NFL Nation: Dustin Colquitt

Kansas City Chiefs season wrap-up

January, 8, 2014

Arrow indicates direction team is trending.

Final Power Ranking: 10
Preseason Power Ranking: 19

Biggest surprise: The Chiefs plucked rookie cornerback Marcus Cooper, a seventh-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers, off waivers to start the regular season. Cooper played better than the Chiefs had a right to expect for a long stretch of the season as the third cornerback. He had a rough stretch late in the season before bouncing back at the end. At 6-foot-2 and 192 pounds, Cooper has the size to match up with the league's bigger receivers. Cooper projects as nothing less than the Chiefs' third cornerback next season and could eventually become a starter.

Biggest disappointment: Offensive tackle Eric Fisher was the first overall pick in the draft last year but rarely played like it. The Chiefs used Fisher on the right side, and he initially had trouble making the transition. He also had trouble avoiding nagging injuries, which caused him to miss four games, including the playoff loss to Indianapolis. Fisher should eventually develop into the kind of player the Chiefs envisioned. He showed great athletic skills that will help him reach his potential. Fisher was usually unable to anchor against a strong pass rush and that's where many of his problems occurred. A year in Kansas City's strength program will benefit Fisher greatly.

Biggest need: The Chiefs need a fast wide receiver to energize their passing game. They gambled by giving Dwayne Bowe a lucrative long-term contract last offseason, but Bowe didn't play like a No. 1 wide receiver until the playoff loss to the Colts. Bowe will turn 30 next season, so if nothing else, it's time for the Chiefs to plan for someone else to step into that top receiver's role. The Chiefs have a couple of fast wide receivers in Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins. While Avery delivered some big plays, he dropped too many passes and disappeared too many times. Jenkins hasn't been able to establish himself as a consistent threat.

Team MVP: The Chiefs have at least a couple of defensive candidates but the better choice is running back Jamaal Charles. He supplied much of Kansas City's offensive production, particularly early in the season when the offense around him frequently sputtered. Charles led the league in touchdowns and expanded his game to become a much more dangerous pass-catcher. Coach Andy Reid and his offensive staff did a much better job of getting Charles matched up against linebackers in the open field, and he rewarded them with a number of big plays. If the Chiefs had not lost five of their final seven regular-season games, Charles would have been a strong candidate for league MVP.

All-AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs

January, 2, 2014
NFC Teams: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs were appropriately honored with nine players on ESPN’s All-AFC West team.

Each of the nine players deserves his spot on the all-division team. No strong argument could be made for any Chiefs player who didn’t make the team.

Running back Jamaal Charles and left tackle Branden Albert were the offensive players selected. Charles had a strong all-around season, emerging as a legitimate threat as a pass-receiver. Charles beat out some strong competition from Denver’s Knowshon Moreno and San Diego’s Ryan Mathews.

Albert had a solid season despite missing three games late in the year with a knee injury.

On defense, nose tackle Dontari Poe, inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston and strong safety Eric Berry were chosen. Poe, Johnson, Houston and Berry may have had their best NFL seasons. Poe was a force against both the run and the pass and was so valuable to the Chiefs that he rarely came out of their lineup.

Johnson and Berry showed outstanding all-around games. Johnson tied his career high in sacks. Berry set a career high in sacks and scored twice on interception returns. Houston was among the NFL leaders in sacks in late November before dislocating his elbow, an injury that forced him out of the lineup for four games.

Hali was among the AFC leaders in sacks.

On special teams, punter Dustin Colquitt and punt returner Dexter McCluster were selected. Colquitt didn’t have the best average in the division but landed a huge percentage of his punts inside the 20, an important statistic for a team that relied on favorable field position.

McCluster scored a touchdown on two punt returns, including an electrifying 89-yarder against the New York Giants.

Pro Bowl selections: Kansas City Chiefs

December, 27, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs put an impressive eight players into this year's Pro Bowl but one who didn't get selected could be among the year's biggest snubs.

Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson is having perhaps his best NFL season, but isn't among the eight Chiefs going to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. Those eight are running back Jamaal Charles, offensive tackle Branden Albert, nose tackle Dontari Poe, outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, cornerback Brandon Flowers, strong safety Eric Berry and punt returner Dexter McCluster.

Johnson leads the Chiefs in tackles, an unofficial statistic, with 107. He also tied his career high in sacks with 4.5.

Statistics don't tell Johnson's complete story. He is a down-to-down presence for the Chiefs and his game hasn't slipped even as that of the defense around him deteriorated over the season's last half.

Punter Dustin Colquitt also deserved consideration. Colquitt doesn't have one of league's best averages but he's tied for most punts downed inside the 20 (35), an important statistic playing for a team that depends heavily on favorable field position.

Other than Flowers, it's difficult to argue with any of the eight players who did reach the Pro Bowl. Charles is having perhaps his best NFL season, having developed as a legitimate receiving threat. Albert is having a solid season as the blindside pass protector for quarterback Alex Smith.

Poe has been a force against both the run and the pass and is so valuable to the Chiefs that he rarely comes out of the game. Hali and Houston both have 11 sacks. Berry has been strong against the run and returned an interception for a touchdown two times. McCluster returned two punts for touchdowns, including an electrifying 89-yarder in September against the New York Giants.

Flowers' selection is odd. He isn't having one of his best seasons. The Chiefs often leave him alone in man-to-man coverage and he hasn't done a great job of holding up under the pressure.

Click here for the complete Pro Bowl roster.

Injury luck hasn't been all it seems

October, 23, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs had each of their 53 players available for practice Wednesday, an unusual occurrence this time of the season. The Chiefs also had everybody available to them for practice last Friday and for last Sunday's game against the Houston Texans.

They're fortunate, to be sure. But to say injury luck has been a factor in their 7-0 record is stretching things. They've had lengthy injury reports this season, and key players such as running back Jamaal Charles and free safety Kendrick Lewis have missed large chunks of practice time.

Cornerback Brandon Flowers missed two games and tight end Anthony Fasano has missed four. Dustin Colquitt has been punting on a bum knee. Two players the Chiefs were counting on, tight ends Tony Moeaki and Travis Kelce, were done for the season without taking a regular-season snap.

Rookie defensive back Sanders Commings broke his collarbone on the first day of training camp and only last week returned to practice.

So while the Chiefs are in good shape for now and haven't been hit as hard as many other teams, they've hardly escaped unscathed.

"We've been fortunate," coach Andy Reid said. "That's really what it is. The guys are back now and playing with us. We had our share. The guys that stepped in did a nice job, which helped.

"Some of it is chance. Sometimes you get those things. It happens. Sometimes they come in waves. That's how it works."

Friday's Chiefs practice report

October, 18, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs could have their entire roster available to them in Sunday's game against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium. Starting free safety Kendrick Lewis (ankle) returned to practice on a limited basis and was listed on their injury report as having a 50-50 chance to play.

The other 12 players on their report were listed as probable. That includes cornerback Brandon Flowers (knee) and tight end Anthony Fasano (ankle/knee). Both were listed as being limited practice participants on Friday.

Everyone else on their injury report was listed as a full practice participant: wide receiver Donnie Avery (shoulder), offensive linemen Branden Albert (knee/elbow), Jon Asamoah (knee) and Jeff Allen (groin/hand), nose tackle Dontari Poe (ankle), fullback Anthony Sherman (knee), punter Dustin Colquitt (knee), tight end Kevin Brock (shoulder), linebacker Dezman Moses (toe) and defensive lineman Jaye Howard (non-injury related).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Rookie defensive back Sanders Commings, who has been on the Kansas City Chiefs' injured-reserve list all season, practiced for the first time on Wednesday.

The promotion of Commings, a fifth-round draft pick from Georgia, to the active roster, appears inevitable, with the only question being the timing of the move. Commings was a nickel safety for the Chiefs during offseason practice and would have challenged for playing time had he not broken his collarbone during the first practice at training camp.

The Chiefs are deep in the secondary, with the emergence of rookie cornerback Marcus Cooper and veteran safeties Quintin Demps and Husain Abdullah, but the return of Commings would provide even more security at the back end of their defense.

Starting tight end Anthony Fasano, who has missed the last four games because of knee and ankle injuries, returned to practice on a limited basis and said that barring a setback he would play Sunday against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium.

The only player who did not practice was starting free safety Kendrick Lewis (ankle). The only other player who was limited in practice was cornerback Brandon Flowers (knee).

The Chiefs listed nine players as full practice participants: tackle Branden Albert (knee/elbow), nose tackle Dontari Poe (ankle), guard Jeff Allen (groin/hand), guard Jon Asamoah (knee), wide receiver Donnie Avery (shoulder), tight end Kevin Brock (shoulder), fullback Anthony Sherman (knee), punter Dustin Colquitt (knee) and linebacker Dezman Moses (toe).

Friday's Chiefs practice report

October, 11, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs ended the suspense with outside linebacker Justin Houston, listing him on their injury report as probable to play in Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.

Houston, hit in the head and neck area in last week's game against Tennessee, missed practice Wednesday as the Chiefs put him through the NFL's concussion protocol. He returned to practice on a limited basis on Thursday and was a full practice participant on Friday.

Houston is second in the NFL with 8.5 sacks.

But cornerback Brandon Flowers, who missed a game against the New York Giants two weeks ago because of a sore knee, injured the other knee in practice and was listed as having a 50-50 chance to play against the Raiders.

Another starter, free safety Kendrick Lewis (ankle) practiced for the first time this week and was also listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Tight ends Anthony Fasano (ankle/knee) and Travis Kelce (knee) did not practice all week. Fasano is listed as doubtful, and while Kelce will not play.

The Chiefs have nine other players on their injury report, and all were listed as likely to play: running back Jamaal Charles (toes), wide receiver Donnie Avery (shoulder), punter Dustin Colquitt (knee), tackle Eric Fisher (concussion), guard Jeff Allen (groin), tight end Sean McGrath (knee), fullback Anthony Sherman (knee), offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz (triceps), and linebacker Dezman Moses (toe).

Thursday's Chiefs practice report

October, 10, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Outside linebacker Justin Houston returned to Kansas City Chiefs practice on a limited basis but has yet to be cleared to play in Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.

Houston was hit in the head/neck area last week against the Tennessee Titans. He remained in the game. He did not practice Wednesday.

The loss of Houston would be a major one for the Chiefs. Houston leads the Chiefs with 8.5 sacks.

If he doesn't play, Houston would be replaced by veteran Frank Zombo, a former starter with the Packers. Zombo had four sacks as a rookie in 2010.

Running back Jamaal Charles, who has blisters on his feet, also returned to practice on a limited basis after sitting out a day earlier.

Two starters, tight end Anthony Fasano (knee/ankle) and free safety Kendrick Lewis (ankle) did not practice. Backup tight end Travis Kelce (knee) did not practice and will not play against Oakland.

Other players listed as practicing on a limited basis were wide receiver Donnie Avery (shoulder) and punter Dustin Colquitt (knee).

Listed as full practice participants: tackle Eric Fisher (concussion), guard Jeff Allen (groin), tight end Sean McGrath (knee), fullback Anthony Sherman (knee), offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz (tricep) and linebacker Dezman Moses (toe).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt made the AFC’s Pro Bowl team last season, in large part because of his ability to drop the ball inside the 20. Colquitt is at it again. This season, 15 of his 32 kicks have gone inside the 20.

Otherwise, Colquitt is at an unfamiliar spot in the punter statistics. With a 41.8-yard average, he ranks second from the bottom among the 33 punters listed this week.

Colquitt is rarely near the top in punting average in part because he gives up some yards with his nice touch inside the 20. He’s also fighting a knee injury that almost knocked him out of the game against the New York Giants two weeks ago.

Colquitt is still punting, but hasn’t looked quite right since the injury, a fact confirmed by special team coordinator Dave Toub.

“I’m not a doctor," Toub said. “I just know he’s not all the way there. He’s feeling a lot better this week. He’s going to get better as we go. He’s on the mend."

A healthy Colquitt is important for the Chiefs, who don’t get a lot of big plays or score a lot of points with their offense. They’re dependent on winning the field position battle and having Colquitt available to drop a punt inside the 20 or hit a booming kick to get them out of trouble is vital.

One sign of Colquitt’s struggles came last week. Colquitt shanked a nine-yard punt in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs have had problems protecting Colquitt this season, though not on that particular play, and it might have been a factor in the lousy punt.

“We’ve had some issues with protection, and it was a low snap," Toub said. “He rushed it. He got up and tried to rush it, and there was nobody there. When you look at the tape later, you say, ‘What am I doing?’ But he rushed it. I’m sure he had snakes in his head from the past. That happens. That’s very unlike him. It won’t happen again with him."
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs had 12 names on their injury report, so things are looking up for them in that category. They listed 14 players last week.

Four starters did not practice: linebacker Justin Houston (possible concussion), running back Jamaal Charles (toes), tight end Anthony Fasano (knee/ankle) and free safety Kendrick Lewis (ankle). Backup tight end Travis Kelce (knee) also did not practice. Kelce, who had arthroscopic knee surgery Tuesday, will not play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium.

Two other regulars were listed as being limited participants in practice: wide receiver Donnie Avery (shoulder) and punter Dustin Colquitt (knee).

Tackle Eric Fisher, who missed last week's game against the New York Giants because of a concussion, was a full practice participant. Others listed as full participants: guard Jeff Allen (groin), tight end Sean McGrath (knee), fullback Anthony Sherman (knee) and offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz (triceps).

Friday's Chiefs practice report

October, 4, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For having 14 players, including 10 regulars, on this week's injury report, the Kansas City Chiefs look like they will be in decent shape for Sunday's game at Tennessee. The only players who have already been ruled out are two rookies, starting right tackle Eric Fisher (concussion) and backup tight end Travis Kelce (knee).

Three starters are listed as questionable to play on Sunday: cornerback Brandon Flowers (knee), free safety Kendrick Lewis (ankle) and tight end Anthony Fasano (ankle/knee). Flowers didn't play in last week's game against the New York Giants, but said after practice that he was far ahead physically from where he was at this point last week and that he would play against Tennessee.

Nine players are listed as probable to play in Sunday's game, including running back Jamaal Charles (blisters on his feet). The problem was so severe early in the week that Charles had to miss practice on Wednesday. But Charles, like Flowers, said he would play against the Titans.

The others listed as probable include five regulars: guards Jeff Allen (groin) and Jon Asamoah (knee), center Rodney Hudson (shin), fullback Anthony Sherman (knee) and punter Dustin Colquitt (knee). Also listed as probable are tight end Sean McGrath (knee), cornerback Marcus Cooper (knee/thigh) and linebacker James-Michael Johnson (thumb).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs won’t be the team without their starting quarterback on Sunday when they meet the Titans in Nashville, Tenn., but they should have an extensive injury list during preparations this week.

The most pressing issue is the sore knee that caused starting cornerback Brandon Flowers to miss the Chiefs’ 31-7 win over the New York Giants. Coach Andy Reid said Flowers still has inflammation of the knee, so his practice week, at the least, could again be disrupted.

Veteran Dunta Robinson started the game as Flowers’ replacement but he yielded a 69-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz. Rookie Marcus Cooper then replaced Robinson and played well, but over the long haul Flowers is one of the Chiefs’ best defensive players.

Rookie offensive tackle Eric Fisher left the Giants game late in the first half after receiving a concussion. He was replaced by Donald Stephenson. The Chiefs will similarly monitor Fisher’s progress throughout the week.

“When you look at it, he got hit more in the shoulder area than he did the head,’’ Reid said. “He didn’t take that direct blow to the head, which is a good thing. I think that will end up being a plus for him going forward.’’

Among other injured players, running back Jamaal Charles has what Reid called “very extensive” blisters on his feet and punter Dustin Colquitt has a sprained knee. Both players were able to finish the game and should be ready to play in Nashville.

Two other starters, tight end Anthony Fasano (ankle) and guard Jeff Allen (groin), did not play against the Giants and it may be at least another week until either player is ready for a game.

The 3-1 Titans will be without quarterback Jake Locker, who injured his hip in a win over the New York Jets. He will be replaced by veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Locker Room Buzz: Kansas City Chiefs

September, 29, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Observed in the locker room after the Kansas City Chiefs' 31-7 win over the New York Giants:

Walking wounded: Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt injured his knee in the first quarter when the Giants deflected one of his kicks. The situation appeared ominous when Ryan Succop, the kicker, began practicing punts into a net along the sideline while Colquitt received medical attention. The Chiefs would have missed Colquitt's deft touch inside the 20. But he stayed in the game and finished with another big game: a 44.6-yard average on five kicks with two downed inside the 20.

Turn of events: A month ago, tight end Sean McGrath was on waivers after being released by the Seattle Seahawks, meaning his career was balanced on the whims of a team claiming him. The Chiefs were that team, fortunately for them because injuries forced Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce out of their lineup. McGrath tied with Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster for the team lead with five catches Sunday and scored Kansas City's first touchdown.

Fisher out: Tackle Eric Fisher, the first pick in this year's NFL draft, received a concussion and didn't play in the second half. Donald Stephenson took his place and the Chiefs didn't lose anything with Fisher out of their lineup.

Upon Further Review: Chiefs Week 2

September, 16, 2013
KANSAS CITY -- An examination of four hot issues from the Kansas City Chiefs' 17-16 win against the Dallas Cowboys:

[+] EnlargeAlex Smith
AP Photo/James D. SmithQuarterback Alex Smith's ability to escape the rush has paid dividends for the Chiefs.
A running quarterback: Alex Smith threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns, but his running ability was as much of a factor. Smith led the Chiefs with 57 rushing yards, 40 of them coming on the game-opening touchdown drive. Smith doesn’t just have the ability to escape trouble and run for yardage, though that’s no small part of his game. It’s also his ability to gain yardage on option plays. The Chiefs resorted to some option Sunday, in large part because the Cowboys were loading the line of scrimmage in wait for running back Jamaal Charles. With Charles ineffective for much of the game, Smith’s running ability allowed the Chiefs to gain some yardage on the ground and take some pressure off their passing game.

A punting weapon: The last six times the Cowboys took possession of the ball after a Chiefs punt, they started on their 5, 10, 10, 16, 20 and 4, respectively. That’s in large part because of the work of punter Dustin Colquitt, who -- after making his first Pro Bowl appearance last season after dropping 45 punts inside the 20 -- is off to another strong start. The Chiefs were able to keep the field tilted in their favor for much of Sunday’s game, a major factor in the outcome.

Not special in the kicking game: The Chiefs were spectacular on special teams in the preseason, but other than Colquitt they again had problems against the Cowboys. Ryan Succop had a field goal attempt blocked, making it two straight weeks an opponent has gotten a piece of a Chiefs kick. The return game was unable to provide much-needed favorable field position for an offense struggling to score points. The worst error came late in the game, when noted fumbler Knile Davis was sent out to handle a most important kickoff. Sure enough, Davis fumbled, though he was able to jump on the ball before any of the Cowboys could.

Re-establishing Arrowhead Stadium as home-field advantage: Once one of the most feared road venues in the league, Arrowhead hasn’t been a difficult place for visitors to play the past couple of seasons. The Chiefs were 4-12 at home since the start of the 2011 season. But the place was as loud against Dallas as it’s been in some time, and the crowd was no small factor as the Chiefs were able to hold off the Cowboys in the fourth quarter. Perhaps that’s the first step toward restoring Arrowhead as one of the NFL’s premier stadiums for home-field advantage.
Gud Bradley, Andy ReidAP PhotoGus Bradley and Andy Reid are looking to get off to fast starts with their new teams.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Fans know a lot about their favorite teams, but they don’t have the same depth of knowledge of the 31 other teams in the NFL. That’s not going to be a problem any longer.

Each week the NFL Nation writers will team up Q&A style to help you get a handle on each team. Today, Kansas City Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher and Jacksonville Jaguars reporter Michael DiRocco help break down Sunday’s matchup.

Michael DiRocco: Is Alex Smith really an upgrade over Matt Cassel?

Adam Teicher: He had better be or the Chiefs are in some trouble. Cassel and Brady Quinn turned over the ball far too many times last season. One thing we know about Smith is that he hasn’t thrown many interceptions. He threw just 10 in his last 25 starts with the 49ers. So he’s been a quarterback who protects the ball, and if he can just do that, he’s already an upgrade over Cassel and Quinn. Another thing: Andy Reid’s West Coast offense will succeed if the quarterback completes a high percentage of throws. Smith completed 70 percent last season. If he can get close to that number this season, he’s even more of an upgrade.

Teicher: How patient will the Jaguars be with Blaine Gabbert on Sunday and this season?

DiRocco: This is a make-or-break season for Gabbert, who must prove he’s capable of being a franchise quarterback. That’s the team’s No. 1 goal for the season, so there will be a certain amount of patience. It does no good to give him a half or one game and yank him because the team will essentially be where it was heading into the season. That being said, if Gabbert really struggles during the first two months of the season, then the team will have its answer and may turn to Chad Henne or the recently signed Ricky Stanzi for the remainder of the season.

DiRocco: What’s the biggest change Andy Reid has brought to Kansas City?

Teicher: It’s a change brought by Reid and John Dorsey, the new general manager. Everybody seems to be pulling in the same direction. The Chiefs went through plenty of infighting the past few years and it was dragging them down. People often had their own agendas or felt they had to align themselves with one person or another. Dorsey and Reid swept that out the door. Winning looks to be the only goal and it certainly appears everybody is on board with that. Of course, it’s easy for a new administration to have everybody on board when it’s undefeated. So it’s an issue to keep an eye on once the Chiefs start losing some games.

Teicher: What are the biggest changes Gus Bradley and Dave Caldwell have brought to the Jags?

DiRocco: On the field, it’s on defense, where Bradley is implementing a more aggressive attitude and trying to rebuild the secondary with bigger, more physical cornerbacks -- essentially what he did in Seattle. Off the field, Bradley and Caldwell have changed the culture in the locker room. There’s a lot of energy and enthusiasm around the franchise even though everyone knows that the talent level needs a significant upgrade and the team likely isn’t going to reach .500. It was a much-needed boost, because the atmosphere around the team the past few seasons under Jack Del Rio and Mike Mularkey had become somewhat stale.

DiRocco: Some NFL experts have pegged the Chiefs as a playoff team just one season after finishing 2-14. What are a few things that have to happen for that to become a reality?

Teicher: They have many good players, but from the GM to the coach to the coordinators to the offensive and defensive system to the quarterback to 29 other players who didn’t play for the Chiefs last season, there’s a lot new here. How quickly Reid and his staff can pull everything together will be a key. The Chiefs have a favorable schedule the first half of the season and they need to take advantage because it gets more difficult after that. On the field, the Chiefs have to fix a turnover differential that was minus-24 last season. Their defense and special teams have to do a better job of providing better field position for the offense. This offense won’t make a lot of big plays, and if it has to go 80 yards on every possession, it will be a struggle.

Teicher: What are realistic expectations for the Jags this season in terms of number of wins?

DiRocco: I kind of let that slip in my earlier answer, but a six-win season would be the best-case scenario for the Jaguars. Four or five victories seems more likely, though, especially considering the team has back-to-back road games on the West Coast, plays San Francisco in London, and has to play at Denver, Indianapolis and Houston.