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It would be a kick for Chiefs’ Dustin Colquitt to get Super Bowl ring like father, brother

Craig Colquitt (left) and son, Dustin, enjoy a victorious moment after the Chiefs’ AFC championship victory.
Craig Colquitt (left) and son Dustin enjoy a moment after the Chiefs’ AFC championship victory.
(Sam Farmer / Los Angeles Times)

He’s the punting leg of the Kansas City Chiefs.

But two other members of Dustin Colquitt’s family have an undeniable leg up on him.

His brother, Britton, is currently Minnesota’s punter who won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos four years ago. And their father, Craig, was Pittsburgh’s punter in the late 1970s and won two rings with the Steelers.

Finally, it’s Dustin’s chance. The longest-tenured player on Kansas City’s roster will be punting on the NFL’s biggest stage Sunday when the Chiefs play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV.

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“I’m kind of the odd man out in the house,” he said.

What the Mannings — Archie, Peyton, and Eli — are to NFL quarterbacks, the Colquitts are to punters.

“It’s been a lot of fun down through the years, just listening to Terry Bradshaw or my dad’s stories, some of the stuff they were able to accomplish,” Dustin said, referencing the Hall of Fame Steelers quarterback. “This is going to be special.”

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Colquitt, who’s married and has five children, was selected by Kansas City in the 2005 draft as a third-round pick out of Tennessee. Since, he has stockpiled all sorts of records, among them the club marks for seasons played (15), games played by any position (238), punts (1,124), and longest punt (81 yards).

Craig Colquitt shows two Super Bowl rings he won with the Pittsburgh Steelers, bracketing another won by son, Britton,, with the Denver Broncos.
Craig Colquitt shows two Super Bowl rings he won with the Pittsburgh Steelers, bracketing another won by son, Britton,, with the Denver Broncos.
(Sam Farmer / Los Angeles Times)

“It’s better than me doing it. I remember what it felt like and how exciting it was. But then to see them do it, it’s like watching them walk for the first time.”
Craig Colquitt on his family’s three Super Bowl rings and son Dustin seeking a fourth

Add his punts together and they would equal nearly 29 miles.

As with both of his sons, Craig Colquitt played his college ball at Tennessee. He then played for the Steelers from 1978-84, winning Super Bowls in his first two seasons, the second against the Rams at the Rose Bowl.

To him, it’s even more meaningful to see his sons reach football’s mountaintop.

“It’s better than me doing it,” he said. “I remember what it felt like and how exciting it was. But then to see them do it, it’s like watching them walk for the first time.”

At 37, Dustin is three years older than Britton, and had to navigate a bumpier path to get this far. Earlier in Dustin’s career, the Chiefs wound up last in the AFC West four times in five years — twice finishing 2-14 — and endured a string of player tragedies, including a murder-suicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher, and safety Eric Berry’s cancer battle.

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The Chiefs cycled through five coaches in Colquitt’s first seven years before they hired Andy Reid in 2013 and stabilized with three second-place finishes in the division followed by four consecutive firsts.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, an offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs, is the NFL’s only active player who is also a physician. Now he gets to play in the Super Bowl against the 49ers.

“We were always referred to as a small-market team as he got here, and we were thinking, ‘We can’t get coach Reid. Is he going to want to come to Kansas City?’ ” Colquitt said. “We didn’t know. We had a lot going on here up until 2012. Stuff had kind of hit the fan here.”

One of Reid’s early priorities was to convince Colquitt to stay, rather than signing with another team as a free agent.

“That’s the best thing you could ever tell a punter that’s been here for eight years, that I’m part of the plan,” Colquitt said. “Since then, that’s how he is. He wants everybody to realize that you’re part of the plan if you’re in these walls and can keep us competitive.”

As a reminder of his ultimate goal, Colquitt has a keepsake from his original Chiefs coach.

“My first day on the job, Dick Vermeil handed us a card that had the Lombardi Trophy on it and it said, ‘The main thing will always be the main thing,’ ” the punter said. “He looked at all of us and said, ‘It’s all of your goal, before you leave here, to bring home this trophy for this fanbase.’ I’ve got a shot, and I’m excited about it.”

Colquitt, who is also the holder for field goals and extra points, said his laminated card has outlived “about eight wallets,” and he still carries it with him wherever he goes — except on the football field. There, he carries something else with him: his gloves. He makes sure those are always tucked into his jersey pocket, especially with quick-strike quarterback Patrick Mahomes running the offense.

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“There’s more times when we’re running to do an extra point than there are to punt, which is unbelievable to think about,” Colquitt said. “It wasn’t until Patrick got here that I started keeping my gloves in my jersey so I’m not running around looking for my stuff. I have my stuff with me at all times.

“We have 10 running down there, 17, 87,” he said, listing the jersey numbers of sure-handed teammates Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Travis Kelce. “There’s so many guys that are deep threats and can score from any part of the field, so you have to keep all your stuff with you so you’re ready for it.”

Be prepared. It’s a lesson Craig Colquitt taught his sons from an early age. He also taught them the value of those Super Bowl rings.

Before joining the 49ers, Raheem Mostert was cut by the Eagles, Dolphins, Ravens, Browns, Jets and Bears — with some releasing him more than once.

One day, when his boys were 7 and 4, Craig was feeling nostalgic. He took out his rings from those Steelers days and informed them that, because he has two, each of them would inherit one when he died.

About an hour later, Britton approached his dad, pulled on his shirt, and asked a question that has become part of Colquitt family lore.

“Hey, dad,” he said. “When are you going to die?”


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