ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –Over the past two seasons, Britton Colquitt has been one of the most effective punters in the NFL.
And after signing a contract extension that will keep him in a Broncos uniform through 2016, Colquitt is looking to continue to improve his consistency in giving his team advantageous field position to work from -- the type of shifts in field position that help win games.
"I want our team to know that when I go out there, our defense is going to be in a good position — that there's not going to be a return," Colquitt said. "It's not about just booting the ball. I want to put our defense in a good position. And with an offense like we have, and a defense like we have, if you can give them the ball in a good place it just makes a great team."
The fifth-year pro – who set a franchise record for net punting average in 2011 and subsequently broke his own record last season – is unmistakably thrilled about remaining a Bronco for the next few seasons.
"It's just kind of surreal right now. It's hard to believe an organization like the Broncos put faith in me like that, and say they appreciate what I've done," Colquitt said. "It means a lot. I'm humbled. I'm grateful."
Colquitt's net average of 42.1 yards per punt ranked third in the NFL and he held opponents to a 6.0-yard return average, which was second-best in the league.
For Colquitt, effective punting is measured by a combination of those two statistics. But, he noted, it's also the efforts of the coverage players on the punt team that help make both stats possible and help make a punter more effective.
"Net's the most important," Colquitt said "But then last year we had a really good year in terms of return yards against, which goes hand-in-hand with net. But I've never seen a stat like that. And this says a great deal to our coverage guys, and our gunners like (CB) Omar Bolden and some of the core guys, (S) David Bruton and all these guys out there."
And, Colquitt says, replicating that level of excellence in limiting returns could be a key element to the Broncos' success in 2013.
"If we can limit returns, especially against the guys out there, that's something that will give your guys a good chance to win," Colquitt said.
And with his extension, it's the type of difference-making play on special teams that Colquitt will look to bring to the Broncos for seasons to come – something he certainly has no shortage of enthusiasm about doing.
"It's just great, because this is the top organization in the league," Colquitt said. "I want to prove that I'm worth an extension and show them that I'm going to work harder than anybody out there to be the best."
"I'm just honored, like I said, and humbled to be here. It's very exciting."