KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Having coached special teams in the NFL for 12 years, Dave Toub has seen his share of punters. But he says he’s never seen one better at dropping the ball inside the 20 than veteran Dustin Colquitt of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I think he’s the best there’s ever been, really,’’ said Toub, who now coaches Colquitt. “Over the years, 40 percent of his kicks are inside the 20. It’s unbelievable. I don’t know if there’s ever been anybody close to him. Maybe the guy that was with the Giants for years, (Jeff) Feagles.
“He’s so consistent with it, confident.’’
Colquitt, a Pro Bowler in 2012, is having another excellent season. He is tied for the NFL lead in punts downed inside the 20-yard line with 21, accounting for almost half of his 43 kicks. He has just three touchbacks.
Colquitt’s punts in last week’s win over Denver were overlooked because the Chiefs intercepted Peyton Manning four times and drove him to the bench. But Colquitt was a big factor in the game. He put three punts inside the 10 and another was downed at the 11.
“He looks at it as an art . . . he takes pride in it,’’ Toub said. “He’s so disappointed when he hits a touchback. It really crushes him.’’
The left-footed Colquitt long ago mastered the art of making the ball bounce backward. He did that twice against the Broncos. Another one of his punts bounced toward the end zone but was downed at the 1-yard line on a nice combined effort by Jamell Fleming and Saalim Hakim.
Colquitt and the Chiefs work on such punts regularly.
“Dave has an emphasis on that at the end of every punt period,’’ Colquitt said. “It’s a big deal obviously. We’ll work on three, four, five punts in every session specifically inside the 20, inside the 10.
“Every day, there’s some part of practice we’re working on that. If it doesn’t look good one day, Dave might come back and say, ‘You’re not going to like this, but we’ve got a whole day of just pooch punts.’ It’s just one of those things you’ve got to do all the time so you feel comfortable with it.’’