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Old 08-07-2010, 07:29 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Looney: Rugby + Runners

Rugby + Runners

By Josh Looney

Punter Dustin Colquitt is excited about the Chiefs overall increase in team speed


The Chiefs set out to become a faster football team this off-season. Rookie and free agent additions reflected that philosophy and, judging by the first 12 sessions here in St. Joe, improvement in that area has been achieved.

The need for speed was apparent for the Chiefs last year on both sides of the football. Often forgotten, however, is that a speed deprived roster carries over to the special teams units as well. There is more to becoming a better special teams unit than simply adding a few quick returners; field position is a huge part of the game too. This is where the coverage units kick in.

Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt is already noticing a difference in the Chiefs speed when it comes to covering punts, particularly at the gunner position.

“We’ve got a nice injection of some young players; very talented people,” Colquitt said. “I know that there are going to be some punters in the AFC West calling me and asking me why we drafted some of those guys. It’s going to be fun and we’re going to be a much faster team this year.”

Not all of the young players covering kicks are rookies. Colquitt has also taken notice of the work that second-year WR Quinten Lawrence put in this off-season as a gunner.

“Quinten Lawrence, I think watched a lot of film this off-season,” Colquitt commented. “He’s getting off the line really, really quick. He’s just dipping that shoulder and getting down the field. As a punter, that’s a big deal. It’s not necessarily the tackles that you have to make (as a gunner), but if you can just get between that jammer and the man catching the ball to create fair catches. That’s a big thing for us.”

The lines for gunner reps are long in St. Joseph and plenty of players are expected to get their shot to show off coverage speed this preseason. Faster definitely equals better for the Chiefs punt team, particularly with Colquitt making the rugby-style punt a more consistent part of his arsenal.

A rugby punt is about as anti-Colquitt as it gets. Instead of a typical high-arching boot with a tight spiral, the rugby-style kick is low and spins end-over-end. Throw in a field with an artificial surface and you can get some pretty lengthy bounces.

“Last year was my first full year in doing rugby punt all year long,” Colquitt said. “It can set up the defense a little bit more with inside-the-20 type of stuff. I’m just trying to master that and even use it in an open-field situation to try and get it to hang up and use the wind. When you do something like the rugby punt, you have to focus on the regular punt because that’s a completely different drop. I’m just focused on fundamentals right now.”

Colquitt also says that an increase in team speed helps make rugby punts more effective.

“It’s kind of like a pitch and catch thing with the return guys,” Colquitt said. “If you have really fast gunners, you can get down there and cover. With a coffin corner you see a lot of touchbacks or misses and shanks. Rugby punting is a little different; I wouldn’t say safer, but it’s a better punt when you’re trying to set up for the defense. When it comes to having the ball at 11 positions or so in a game, it’s important to create a long field.”

The rugby-style punt just hit college football’s mainstream within the past two years. Now, some of the up-and-coming punters are exclusively rugby-style players. Colquitt, on the other hand, is a traditionalist trying to perfect a second craft. He’s hoping that a pairing of the two will offer the Chiefs an advantage in 2010.

“If you can do rugby and combine that with long punts, you will have a return guy who doesn’t know if you are going to go long or end-over-end or knuckle ball,” Colquitt said. “The more that you have in your bag the better, especially when you face you’re Reggie Bush’s or whoever.”

Rugby Runners…look for it on the Chiefs special teams in 2010.

Last edited by Tribal Warfare; 08-07-2010 at 07:56 AM..
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:05 AM   #2
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The MVP's style was never a problem it was the others on the squad.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:10 AM   #3
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Well, one of the reasons his style was never a problem is because he takes what he does very seriously, and the fact that he is adding a twist to his style speaks to that.

It's a very rare thing to think of a punter as a real weapon.
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milkman View Post
Well, one of the reasons his style was never a problem is because he takes what he does very seriously, and the fact that he is adding a twist to his style speaks to that.

It's a very rare thing to think of a punter as a real weapon.
So you think of him as a weapon?
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:56 AM   #5
the Talking Can the Talking Can is offline
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that's the most interesting article about punting i've ever read....which is to say it's the first interesting one...
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:02 AM   #6
milkman milkman is online now
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Originally Posted by Tylerthigpen!1! View Post
So you think of him as a weapon?
Yes I do.

At this point, until others step up, he's our most reliable defensive weapon.

FTR, I expect Berry, Flowers, and Dorsey to step up this year.
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tylerthigpen!1! View Post
So you think of him as a toy?
FYP
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