Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the Kansas City Chiefs are returning 20 of their 22 offensive and defensive starters from the 2019 season. Everyone is talking about the team embracing continuity in their attempt at a second-straight Super Bowl championship.
With an explosive offense like the Chiefs, there is one turned-over position that could be considered an afterthought — although the man who previously occupied it is far from forgotten.
“First off, he’s the best punter I’ve ever coached. The best punter I’ve ever been around.”
Special teams coordinator Dave Toub had nothing but great things to say about former Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt in his media availability on Tuesday. The 15-year veteran was released in late April and has yet to find a new home. He left an impression on Toub — who went on with his praise of Colquitt.
“He’s such a great person, a great team leader, just a great teammate for everybody. You never knew what he was going to do, he was always going to have a practical joke to make everybody laugh in the room. He was so good in the community with his Team Smile, just an awesome family man, a spiritual guy. He’s going to be missed, he’s going to be hard to replace, but that’s the way the NFL is. Things change, and we need to move on.”
The Chiefs moved on by adding two punters last month. The first was second-year player Tyler Newsome, who spent the 2019 preseason with the Los Angeles Chargers before being cut. The second addition was former Florida punter Tommy Townsend — an undrafted free agent signing that received praise from his new special teams coordinator.
“The kid’s got a lot of talent. We really liked him coming out, I had him rated as the best punter coming out this year and he was available for us.”
While it may sound like Toub has a preference between the two, he made it clear that they were starting off on even footing.
“It is going to be a true competition, there’s nobody really out in front right now as we look at it. I like them both.”
He would go on to detail their talents and the difference between the two.
“They both have really strong legs, really powerful legs,” Toub remarked. “They consistently hit over 5.0 [second] hangtimes, which is really impressive. Tommy’s a little bit more clean in his technique, as far as consistency. Whereas Tyler is a little bit more erratic with his technique, but the results are the same. They both bomb the ball. We just need to clean Tyler up a little more, but I tell you what, the competition is going to be real fun.”
While punting is the main feature of the position, it’s important that the eventual winner of the competition can hold for field goal kicker Harrison Butker.
“Both of them can do it,” Toub claimed. “They’ve been working, they’re up here on their own, doing their own thing. Both guys that we have — Tommy and Tyler — can both hold. Tommy did it last year, started on Florida’s team. They’re both experienced.”
While Toub is technically making it an open competition, it sure sounds like Townsend has a leg up (no pun intended) on the battle early on. In a shortened offseason, Newsome will have to take advantage of every opportunity he gets on the field with the coaches to beat out the perceived favorite.
After seeing Dave Toub’s quotes, who ya got?
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