Cleat Geeks

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Special Teams Breakdown

Last season the Kansas City Chiefs had one of the most dynamic special team units in the NFL. Their performance was a key part of the Chiefs success last season. The Chiefs will need another good season from the special teams unit to make the playoffs again this season.

The Chiefs were led by pro bowl returner Tyreek Hill. He has made a pro bowl appearance in both of his first two seasons in the NFL. Hill was limited to punt returns because of his role on the offense as the Chiefs primary receiver. He averaged 8.2 yards per return and had one touchdown. Hill should be an elite returner for the Chiefs again in 2018.

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Rookie kicker Harrison Butker was one of the biggest surprises for the Chiefs last season. He was signed off of the Carolina Panthers practice squad in September after Cairo Santos was injured. He went 38 for 42 throughout the season. He was 4/5 in attempts of 50+ yards including his career long at 53 yards. Butker should have a lot of opportunities this season because of the Chiefs offense.

Punter Dustin Colquitt will return to the Chiefs for his 14th season with the team. He is the longest tenured Chief. Last season Colquitt averaged 45.2 yards per punt. It was his highest average since the 2013 season. Colquitt signed a three-year contract this off-season to stay with the team. He has been one of the most reliable players for the Chiefs throughout his career and should have another strong performance next season.

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Photo by; Arrowhead Pride

The Chiefs do not have a kick returner entering training camp. Tyreek Hill could fill the spot but this would likely be their last choice because of his impact on offense. De’Anthony Thomas had the role last season but he still has not practiced this off-season because of a leg injury. Rookie cornerback Tremon Smith was used a lot in mini camp but has not locked down the job. The Chiefs also signed rookie wide receiver Josh Crockett during mini camp, he could compete for the spot. Kick returner should be one of the biggest position battles to watch in training camp and in the preseason.

Overall, the Chiefs will return important pieces of their special teams unit. Their success will be important to the Chiefs. Special teams can provide the plays that make the difference in close games.

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