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Colquitts ‘kick off’ AFC West rivalry

Britton Colquitt (4), Denver holder, cheers a Broncos converted field goal at Seattle.- Photo submitted
Maybe a couple of years from now, Denver Broncos rookie punter Britton Colquitt will have exuberant National Football League fans baking him cookies and knitting him blankets — as they do for big brother, Dustin.

Suzie “Bling-Bling,” of the Lake Lotawana Lake Rats/Kansas City Chiefs fan club, is Dustin Colquitt's chocolate chip cookie woman — and perhaps his biggest fan.

“She'll be outside after the game, and say, 'Hey, we got your chocolate chip cookies ready,'” the six-year Chiefs punter and former Bearden Bulldogs star said. “It is like a big family out here.

“People will make Chiefs scarves or little blankets for our children,” added Dustin, a former Tennessee Vols All-American who ended the 2010 season ranked No. 7 among NFL punters (44.4-yard average, 37.6 net).

While in Kansas City visiting Dustin, Britton said he would be asked, “'Is it true you're Dustin Colquitt's brother?' He's a big celebrity there.”

But in 2010, Britton's punting success as a Broncos rookie (No. 8-rank, 44.6 average, 36.6 net) makes the Colquitts a “big NFL punting family” to match the Mannings' quarterbacking trio.

Their father, Craig Colquitt, has two Super Bowl rings punting for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1978-84).

“It's kind of a Manning thing,” said Craig, former Vols All-SEC punter in the mid-1970s, adding this is the first time brothers have punted in the NFL since 1941.

During pregame drills prior to when the brothers’ AFC West rival teams first met in Denver Nov. 14 (49-29 Broncos win), Britton said, “We both looked at each other a few times [thinking] this is just surreal.”

Dustin, 28, said about Britton, “Everything that he's ever dealt with is just like water off a duck's back, which is a good thing.”

However, “When Britton got up to punt in that first game, my heart started pounding and literally I just started praying, 'God, give him peace and help him with his confidence,'” he added. “That's probably the first time I've ever prayed for another punter.”

“Dustin has always been another father figure to me,” said Britton, also a former BHS Bulldogs multi-sports star. “He would call me up. He saw where I needed help. ... Like when it started getting colder, [advising] coming off the ground a little more, exploding into the ball.

Failing to make the Broncos team in 2009 straight out of college as a Tennessee Vols All-SEC punter, Britton decided to “hang” with his older brother.

“Dustin was like, 'you can stay with us for however long you want,'” Britton said of his temporary move to KC. “I ended up staying for six or seven weeks. I ended up helping out with his kids.”

Britton, 25, made an arrangement with a local Kansas City high school to “work with their kickers and punters in exchange for using their facilities and field to work out,” he said.

In the second Denver-KC meeting, a 10-6 Chiefs win Dec. 5 at KC, Britton said, “I think we both punted seven times ... I think both of us had a lot to do with the outcome. We both hit the ball well even though it was freezing and windy.”

Both brothers, who punted together briefly as UT teammates, also are holders for extra points and field goals.

Craig and the brothers' mom, Anne Colquitt, have been to several Chiefs and Broncos games in 2010. “It's a treat because we get to see them together twice a year, which is phenomenal, really,” said Craig, adding his wife knows how to handle a Denver-KC match-up.

“She said it best, ‘I just cheer for fourth down.'”

Britton said he and fiancée, Nikki Hairrell, are going to make Denver their home. Dustin and wife, Christia, have three children: Brinkley, 4, Colston, 2-and-a-half, and Hartley, 7 months.


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