Punter Pat McAfee had a solid rookie season before having a “down” year in 2010. He is ready to make his third NFL season more memorable.


INDIANAPOLIS – As a rookie, punter Pat McAfee held a 44.3 average on 64 punts, boasting a 37.8 net average and 21 kicks inside the 20-yard line.

In 2010, his numbers dropped. McAfee averaged 42.0 yards on 65 boots, while his net average was 35.4 yards. His touchbacks on kickoffs dropped from 21 in 2009 to 16 last year. His post-season punting average dropped by about seven yards.


McAfee has returned to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center like many of his teammates. Like them, he worked out during the off-season under different circumstances than he had previously. Along with his teammates, he is excited to be back, and he is resolved to return to the form of his rookie year.

"I am excited. I had a great off-season," said McAfee. "I think everybody took advantage of the lockout. We had an opportunity to work with our own guys, which is something unusual. I punted a lot. I worked a lot. I traveled a bit. I had a good time. I'm ready to get back to work.

"Everybody I've talked to, it's been nothing but smiles. Everybody's ready to get to Anderson, get started and hopefully build an incredible journey here this year."

McAfee's rookie punting average marked the third-highest seasonal total in franchise history. He had 11 outings with a 40.0 average (minimum of three punts), performances that showed a level of consistency. For his efforts, McAfee was voted to the NFL All-Rookie Team by Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writer's Association and The Sporting News.

Last year, McAfee had eight games with a 40.0 average (minimum of three punts). He had five touchbacks in a September 19 contest against the New York Giants to tie the club mark for one game since 1970. The next week at Denver, he booted six into the end zone to set the new club touchback record. The two-week total was unusual, and it nearly represented his entire seasonal output.

McAfee was not proud of his performance in 2010. Additionally, he missed one game because of an incident off the field. He points toward year three as a true return to duty.

"Surprisingly, people will see more confidence in me this year," he said. "I'm coming into this season with the most confidence I've had. Last year, I had kind of a down year for me. I didn't like it. I got to work this off-season. I'm confident, and I am ready. This year, I'm going to go out there, do my thing, try to help out as much as possible and, hopefully, we will win as many games as possible."

One factor that comes into play for McAfee this year is the NFL has moved the spot of kickoffs to the 35-yard line, a five-yard difference from previous years. The move has his seal of approval.

"It's great for the Indianapolis Colts," said McAfee. The 35-yard line (for kickoffs), I think there should be a high number of touchbacks, a high percentage of touchbacks. It gets rid of the risk of a long return on a kickoff. I think we should take advantage of it. I think it will be exciting."

McAfee enters his third year with the Colts. That is a number of seasons that pales in comparison to some players, but it is more than other teammates. McAfee is aware of it.

"I'm an old man, a seasoned vet (laughed). I'm a lot more comfortable," he said. "(I'm) confident at an all-time high, which comes through experience. I've been through a great year my rookie year. I've been through a not-so-good year. I've been through an incident which kind of got me off (track). I'm coming in like a seasoned vet, and I feel good about it."

McAfee also is quite comfortable with the city and how he has been embraced.

"I love Indianapolis. I love the people here," he said. "I'm excited to give them a show, and I think we (Colts players) all are. I think we're ready to get back out there."

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