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Denver P Colquitt born to boot the football PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 9:00 PM

Associated Press


JERSEY CITY, N.J. — When it comes to punting, Denver’s Britton Colquitt was born to boot the football.

Colquitt’s father, Craig, won two Super Bowl rings while punting for the Pittsburgh Steelers during a 7-year NFL career. His uncle, Jimmy, punted for Seattle in 1985; his older brother, Dustin, is currently Kansas City’s punter.

“It’s really crazy,” said Britton, in his fifth season with the Broncos. “When you grow up around it, that’s what you know. All I see is Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl stuff on the wall. It was kind of normal to me. In my mind — and even in Dustin’s mind — it was always attainable and was kind of the norm. If you look at other families in the NFL, their kids play and they’re successful. It’s a belief that they have.

“It’s like any other family business and that’s ours. I am thankful for it.”

He has talked to his father several times since the Broncos won the AFC championship and received texts with small reminders to keep him focused: words of wisdom such as “Stick to the basics” and “You’ve made it here. You know what you’re doing.”

“He wants it (for me),” Britton added. “He’s like a schoolboy right now. He’s more thrilled than anybody.”

UNCLE PEYTON: With the Super Bowl in New York/New Jersey, the Manning brothers can spend a little time together.

Peyton Manning said Wednesday that he saw Eli on Tuesday night and met niece Lucy for the first time. She was born just before training camp began.

“I enjoyed that time as an uncle last night,” Peyton said.

Peyton Manning also found interesting the Super Bowl connection with his brother that wasn’t so obvious. Eli Manning won his second title with the New York Giants in Indianapolis while Peyton was still playing for the Colts. Now big brother gets a chance at a second title in Eli’s home stadium.

CARROLL CONNECTION: By now, most fans know of the attempts by Pete Carroll and the Seahawks to get involved in Peyton Manning’s free agent sweepstakes during the 2012 offseason.

But Manning relayed another Carroll story on Wednesday.

Manning didn’t specify the year but one June, he was in Los Angeles for a commitment. In need of a workout, Manning called over to the USC football offices and spoke with Carroll, then the Trojans’ coach, about possibly throwing with some of his receivers and quarterbacks to help get ready for training camp.

Manning explained he arrived at 3 p.m. with the intent on joining in on whatever routes the USC players were working on. What he found were eight wide receivers, four tight ends and four running backs all stretched out and ready to do whatever Manning wanted them to.

“I said, ‘What routes do you want to run?’ They said, ‘No, coach Carroll said we are going to throw whatever routes you want to run. This is going to be your workout,’” Manning recalled. “That is about as good a treatment as you can get for a visitor to a different team. I really had a neat day throwing.”

BAM BAM’S PURCHASE: After signing a 4-year extension with Seattle last offseason, strong safety Kam Chancellor made good on a promise to his mother back in Norfolk, Va.

Chancellor had always wanted to buy his mom, Karen Lambert, a new house. He told the story Wednesday of looking at 20 homes in the Norfolk area after Seattle’s minicamp wrapped up and then setting up the surprise for his mom.

“There was just this one house that just stuck out and I knew that it was the one she wanted and everything she wanted,” Chancellor said.

His mom also wanted a new car, so Chancellor set up the surprise by parking the vehicle at the house he had purchased. The car was in the driveway with a bow but was locked. When Chancellor told his mom she needed to go inside to get the keys, he had family and friends waiting.

“Once she opened the door, everyone jumps out and says surprise,” Chancellor added. “She was so happy and it just felt good. She deserves it.”

TEBOW IN SUPER BOWL?: The closest Tim Tebow came to appearing in a Super Bowl was in 2011 when he helped Denver get to the divisional round before a loss to New England.

The quarterback, who was not in the NFL last season after being cut by the Patriots following training camp, remains ever so popular. In a survey conducted by Subway Restaurants, he received 26 percent of the vote from women asked which ESPN analyst they’d like to see in the Super Bowl. Ray Lewis was next among the female voters with 19 percent, followed by Steve Young with 17 percent.

Lewis and Young, of course, won NFL titles during their careers.

Among men in the survey, Young was tops at 23 percent, followed by Lewis with 21 percent and Tebow with 17 percent.

Fans also were asked where they want to see the 2018 Super Bowl, the next one up for bidding, to land. New Orleans barely was the choice with 28 percent to 27 percent for Los Angeles, which doesn’t have a suitable stadium or any NFL franchises.

The next three Super Bowls are in the Phoenix area, the San Francisco Bay area, and Houston.

Lynch gets usual Wednesday off for Seahawks: Running back Marshawn Lynch got his usual Wednesday off as the Seahawks began their final series of practices for Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Lynch was the only Seattle player not to participate as the Seahawks practiced indoors at the New York Giants team facility. Lynch has been typically given Wednesday’s off for much of the season.

“Everybody’s fine,” Carroll said. “This is the day we rest Marshawn. Wednesday is always a rest day for him. We’ve been doing that for years and it’s always worked out great. We’re in great shape. We’re just as fortunate as can be to be in this kind of shape this late in the year.”

Seattle opened the doors to the Giants’ facility during practice in an attempt to simulate the temperature the Seahawks are likely to see Sunday against Denver. The indoor temperature dropped to 36 degrees, close to the projected temperature on Sunday.

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin was a full participant after being held out of all three practices last week with a hip injury. Baldwin was banged up against San Francisco in the NFC championship game. Brandon Mebane was also a full participant after an ankle injury slowed him last week.

Team owner Paul Allen and general manager John Schneider watched practice from the sideline and spent a few minutes chatting with Lynch. The Seahawks practiced for 90 minutes and continued with their typical Wednesday routine of having some practice periods with the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense. Seattle also had meetings, a walkthrough and lunch.

Carroll added the team only plans to practice outside the next few days if they need to. He was pleased with the footing in the Giants’ facility.

NFL players driven by chips on their shoulders: Danny Trevathan won’t forget the doubters, no matter how many plays he makes or games he wins.

The linebacker will start in the Super Bowl at age 23, the Broncos’ leading tackler in just his second season in the league. Yet he can still recite the knocks on his pro potential from before the draft, saying he wants to “show them up.”

This is the seemingly contradictory mentality of a successful NFL player — a simultaneous superiority and inferiority complex. To Richard Sherman’s peers, his televised rant moments after the NFC championship game makes perfect sense. These guys require supreme self-assurance to do their job but also need motivation to push themselves through the grind of workouts and the strain of games.

“When you’re playing against athletes like this who could really take your head off or really outrun you, if you’re not confident, you ain’t going to last long in this league,” said Sherman’s counterpart on the Seahawks’ defense, linebacker Bobby Wagner. “At the same time, a lot of players, they’ve got a story. Somebody has told them they couldn’t do something, so that’s the chip on their shoulder.”

Sherman, a 2011 fifth-round draft pick, lugs around one of the biggest chips on a unit loaded with them. The cornerback’s outburst after making the win-clinching play against the 49ers was partly sparked by something the receiver he was defending, Michael Crabtree, said to him during the offseason, though Sherman wouldn’t reveal exactly what infuriated him.

Real or perceived, past slights can fuel the kind of passionate play it takes to win in a hard-hitting game.

“You need that edge,” Seattle offensive tackle Russell Okung said. “That’s what makes us so good. Guys are very resilient. They’ve come through a lot.”

Trevathan, a sixth-round pick, remembers that scouts deemed him too small. Wagner, a second-rounder, supposedly wasn’t tough enough.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie recalls the skepticism he had to overcome as a player from a Football Championship Subdivision school.

“That’s always going to stick with me,” the Broncos cornerback said.

And he was a first-round selection.

Big contracts, postseason honors, championships — for many players, none of that wipes out their conviction that they have something to prove.

“A lot of people say we’re supposed to be all this and that,” Trevathan said. “But you’ve got to play with a burden that this could be taken away from you at any time.”

It’s true in all sports, but especially so in the NFL. There are the non-guaranteed contracts, the physical demands of every snap.

“Basketball, you can play a game and walk away with nothing,” Wagner said. “Football, I don’t know a player — unless you’re the quarterback — that walks away not hurting, not bruised. … People think we’re one of the (physically) strongest people in the world. But we have to be mentally strong to take the hits that we take, to give the hits that we take and still come back the next day, do the same thing all over again.

“That takes a lot of you.”

It helps explain the two sides to Sherman. He makes a choke sign toward the San Francisco bench and bellows into the camera about his own dominance. But in Super Bowl week interviews, he is laid-back, friendly, philosophical.

For his fellow players, the contrast between their on-field and off-field personas is natural.

“Especially at linebacker, you can’t take crap from nobody,” Trevathan added. “You’ve got to be an animal out there. But you’ve got to be a leader and be smart as well.”

Cornerback demands a special sort of personality, which may seem bewildering to those folks watching at home who have never covered a receiver one on one in the final seconds of a one-score affair.

“As a corner in this game, you’ve got to have that mentality. When that ball goes on top of your head, everybody sees that,” Rodgers-Cromartie added. “When you make a play like that at the end of the game, your emotions are high. Ain’t no telling what comes out of your mouth.”


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