KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Punter Dustin Colquitt has been an unsung hero throughout the Chiefs’ four-game winning streak.
Colquitt’s booming punts have played a major role in flipping field position, and he put that ability on display in Week 11’s 33-3 win against the San Diego Chargers by placing four of five punts inside the 20-yard line.
The NFL on Wednesday recognized that effort by naming Colquitt as the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
“Congratulations to him,” coach Andy Reid said. “Like I mentioned before, he was a factor in that game – well deserving.”
For his part, Colquitt chose to spread the credit around.
“Just doing my job,” Colquitt said. “We’ve had a lot of good punt protection this year. Guys are making differences and (special teams coordinator) Dave (Toub)’s really pushing those guys and me to really playing three games a week, we call it.
“Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays we know we have to punt so between the coverage guys, and then our gunners like (cornerback Jamell) Fleming, he’s really taken charge over there with the guys that come in with (wide receiver Chris) Conley and really making a difference. It’s putting the return guys – quick fair catches or getting down there and downing the ball inside the 5. Those guys are doing that, so it makes my job easy.”
The teammates may make life simple for Colquitt, but Colquitt deserves a lot of credit as the second punter in Chiefs history to garner Special Teams Player of the Week accolades since Louie Aguiar did it in Week 5 of the 1995 season.
Colquitt is one of the NFL’s best at landing punts inside the 20-yard line with 25 of 48 punts this season (52.1 percent), and his performance in Week 11 contributed to the Chargers averaging a starting field position at their own 15.4-yard line.
Defensive end Jaye Howard said he enjoys watching Colquitt pin offenses deep inside their own territory.
“I’m loving it because me as a defensive player I want to get a safety, so every time he does that I’m thinking safety,” Howard said. “I just hope he continues throughout the season.”
Wednesday’s honor is Colquitt’s first in his 11-year career, and that came as a surprise to teammates.
“It was actually very surprising, especially when I go out there and I’m the gunner,” Fleming said. “As many great punts he gives us, I am very surprised about that. But I’m out there covering, so at least I can help him out.”
“He’s one of the best punters in the league, it is surprising,” Howard said. “He’s got great gunners and they’re running for him. I think there’ll be more to come.”