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Indianapolis Colts

Colts With New Left-Footed Punter In Jeff Locke

Intro: Of all the differences between Pat McAfee and Jeff Locke, the biggest one comes in the foot each uses for their punting/kicking. What should fans expect from Locke in 2017?


INDIANAPOLIS – In case you've been living under a rock for the first half of 2017, the Colts have a new punter this season.

Jeff Locke is not Pat McAfee.

McAfee is over 900,000 followers on Twitter.

Locke is hovering just above the 17,000 mark.

The off-the-field differences between McAfee and Locke are pretty obvious.

There's one major on-the-field difference that fans will notice right away out of the Colts' first new punter since 2008.

It will be a lefty banging punts and kickoffs in 2017.

Having a left-footed punter is unique in the NFL and something returners occasionally struggle with from what they normally see week-to-week.

"Returners definitely have trouble with it," Locke says of return men handling left-footed punts. "When it gets to that peak, it's going to fade the opposite way. Sometimes my ball has a slight wobble to it, that makes it move a little bit at the top."

To prepare for left-footed punters, teams often bring in that punter during a game week to try and replicate what will come on Sunday.

"Definitely most teams will break in a lefty that week when they play us or they are going to spin the jugs (machine) the other way to try and get used to it," Locke says.

"Especially in the heat of the moment in games, it's hard to remember that lefty spin is going to come down totally different."

In his eight NFL seasons, McAfee grew into, unquestionably, one of the game's best punters.

While Locke is known more for "controlling the return game," the Colts want to see some variety and development out of their new 27-year-old punter.

"In Minnesota, I was really more of an eliminate the returner and go for the hang ball, the fair catch ball," Locke says. "I really had a lot of success pinning into the (20-yard line). That's where my game's been. We are going to see that merging a little bit with what (Colts special teams coordinator Tom McMahon) likes to do.

"I'm kind of excited. I'm actually working on new parts of my game right now. It's kind of cool to see the two types of game merge a little bit."

With the Colts, kicking off duties will also be coming Locke's way.

Locke kicked off in college at UCLA, but did not do that in his four seasons with the Vikings.

"I've been having so much fun slowly getting my technique back to exactly where I want it," Locke says of kicking off this offseason. "It's kind of cool watching the slow-mo film each week and kind of seeing it getting it back to right in that sweet spot.

"It's been a lot of fun working on that again. It's been like a little project for me."

When news began to trickle out of Locke signing with the Colts earlier this year, his Twitter mentions were flooded.

Most of the chatter was from fans wishing Locke "good luck" on filling McAfee's shoes.

It's a tall order for the lefty specialist.

"Seeing what (McAfee) did for this team makes me want to kind of just step up even more," Locke says, "because he was one of the best."*

The analysis from those producing content on does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.*

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