Pat McAfee talks to Colts about being both punter and kicker

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Colts punter Pat McAfee has talked to the team about potentially becoming their field goal kicker as well.

McAfee, who already handles kickoffs for the Colts, said after signing his new five-year contract that he would like to add field goals to his duties. McAfee said he hopes free agent kicker Adam Vinatieri returns this year, but after Vinatieri leaves, McAfee wants a crack at the job.

“It was definitely brought up and that was kind of the thing I think that was most talked about,” McAfee said, in comments distributed by the team. “Who knows what’s going to happen with Vinatieri? If he gets re-signed, if he wants to get re-signed, however long he wants to play, I just wanted to know whenever that guy is done, whenever that Hall-of-Fame career is over, that I just want a fair shake in kicking as well. That came up in the conversation. Who knows what’s going to happen with everything else obviously with him or who else they bring in. That definitely came up during negotiations and I’m excited to see how that turns out as well.”

McAfee was both punter and kicker in college at West Virginia, and at one point he owned the record for the longest field goal ever kicked at Heinz Field, having booted a 51-yarder against the Pitt Panthers. So he has the skills for the job.

However, it’s very, very rare in today’s NFL for teams to even consider having one person handle all the kicking. NFL teams typically want a punter to spend all his time practicing punting and a field goal kicker to spend all his time practicing field goal kicking. The Falcons had a disastrous experiment in 2006, when Michael Koenen opened the season as both the punter and the kicker. They scrapped that idea just two weeks into the season, after Koenen missed six of his first eight field goal attempts.

Still, finding one player who can handle all the kicking would free up a roster spot when depth is needed at another position. As the NFL considers phasing out the extra point after already making touchbacks easier on kickoffs, teams might start to think the kicking game has become less important, and consider devoting just one roster spot to kicking. If it happens any time soon, McAfee would likely be the man to do it.

28 responses to “Pat McAfee talks to Colts about being both punter and kicker

  1. Or you could look for a FG kicker that can also punt. In the Koenen example it was a disaster because it’s a very rare thing to be able to consistently kick FGs competently. But it’s not as devastating if your FG kicker comes up a few yards short on the distance of a punt. You can’t afford to not have a reliable kicker on the team so you need to secure that first, then determine if that player can also punt. FG kickers will punt more impressively compared to punters trying to do FG kicking.

    Alex Henery was a guy I thought might try to do both, and Gostkowski looked like he has some punting chops too.

  2. watch him kicking fgs on YouTube. boomstick can do it. appreciate having Adam but if we resign him it won’t be cheap so it makes sense on a lot of levels.

  3. Carrying only one kicker would make sense-until that one kicker strains something or gets knocked cold on a runback in the first quarter.

  4. It is commendable for him wanting to do more…BUT…the smart thing to do would be to stick with one position. First of all, they are probably not going to pay you more for adding fg’s to your duties. Secondly, punters and kickers that go cold are immediately at risk for getting cut. It probably gets boring when you’re hardly ever in the game…but boring is better than botching kicks. From the team’s standpoint, it probably makes little sense to double up the duties because they probably still need a guy to back him up and he will count against the 53 man total.

  5. I’ve always wondered why kickers should just limit themselves to either punting or kicking. Why not both? It’s not like kicking is an physically draining act. Waste of roster spot on having two specialist.

  6. as they move back XP’s, and eventually remove kickoffs, one has to wonder, do you save a roster spot and just make it a specialist position, a guy who can kick fg’s, and punt? I think we are going that direction, where there will simply be a “Kicking Specialist” position replacing K/P

  7. start of the decline of kickers in football..honestly guys, the kicker position will soon be eliminated from the nfl…although i think kickers are critical

  8. I could see an opposing team immediately going right after the kicker/punter to knock him out of the game. (I’m looking at you, Pittsburgh) That could be disastrous for a team to play a game without either position.

  9. Bad idea. You always need a backup kicker.

    If the issue is freeing up a roster spot then train all the backup QBs to also be kickers — it would be cool to see modern day George Blandas

  10. OK, I just realized the Auto-Censors won’t let me post his name, but in the ’70’s there was a guy named Don
    ______roft who excelled at both FG’s & Punting for the Browns.

  11. thevikesarebest says: Mar 8, 2014 2:59 PM

    The colts are soft.————————————

    Speaking of soft, you must enjoy that Packer cheese you and your team have to eat each season.

  12. You know, a decent backup QB who can also learn to be a decent back up kicker/punter combo would be a very desirable asset for any team.

    Maybe some of the well-traveled backups could stay in one place for awhile if they developed those skills.

  13. You know, a decent backup QB who can also learn to be a decent back up kicker/punter combo would be a very desirable asset for any team.

    Maybe some of the well-traveled backups could stay in one place for awhile if they developed those skills.

  14. It seems like a terrible idea to have a dual kicker/ punter.

    In a close game (or playoff game) the other team can murder him on a punt. Give up one new set of downs in exchange for the other team not being able to go for FGs the rest of the game.

  15. He has laid the wood on a few guys…remember the shot he put on Trindon Holliday? Knocked him into the following week. I could see him come in for some long range tries, he does have the leg for it. But I don’t want to see him pull double duty. Too much risk for injury.

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