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What Do The Colts Special Teams Units Look Like Heading Into 2014?

Intro: For Colts special teams coach Tom McMahon, having the services of Adam Vinatieri and Pat McAfee back in the fold is a calming feeling. What’s in store for the Colts special teams units in 2014?


ANDERSON – There might not be a punter in the NFL who receives so many cheers for booming kicks during Training Camp.

But the cheering in Anderson doesn't stop there for the Colts specialists.

Eventually, Adam Vinatieri will trot onto the field and impress the crowd with his Hall of Fame right leg.

That duo, who re-signed with the Colts during the offseason, is a major reason why special teams coach Tom McMahon can sleep easier at night.

"Getting them back secures us to have an opportunity of controlling field position and score with Adam in clutch situations," McMahon says.

"Those two guys work well together and they've proven they belong together…as one of the best duos in the NFL. I think they are the best, not just because I coach them."

McMahon's message to his special teams units comes from a basketball game plan that is spearheaded by McAfee.

The Colts are looking to play "full court defense" with their coverage units and its McAfee who is at the top of that press.

"From a coverage standpoint what we want to do for our defense is we want to put them in situations where they play full court, from the 20-yard line," the Colts second-year special teams coach says.

Conversely, the Colts are looking to play "half court offense" from their own return units.

T.Y. Hilton has proven to be an excellent weapon as a punt returner and it was a loss for the Colts last season when they had to take the speedy receiver off of special teams due to his offensive role expanding.

With offensive reinforcements in place, Hilton is expected to get back to changing the game in a special teams role.

"We haven't found one yet so (Hilton) is the guy," McMahon says. "He's the only one that's ever really had a lot of reps in a game and done it."

Griff Whalen, who filled in for Hilton late last season on punt return, is another name that McMahon mentioned as a potential candidate.

The greatest uncertainty of the Colts special teams units surrounds who will be fielding kicks this fall.

Donte Moncrief is an intriguing name and McMahon thinks the rookie will be special.

For whoever is back there come Week One, McMahon is looking for a guy that is going to secure the ball and has the ability to set the Colts offense up with a shorter than normal field to cover.

"There's Donte, Griff, Tony Washington. We are going to find one," McMahon says of the kick returner spot.

"Biggest thing is, we are trying to find a guy that can do both. If you can get a dual returner and you go to the 46 (game day dress number), it makes a big difference if it's that one guy."

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