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Monday, October 5, 2015

Indianapolis Colts Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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October 4, 2015 - Adam Vinatieri kicks OT game winner & sets some more records
"Matt Hasselbeck and Adam Vinatieri celebrated their own throwback game on the field Sunday. With the injured Andrew Luck out, Hasselbeck, the Colts' 40-year-old quarterback, took Indianapolis on a 53-yard drive in overtime and set up Vinatieri for a 27-yard field goal and 16-13 win over Jacksonville — and a 15th consecutive win over AFC South foes.... Vinatieri kicked three field goals, broke Mike Vanderjagt's franchise scoring record and became the first player in league history to top 1,000 points with two different teams. Jaguars kicker Jason Myers could have won it in regulation with a 53-yarder, but he pushed it wide right. He had another chance to win it in overtime but that one went wide left from 48 yards." - Newser

June 9, 2015 - kicker Taylor Pontius released
"The Indianapolis Colts announced a minor roster move tonight, waiving kicker Taylor Pontius. Pontius was signed by the Colts a few weeks ago as an undrafted free agent out of North Alabama." - Stampede Blue

May 20, 2015 - kicker Taylor Pontius signed
"Pontius, 5-11, 180 pounds, worked out with the Colts on a tryout basis during Indianapolis’ three-day rookie mini-camp after going undrafted out of North Alabama. He was named First Team All-Gulf South Conference in 2014 after converting 11-of-14 field goal attempts and 46-of-48 extra-point attempts. Pontius also led the team with 79 points and established a new school record when he connected on a 54-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Valdosta State, 31-29, in their regular season conference opener." - Colts

March 3, 2015 - long snapper Matt Overton re-signed
"The Indianapolis Colts and long snapper Matt Overton have agreed to terms on a contract extension, the team announced Tuesday. Overton, signed as a free agent in April 2012, has played in all 48 regular-season games since then and six in the postseason, snapping for punter Pat McAfee and kicker Adam Vinatieri. In 2013, Overton was named to the Pro Bowl. Overton has made 22 career special teams tackle in the the regular season and two more in the playoffs." - Indy Star

January 25, 2015 - Adam Vinatieri misses some narrowed kicks in Pro Bowl
Aiming at uprights that were four feet narrower than a standard NFL game, and kicking from almost 15 yards farther back, Vinatieri missed two extra-point attempts and also a 38-yard field goal for Team Irvin. That left five potential points on the field, but ultimately didn't cost his team in a 32-28 win over Team Carter.... 'You've got to hit it really true, right on line,' said the three-time All-Pro kicker, who did make field goals of 32 and 28 yards, as well as two PATs. 'You can't be off at all. It makes your margin of error much shallower and much more difficult. I would like to have them leave it alone, but that's for my own selfish reasons'." - AZ Central

January 4, 2015 - Adam Vinatieri kicks four field goals in Wild Card win
Vinatieri made all four of his field goal attempts (38, 29, 22 & 53 yards) in the Colts 26-10 win over the Bengals.

January 2, 2015 - kicker Adam Vinatieri & punter Pat McAfee named 1st Team All-Pro
On Friday, the Associated Press released their 2014 All-Pro teams, and Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri and punter Pat McAfee each were voted onto the first-team.... McAfee received 26 out of a possible 50 votes. Vinatieri earned 25 votes.... 'It’s an honor. For me being the old guy in the league, not only in the locker room but in the league, it says something about your longevity,' said Vinatieri Friday, who is the oldest player in the NFL at 42, coming off the most accurate season of his career converting 30-31 field goals and 50-50 extra points. 'For me I feel the older you get, the harder you have to work...to be able to hit the higher standards and stuff, it gives you a lot of self satisfaction.' It is the third time (2002, 2004) Vinatieri has been named first-team All-Pro in his 19 NFL seasons. Is the first time for McAfee being voted first-team All-Pro in his 6th season as a professional. 'It’s all a testament to the special teams guys we have this year,' said McAfee after having the news broken to him in the locker room Friday about the All-Pro selection. 'The luckiest thing that I’ve had in my life is a chance to work under a guy who’s going to go down as the greatest of all-time, because the amount of things I’ve learned on-the-field and off-the-field from (Vinatieri) is just priceless'." - Colts

December 28, 2014 - kicker Adam Vinatieri streak ends
"Entering Sunday's game against the Titans, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri had made all 28 of his field goal attempts this season. If he would have remained perfect Sunday, he would have become only the fourth kicker in NFL history to accomplish that feat. Instead, after making a field goal earlier in the game, he missed a 46-yard attempt in the third quarter. That leaves Minnesota's Gary Anderson in 1998, St. Louis' Jeff Wilkins in 2000 and Indianapolis' Mike Vanderjagt in 2003 as the only kickers to make all of their field goals in a season." - CBS Sports

December 23, 2014 - kicker Adam Vinatieri & punter Pat McAfee named to Pro Bowl
The first Pro Bowl for McAfee comes thanks to his impact in a variety of ways. From a punting standpoint, McAfee ranks second in the NFL with a net punting average of 43.2 yards. His 27 punts pinned inside the 20-yard line has tied his own franchise record. McAfee’s 69 kickoff touchbacks in 2014 are the second most for a single season in NFL history. 'He’s had a great year and has done amazing stuff,' Adam Vinatieri says of his fellow kicker. 'He’s a huge asset for our team and he’s had a Pro Bowl season'.... Vinatieri’s third Pro Bowl nomination in his 19 NFL seasons comes in an historic season. Vinatieri is a perfect 28-of-28 on field goals this season and if he doesn’t miss in Week 17, he will become the fifth kicker in NFL history to have a perfect year (minimum 17 attempts). He’s also connected on 10 field goals from at least 40 yards this season. 'It would be a great honor,' Vinatieri said on Tuesday afternoon. 'It’s always fun to be nominated for that. When you are voted by your peers, coaches and fans that say you have done well enough to make it, that’s a great thing. To get a little bit of acknowledgment for that would be awesome'." - Colts

December 16, 2014 - punter Pat McAfee name team's Man of the Year
"This honors him for both his on-field work but especially his work off-the-field, and it nominates him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is the highest distinction an NFL player can earn for off-the-field work.... McAfee has been arguably the best special teams player in football this year, averaging 47.2 yards per punt while tying his franchise record with 27 punts pinned inside the 20 yard line (with two games still to play).  He also leads the NFL in touchbacks on kickoffs with 67 and in successful onside kicks with three (including one recovered by McAfee himself). Off-the-field, McAfee has also been tremendous.  He has been very involved in the Indianapolis community and  has been very involved with a variety of charitable foundations and programs.  He's been very supportive of our armed forces, and "the Pat McAfee Foundation" provides scholarship assistance to children of those serving in our armed forces.  Just recently, he was named a semi-finalist for the NFL's Salute to Service Award.  McAfee can be found supporting a number of different charities and programs put on by the team and his teammates, and he truly has become one of the most recognizable faces in the city (rare for a punter) and a fan favorite, both for his on-field performance but perhaps especially for his performance off-the-field." - Stampede Blue

November 19, 2014 - record 17 centuries for kicker Adam Vinatieri
"As coach Pagano left Lucas Oil Stadium in the early hours of a snowy Monday morning, the Colts head coach dialed up the oldest player in the NFL. Pagano wanted to let Adam Vinatieri know just how special of an achievement the 41-year old kicker had reached that night by scoring 100 points for the 17th season (a new NFL record). 'Talking to Vinny, he was like, ‘Hey, coach I appreciate it but it’s all about winning and it’s all about the team,' Pagano says of his phone call with Vinatieri.... With Vinatieri’s fourth quarter extra point on Sunday night, he reached eight points for the game and 100 points for the 2014 season. That broke a tie with former kicker Jason Elam of 16 years with at least 100 points scored." - Colts

November 16, 2014 - kicker Adam Vinatieri surpasses 2100 points
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has become the fourth member of the NFL's 2,100-point club. Vinatieri accomplished the feat with a 31-yard field goal with 4:19 left in the first quarter Sunday night against his former team, New England. The only other players to top 2,100 points are Morten Andersen, Gary Anderson and Jason Hanson. Vinatieri now has 2,101 points." -  Indy Star 

October 15, 2014 - punter Pat McAfee named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week
"Punter Pat McAfee has been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 6. It's first time he has earned the award in his career, though he was named the league's Special Teams Player of the Month for September. In the Colts' 33-28 victory over the Houston Texans, McAfee recovered an onside kick, which led to a touchdown. It marked the third consecutive onside kick recovery of the season for Indianapolis. The rest of the NFL is a combined 1-of-13 (7.7%) on onside kicks this year. McAfee also had four punts for 159 yards (a 39.8-yard average) in the game, pinning three inside the 20-yard line. He also added six touchbacks on kickoffs. McAfee leads the NFL in punting net average (44.8) and kickoff touchbacks (33) in 2014, and ranks sixth in punting gross average (47.5)." - Indy Star

October 15, 2014 - Adam Vinatieri scores 900, twice
"It’s a record Adam Vinatieri didn’t even know existed until his family’s texts came pouring in late Thursday night. Lost in a Colts franchise record setting first quarter against Houston was Vinatieri achieving another NFL milestone, one no other player has ever reached. Vinatieri’s two field goals and three extra points on Thursday night gave him 905 points with the Colts (2006-2014). The 19-year kicker scored 1,158 points in his 10 seasons with the Patriots, making him the first NFL player to ever score at least 900 points with two different teams." - Colts

October 9, 2014 - Pat McAfee recovers own onside kick
"Pat McAfee's first kickoff Thursday night was to start the game. His second was to change it. When the Houston Texans initially aligned as McAfee expected, the opportunity to seize control of the crucial AFC South matchup was on. Kick it, follow it, recover it. 'Steal a possession', the Indianapolis Colts' standout punter said after the 33-28 victory at NRG Stadium.... McAfee said his read on the opening kickoff was Houston fullback Jay Prosch, who by drifting back to set up a possible return vacated the middle of the field. After Adam Vinatieri's 27-yard field goal, McAfee's right foot nudged the ball the requisite 10 yards and then he cradled it. McAfee wasn't even hit and joked that he thought he 'would get killed.' He estimated he could have let the ball travel 30 yards before the Texans rallied to it." - Indy Star

October 2, 2014 - punter Pat McAfee named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month of September
"This is the first time he has earned the award. Through the first four games of the season, McAfee leads the NFL in net punting average (45.6) and ranks third in gross punting average (49.6). He has posted a league-high 24 touchbacks on kickoffs and has converted two onside kicks. No other team in the NFL has been successful on a single onside kick in 2014. McAfee also serves as the holder for kicker Adam Vinatieri, who has converted 8-of-8 field goals and 16-of-16 extra points for 40 total points, which is tied for the NFL lead. In Week 2 against Philadelphia (9/15), McAfee registered four punts for a 55.3 average, which marked the second-best single-game average of his career. In Week 3 at Jacksonville (9/21), he set a franchise single-game record with eight kickoff touchbacks and added seven kickoff touchbacks the following week against Tennessee (9/28)." - WTHR

September 25, 2014 - Pat McAfee & Adam Vinatieri off to strong start
"So far this season, the Colts special teams unit has been absolutely fantastic. Let's just start with punter Pat McAfee, who this offseason inked a five-year, $14.5 million contract to return to the Colts. He leads the entire NFL in average yards per punt with 52.7, a full 1.4 yards per punt more than the second best.  McAfee also leads the NFL in net average yards per punt with 47.8, which is 2.9 yards per punt more than anyone else. Oh, and Pat also leads the NFL in touchbacks on kickoffs with 17, which is 3 more than anyone else. Kicker Adam Vinatieri has been great as well. The oldest player in the NFL also re-signed with the Colts this offseason, on a two-year deal, and he's perfect so far this short season. He is 6-for-6, including 3-for-3 from beyond 40 yards. He had a long field goal attempt in week one that just barely missed (it hit the upright), but it didn't count due to a penalty. Vinatieri is one of 13 kickers not to have missed a field goal yet this season, and he also is perfect on extra points, hitting the second most extra points of any kicker in the league (11)." - Stampede Blue

August 19, 2014 - kicker Cody Parkey released
"Parkey was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Auburn and made his first two career NFL field goals last week against the Giants.  He had a very impressive camp and looked good, especially showing off his strong leg.  Last week, he even recovered a fumble on a kickoff, something not many kickers can say.  But all along, everyone knew Parkey was only around for camp and preseason.  Being a kicker in the NFL is tough, as there are only 32 spots available, but hopefully Parkey will have shown teams needing a kicker enough to impress them and give him a shot.  From here on out, it seems like it'll be business as normal for the Colts for the final two preseason games, with Pat McAfee handling the kickoff and punting duties (and maybe even a field goal try?) with Adam Vinatieri handling the field goals.  And make no mistake about Vinatieri - even though he's the oldest player in the NFL, he's still got it and today he nailed a 62-yarder in practice." - Stampede Blue

August 16, 2014 - Pat McAfee misses 64 yarder at end of Giants game
"McAfee had a chance to win the game with a 64-yard field goal, and he missed it. And that put the fun-loving punter in a rare sour mood. His public persona aside, McAfee is just as much of a competitor as any other player. 'This is kind of what I've been waiting for – not waiting for this – but excited for this opportunity for a long time,' McAfee said. 'Griff (Whalen, the holder) and I didn't get any warmups at halftime, but we were playing with 100 percent confidence. (The coaches) said, 'You're going to get a long shot.' I said, 'Let's do the damn thing.' I'm so disappointed I didn't hit it. I should have, for my teammates and for the fans'.... He approached the 64-yard field goal in an otherwise meaningless preseason game with a big-game, big-play mentality. 'Griff Whalen was excited to go out there and (snapper) Matt Overton was excited,' McAfee said. 'Everyone on that sideline had 100 percent confidence, including myself. Next time, I gotta make it.' McAfee said he had a three-quarters swing on the ball. 'I knew it was going to draw, but I didn't play the draw enough,' he said. 'It's like a golfer, whenever you have a draw and you don't play the draw enough, that's kind of the way it works. I thought it was in, and then I saw it start to fade. I've got to adjust it for next time. But I am furious it didn't go in.' A second after McAfee said that, Pagano walked by his locker. 'My fault, man,' McAfee said to Pagano. The coach turned back and deflected the regret. 'You're gonna hit a game-winner for us,' Pagano told him." - News-Sentinel

August 1, 2014 - Pat McAfee provides complete training camp update
“I just try to get better every day in camp,' he said. 'I’ve got new drills they have for me to try. I’m always exploring new things and learning. We want to have the best special teams in the league.' McAfee is a big part of those goals. In addition to being one of the league’s top punters, he also handles the kickoff chores and is the holder for NFL veteran Adam Vinatieri and rookie kicker Cody Parkey. 'Adam is the consummate pro and I am always learning from him,' said McAfee. 'Cody has got a great leg and we always bring somebody in so they can get some film.' McAfee has made no secret of the fact that he wants to have a chance at being the team’s kicker once Vinatieri retires. Yet he doesn’t begrudge the time Parkey gets to kick. 'I get to kick once a week and that’s enough for me,' he said. He feels like his job as a holder for both kicker is an easy one. '“Matt Overton [Colts long snapper] is as good as there is,' said McAfee. 'I just catch it.” -  News and Tribune

June 4, 2014 - punter Pat McAfee gets in some kicks
"Punter Pat McAfee concentrated on field-goal kicking today, converting one from 60 yards. McAfee missed an attempt from 65 yards wide right that had plenty of distance." - Indy Star

May 12, 2014 - kicker Carson Wiggs released
"Wiggs was signed by the Colts as a free agent on March 18, 2014. He finished his collegiate career (2008-2011) as the most accurate kicker in Purdue history, connecting on 53-of-72 career field goals (73.6%). Wiggs was originally signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent on April 28, 2012 but was waived prior to the start of the regular season." - WLFI

May 10, 2014 - kicker Cody Parkey signed
"Former Auburn kicker Cody Parkey has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Indianapolis Colts, according to a text message to AL.com and a subsequent tweet from Parkey. Parkey is joining a Colts team that has long-time NFL stalwart Adam Vinatieri at kicker. Vinatieri, an 18-year veteran who made 87.5 percent of his field goals this year, is 41 years old and hasn't been the Indianapolis kickoff specialist in years. That role normally goes to punter Pat McAfee, who was re-signed in the offseason.At any rate, Parkey will get his first chance with the Colts in camp after making 73.8 percent of his career field goals at Auburn and leading the nation in touchbacks as a senior. A three-year starter in the SEC, Parkey enters the NFL with a long resume." - AL.com

March 18, 2014 - kicker Carson Wiggs signed
"Colts today signed free agent kicker Carson Wiggs.... Wiggs, 6-1, 222 pounds, finished his collegiate career (2008-2011) as the most accurate kicker in Purdue history, connecting on 53-of-72 career field goals (73.6%). His 53 made field goals rank as the second-most in school history. As a senior in 2011, Wiggs earned All-Big Ten second-team honors after making 16-of-21 field goals and recording 23 touchbacks on 66 kickoffs. Wiggs was originally signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent on April 28, 2012 but was waived prior to the start of the regular season." - WLFI

March 11, 2014 - kicker Adam Vinatieri re-signed
Vinatieri, 41, agreed to a two-year deal with the Colts, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The Colts announced the deal Tuesday morning on their Twitter page. 'The man, the myth, the legend @adamvinatieri has agreed to terms on a return to the #Colts!!!!!' Vinatieri converted 87.5 percent of his field goals attempts (35 of 40) last season and made 15 from between 40 and 49 yards and four from at least 50 yards. Last season, he became the seventh player in NFL history to score at least 2,000 points. He has 16 seasons with at least 100 points." - ESPN

March 7, 2014 - punter Pat McAfee re-signed
"The Indianapolis Colts' veteran punter announced today while on the set of ESPN's NFL AM that he had agreed to a five-year contract with the team. FOXSports is reporting the deal is worth $14 million with $5 million in guarantees.... McAfee, 26, was due to become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday. He played the 2013 season under the franchise tag, worth about $2.9 million. McAfee tweeted this morning, 'So excited about the opportunity 2 have 5 more years in the city that I love.. Indianapolis, let's win a lot of games and have fun doing it'. Since being selected in the seventh round of the 2009 draft, McAfee has established himself as one of the top punters and kickoff specialists in club history. He holds career records with 387 total kickoffs and 164 touchbacks; gross punting average (45.6) and net average (38.4). In 2012, McAfee set a club single-season record for gross (48.2) and net (40.3) averages." - Indy Star

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