Dave Toub says the Chiefs will find it “hard to replace” punter Dustin Colquitt.
It’s hard for any franchise and fan base to move on from a long-term performer, especially one who is entrenched as the longest-tenured player on a team. For the Kansas City Chiefs, the move to release punter Dustin Colquitt this offseason proves exactly that as the team decided to finally turn the page on a 15-year-long era and bring in a new competition for the specialist role.
The writing has been on the wall for the last offseason or two, but it was still a bit of a shock to see the Chiefs decide to move on from Colquitt. It didn’t help those emotions to hear Colquitt himself struggle publicly with the move, especially when he said he’d planned on retiring after the 2020 season—the last year of his then-current contract. For a veteran like Colquitt, one who has given so much to both team and community, it feels like there’s a right way to let him leave and his terms seemed amenable enough.
That said, the decision makers in charge are there for good reason and doubting general manager Brett Veach after delivering the team’s first Super Bowl win in a decade is a fool’s errand. Either Tyler Newsome or Tommy Townsend will be the team’s new punter for 2020 and beyond, and given Veach’s track record, fans are likely going to realize why once the games begin. Still that doesn’t make it easy to move on from such a well-liked player like Colquitt.
Dave Toub recently spoke with Chiefs reporter B.J. Kissel and NFL vet Nick Leckey on the Chiefs podcast In The Trenches. He was asked about what Colquitt meant to him, and it’s clear that Toub will miss having Colquitt as both player and friend at Arrowhead.
"“Number one, he’s a great friend,” said Toub. “He’s somebody I can call and hopefully we stay friends forever. Really, as a punter, he’s the best punter I’ve ever coached, hands down. He’s a great team leader, as I’ve said. He’s a great person, just really a good teammate. Everybody will tell you they loved those practical jokes he would do—wearing the size 15 shoe on the team picture day on the front row… just funny things that he would do. We’re gonna miss that.“He was so good in the community, too, with the Team Smile—that thing’s a huge deal now across the country. He’s a great family man, an awesome family man, a spiritual guy. We’re gonna miss him. He’s going to be hard to replace. But that’s life in the NFL. It’s brutal. It’s a business. It’s unfortunate sometimes, but I think he’s still got something in the tank. I think if he gets to the right spot, he’ll be valuable to some team this year.”"
While Colquitt won’t be punting for the Chiefs, we obviously still wish him well and Toub’s belief that he’s got something left to offer a team is something we’ll be rooting for. Teams will want to know if he can maintain his historical production, but if they need a reference from someone off the field, it sounds as if Colquitt has plenty of friends in the business who would be happy to speak up on his behalf.