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Burning Questions surrounding the Special Teams prior to Training Camp

Posted Jul 25, 2013

Intro: Colts.com is wrapping up a series profiling the burning questions at each position group heading into training camp. Today’s is the final installment with a look at the special teams.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts special teams will have a new head man this season with Tom McMahon coming over from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Adam Viantieri and Pat McAfee are back after very strong 2012 campaigns.

The return units will definitely see some changes this season but both groups showed flashes in 2013.

What's in store for the special teams unit this season...

AT THE AGE OF 40, HOW LONG CAN ADAM VINATIERI CONTINUE HIS HALL OF FAME CAREER?: Vinatieri will turn 41 in December but after a 26-of-33 season, including a game winning 53-yard field goal, the Hall of Famer is still one of the game’s premier kickers.

Vinatieri scored 100 points in a season for the 15th time in his career and can tie Jason Elam’s NFL record of 16 seasons of at least 100 points this year.

With 24 game winning field goals on his resume, Vinatieri still gives the Colts a weapon late in contests that is a luxury many NFL teams are searching for.



WHAT CAN PAT MCAFEE DO FOR AN ENCORE AFTER SETTING TEAM RECORDS IN 2012?
The Colts placed the franchise tag on McAfee after a season in which he set franchise single-season records in touchbacks (45), punting average (47.9) and net punting average (40.3).

Numerous times in 2012, it was a McAfee punt inside the opponents 10-yard line that led to Colts turnovers.

The Colts have one of the league’s best punting-kicking duos and McAfee has made it clear that he wants to call Indianapolis home in the future.

CAN THE RETURN UNITS CONTINUE THEIR SUCCESS FROM LATE LAST SEASON?:
The Colts return units struck gold in the final two months of the season with T.Y. Hilton and Deji Karim both scoring touchdowns via the return game.

Now, the units are striving for more big play consistency in 2013.

Hilton fielded punts during the offseason and depending on how involved he is offensively, the speedy second-year receiver would seem to be the odds on favorite for punt returner this season.

At kick returner, rookie Kerwynn Williams drew strong reviews from Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson following the draft and will definitely get a crack on kick returns.

WHAT DOES NEW SPECIAL TEAMS COACH TOM MCMAHON BRING TO THE UNIT?:
McMahon heads to Indianapolis after four seasons as a special teams coach around the league (St. Louis: 2009-2011 and Kansas City: 2012).

He walks into a situation with two of the game’s best kickers at their positions, and both McAfee and Vinatieri have sung the praises of their new special teams coach.

McMahon’s attention to detail is something that has impressed Colts special teams members and one can be assured that the coach will have a keen eye on the team’s return units in 2013.

 

In case you missed the earlier offensive burning questions entries, click here for a recap on the quarterback position, here for the running back position, here for the wide receiver position, here for the tight and position and the offensive line.

The defensive burning question breakdowns for the defensive line is here, here for the linebackers
and here for the defensive backs.

 

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