2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Broncos training camp — Day of the Punter

Published: August 12, 2013, 2:24 pm, by Paul Klee

Colquitt  Defense PM.soldiers

In my next life, I will kick footballs.

I will stretch my hamstrings before eating breakfast. I will watch tapes of Ray Guy and Steve Weatherford and Jeff Feagles.

I will be a punter.

You should, too.

Above left is Britton Colquitt. Why is this man smiling? He’s the Broncos’ $4-million… punter.

That’s right, sports fans. The $4-million punter, with an offense that has Peyton Manning at quarterback, playing at altitude.

$4 million.

Well, $3.9 million, but who’s counting.

“I’ve always told people, though, special teams is the way to go,” Colquitt said today at Dove Valley. “Or golf.”

The numbers add up in favor of the Colquitts. His brother, the superb punter for the Chiefs, just signed a contract worth $18.75 million. Britton’s is worth $13 million, according to The Denver Post.

“KC is a tough place to kick,” Britton said of big brother’s workplace before identifying Dustin as the superior punter. “It gets cold early and can be really windy.”

Today at Dove Valley, the defense ran wind sprints (middle) after a rough day and Peyton Manning (right) hung out with a group of soldiers.

And the punter held court. It was such an event — a punter surrounded by the assembled media for a good 10 minutes — his wife and baby son came along to watch.

“He’s already kicking. But he’s a lefty,” dad said of Nash, their son. “So I’m sending him to Dustin (who’s a lefty).”

See, smart parenting. Their father — Nash’s grandfather — won two Super Bowl rings with the Steelers as a punter.

Here I was, trying to become a 5-foot-10 point guard at Duke. Or the next Dustin Johnson. Neither of which worked out, clearly.

Talk about a missed opportunity.

On a serious note… nevermind. This is serious money, but not a serious subject.

Britton knows that. His self-deprecation, freely acknowledging his good fortune, is more than welcome.

He set a Broncos record last season with a net average of 42.1 yards per punt. Net average is the most important statistic for a punter, he said. For the record, Colquitt punted 101 times in 2011 (behind a limited offense). Last season with Manning running the show? Just 67 times.

“With an offense like we have and a defense like we have….” he said.

Good on you, Britton Colquitt.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to punt.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette