sunday at Invesco Field in Denver.

For the first time in league annals brothers will be punting for both teams when the Chiefs and Broncos take the field. It’s Dustin Colquitt for the Chiefs and his younger brother Britton Colquitt for the Broncos.

In the stands will be their father, former NFL punter Craig Colquitt.

And, just to add another level of six degrees of football separation, the ball boy who used to chase down Craig Colquitt’s punts during training camp and in pre-game warm-up will be on the field as well. That would be Todd Haley.

Plus, the guy coaching Britton out in Denver, used to coach Dustin with the Chiefs – Broncos special teams coach Mike Priefer.

It’s one of the biggest back stories involved in Sunday’s AFC West match up.

“The whole thing has a little Manning feel to it,” Dustin Colquitt said, referencing Peyton and Eli Manning and their father Archie. “I’m sure Archie has trouble watching when they are playing each other.

“I talked to my Dad last night and he’s excited. He just wants us to both punt well.”  

Britton Colquitt told the Denver media this week: “It’s something we’ve talked about since my brother got in the NFL. Now it’s here. My dad – it’s his dream come true to see his sons both play against each other. It’s just really cool.”

Craig Colquitt punted for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1978 through 1984, winning a pair of Super Bowl rings, including one his rookie season in 1978, after being a third-round draft choice out of the University of Tennessee. He missed the 1982 season with a torn Achilles tendon in his right (kicking) foot.

But while he rehabbed, he got to spend more time with his first born as Craig and Anne welcomed Dustin Farr Colquitt into the world in May of 1982. Another son Britton came along three years later.

As Dustin and Britton grew up, their Dad did not push them into football. They both came up through the soccer ranks in Knoxville. Dustin did not play football until his senior year at Bearden High School. That was also the first year that Britton put on pads and a helmet.

“He never forced us into playing football,” said Dustin. “I started in my senior year and Britton started in his freshman year, the same year that I did. He’s been at it a few more years and he grew up going to my Dad’s punting camps, while I was off at soccer tournaments. He’s definitely has more of a punter background.”

Both of them ended up going to college and punting for the hometown Volunteers, just as their father did and their cousin Jimmy. Like his father, Dustin was a third-round draft choice of the Chiefs in 2005. Britton signed in 2009 as a college free agent with the Broncos. He was released at the end of the ’09 pre-season and spent most of last season on the Miami Dolphins practice squad.

But at the end of the ’09 season, he signed with the Broncos. Although he did not punt in a game, Denver got the chance to see him kick and they signed him for the 2010.

“I remember when (Mike) Priefer went to Denver and he called and said he was going to try and get another Colquitt out here,” Dustin said. “It was typical Britton, lucky as heck to land there with that thin air to kick into. I’m happy for him.”

Without a doubt there is competition between these brothers and that will carry over into the game on Sunday. But there’s also a lot of mutual respect

“We learned a lot from each other,” said Dustin. “He grew up quick. He hung out with a lot of my buddies, so he advanced pretty quickly.

Britton talked quite a bit about all the work Dustin did to become a left-footed punter, even though he’s naturally a right-hander.

“The drop is everything in punting, and he didn’t really know what to do,” Britton said. “So he had to get ambidextrous fast. He started brushing his teeth left-handed, dribbling a basketball left-handed, doing all kinds of things to be as ambidextrous as possible so he could drop left-handed.

“I think it ended up being a strength for him because he’s had to put so much focus on his left hand, it’s only job is making the drop. And it’s made him really consistent.”

Dustin admires his brother’s ability to deal with adversity. Twice during Britton’s time at the University of Tennessee he was suspended and was eventually stripped of his scholarship for arrests on multiple alcohol related charges.

“Anything that’s happened in his life, Britton has been like a duck with water just rolling off his back,” said Dustin. “Nothing bothers him and you have to have that mentality to kick in the NFL. Nothing bothers him. If he has a bad punt, he bounces back pretty quickly.”

Britton credits his father and older brother with helping him realize his dreams and deal with his problems.

“They always were like ‘If you’re able to keep it straight, you’ll be where we are’,” Britton said. “I’m just now starting to feel like I’m a grown man because I feel they are all trusting me now.”

The brothers talk quite a bit and always during the week leading up to games. But as of Thursday afternoon, there had been no phone calls, just a few text messages back and forth.

“Both of us have to punt to whatever situation our team is in,” Dustin said. “It’s a division game, so it’s even more important. We both have to keep in mind that it’s all about field position and it’s not about me and him.

“It always turns into a competition, but it’s one my Dad is always going to win right now because he has the two Super Bowl rings.”

So far this year the numbers for the Colquitt Brothers are nearly identical. Britton has a 44.4-yard gross average, while Dustin is 43.9 yards. In net average, they both have 37.5-yard averages.

Dustin said his folks and “just about everybody from home is going” to Denver for the game. That includes the parents of his long snapper at the University of Tennessee. Anne Colquitt had one of those split jerseys made up, half Chiefs and half Broncos.

So is Dustin or Britton the better punter? When asked this week, Priefer said: “Mrs. Colquitt.”

THE PUNTING COLQUITTS OF THE NFL

 Colquitt

 Seasons

 Teams

 G

 Punts

Gross Avg.

Net Avg.

 LG

In20

 TB

 
Britton

2010

Denver

8

43

44.4

37.5

63

11

3

 
Craig

1978-84,87

Pittsburgh,Indianapolis

 97

 431

 41.3

 34.8

 74

 112

 45

 
Dustin

2005-10

CHIEFS

86

441

44.1

38.8

81

159

39

 
Jimmy

1985

Seattle

2

12

40.1

34.3

55

3

2

 

ANOTHER GUNTHER HEARD FROM

I don’t know if he still has it, but for a long time Gunther Cunningham kept a sheet of paper in his top drawer with names of people along the line who he felt did him wrong.

Sounds like New York Jets LB Bart Scott may soon have his name on that list.

After the Jets beat the Lions in overtime last Sunday, Scott said of Detroit: “They’re by far the dirtiest football team since I played the Titans. I swear to god I hope I see them again.”

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz took issue with Scott’s assessment. The Jets LB heard about that and couldn’t shut up. “He doesn’t even exist to me anymore,” Scott said. “I don’t have to see him ever again. Am I going to see him in the Super Bowl or playoffs? Probably not. He’ll be watching TV in January.”

Well, that was more than Gun, now the Lions defensive coordinator, could handle and he threw his mouth into the ring. “So I don’t want this one-trick pony going, ‘Oh, the Lions are dirty,’” Cunningham told the Detroit media. “We hit you. And I told you that in the beginning of the year, or last year, we’re going to hit you. And we’re not going to push you out on the sideline. We’re going to hit you. You’re legal, we’re going to hit you.

“For them to call us a dirty football really pisses me off. We play tough, we play hard, and we’re going to continue to do that, and we’re going to get better at that. And mister what’s his name? Scott? Maybe he can read that if you write it.”

NFL PERSONNEL FILE FOR THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11

  • DOLPHINS – will start Chad Pennington at quarterback on Sunday, replacing Chad Henne who has been the starter for the first half of the season.
  • TEXANS – placed SS Dominque Barber on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season; claimed CB Jason Allen on waivers from the Dolphins.

2 Responses to “Colquitts Put Punting in Spotlight … Friday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 12, 2010  - Josh says:

    Great back story, Bob. As much as I love the Chiefs, it’s your excellent writing and research that has me continually reading your site. Keep up the good work. Also, at the half-way point of the season, I’m thinking I may owe you the beers come December. Although Cassel is just a really jersey with a pulse, he at least can hand-off to JC without too many errors.


  • November 12, 2010  - Jimbo says:

    As much as I like your writing & subject matter Bob. The Colquitt story had way too much syrup on the pancakes.

    After I’m done yawning, I’ll make a prediction for Sundays game. Chiefs special teams scores a TD. Thomas & Jamaal combine for 230 yds. Bowe catches another TD. Cassel has an acceptable performance. Orton has a great day 3 TD’s & one interception. That interception ices the game for the Chiefs. Chiefs 31 Broncos 24
    Go Chiefs.




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