If Colquitt Struggles Again, This Familiar Face Might Be The Vikings ONLY Shot At Punter…
There was so much bad going on between the white lines for the Vikings on Saturday that it’d be easy to overlook one or two of the problems that the coaches are honing in on. I mean, it was a 33-6 loss to a team that you had been practicing against the week prior and there was really nothing good to walk away with.
It’s true that there were some 30 or so players held out last weekend who will likely make the roster, but there was one starter left in the lineup that should leave Vikings fans and coaches really concerned with his performance in preseason game number one.
Yesterday, Dustin Baker highlighted the concerning situation surrounding Vikings punter Britton Colquitt after Saturday’s preseason debut.
Colquitt averaged 40.5 per punt on 4 boots Saturday but did not avoid the scorn of the head coach after the game. But as Will Ragatz of Sports Illustrated points out, Colquitt’s numbers were saved by a very fortunate bounce.
That’s what led to Mike Zimmer claiming that Colquitt had “three very poor punts” on Saturday and that the situation is very much “cause for concern”.
Those are either very damning words from the head coach or an attempt to motivate someone via comments to the media. Players always say that they do not pay attention to social media or the newspapers, but players also lie about that very thing pretty often. In one way or another, comments like these will make their way back to the player.
From there, the Vikings reportedly brought in Australian born punter Max Duffy for a workout this week, though that report also noted that this was presumed to be a move for future considerations not necessarily to push Colquitt in 2021.
That said…if Colquitt takes the field this coming Saturday against the Colts and stumbled again, what are the options that the Vikings have?
It’s no secret that after the 2020 season, it’s all eyes on every facet of Minnesota’s special teams play. Ryan Ficken was elevated to the Special Teams Coordinator position and an assessment of all four phases was engaged. The fact that coming out of the game there were such pointed comments hurled in the direction of the punting game could be telling?
So what are the options?
As mentioned above, they worked out Max Duffy this week and have assuredly formed an opinion on him. If they don’t see that as an option, there are two other names left on the free agency list available for hire. The first, Britton’s older brother Dustin Colquitt…AWKWARD! Dustin was cut after five games by the Steelers last season and replaced with the guy he originally supplanted in Pittsburgh. It would appear as if his run as a punter in the NFL has come to an end.
The other free agent option is one that is probably familiar to Vikings fans already.
After spending the entirety of his 12-year career with the New Orleans Saints, Thomas Morstead became the victim of a terrible salary cap situation and a youth movement for the Saints and was let go following the 2020 season.
Vikings fans likely remember Morstead for being a class act after Minnesota shocked the Saints with the “Minneapolis Miracle”. Morstead was one of the few Saints players who returned to the field for the extra point after the score. In turn, Vikings fans thanked him for his classiness, donating more than $200,000 to support Morstead’s foundation and children battling serious illnesses.
Just last week Morstead took part in the “Carney Combine”, a specialists combine put together by John Carney, former NFL kicker and the 5th highest scoring player in NFL history. He posted his “tape” to twitter highlighting three punts up the middle, three to the left and three to the right totaling an average hang time of 4.88 seconds and an average distance of 58 yards.
Now, to be completely fair, those averages are really impressive, but we don’t know exactly what the situation of those attempts looks like. For instance, if he was backed up in his own territory he can boom it and not worry about “out-kicking the coverage”. So take that with a grain of salt, but it’s still intriguing.
Given the slim pickings available for a team less than a month before the season begins, this may be THE ONLY legitimate option for the Vikings should Colquitt put up another stinker this weekend.
In a game where we don’t really know what we should be watching for, you’ll get four quarters of Colquitt…will he be punting for his job?!?