One on One: Dustin Colquitt

Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt signed a five-year deal Thursday, keeping him in Kansas City through 2012. Warpaint Illustrated caught up with the fourth-year veteran for a quick chat.

WPI: How does it feel to be a Kansas City Chief for the next five years?

DC: I'm excited because these first three years have been unbelievable. When we were working out the deal I was just hoping and praying that I'd get to stay in the city. We've had a good response from fans. We love the city, we love the people involved. We live in Leawood, Kansas. We love where we live and we're just excited to be a part of the family for the next five years.

WPI: What's it going to be like in the locker room with so many young players now?

DC: I was talking to Herm the other day about how we're having a big turnaround and he said, "Yeah, you're going to have to introduce yourself to a lot of people." When that happens you know you're getting a lot of new guys. We have to realize that with a lot of change like this comes growth and success. We're in this for the long haul.

Last season was a down year, but it could have been a lot worse. We didn't have a Miami Dolphins year or anything like that. So basically now as a veteran, and seeing the youth movement, I'm going to have to step up a little bit more and be a leader for younger people coming in. We just have to go out and do our jobs and get better as individual players.

WPI: Now that you've signed, have you talked to special teams coach Mike Priefer?

DC: As soon as I signed my deal I walked down and said ,"Hey, you've got me for another year." He said, "Oh, that's great! That's great!" Then I said "I'm kidding, I'm going to be here for five more years." He lost it. If anything could have gone awry, I could have ended up in another city or something like that, but with Herm, Carl, Denny Thum, all the people that kind of made this thing happen, Kansas City has a special place in our hearts.

Especially Mike Priefer. He kind of helped me in 2006, his first year here, he helped me to critique and prepare for situations in football games – when we're backed up or really need to pin somebody inside the five. He's a guy that really works on those situations to put your defense in a good situation and in turn puts your offense in a good position to put points on the board. When he got here, Prief told us, "Hey, this is what we're going to do. We're going to focus on our job and nothing else, and in turn we'll show up in ball games."

WPI: Several players have had interesting stories about negotiating with Carl Peterson, but you seem to have had a good experience with the process?

DC: Definitely. He's done so well with Derrick Thomas, Derrick Johnson and Neil Smith – you can go on down with some of the great successes. At the end of the season there's 31 teams that are looking at their GM and saying, "Well, he didn't do as good as he could," and stuff like that, but when it comes down to it he's made so many smart decisions.

I'm not just saying this because of my contract, because you can see how hard it is to mix football and business. That's what his job is, to put the football players into place where we can win football games and the organization makes revenue. It's a business and a game, and I think he's done a fabulous job in bringing that in. I know it's been tough for some of the fans, but we're going to have a turnaround here and it's going to be for the better in the years to come.

WPI: What can Chiefs fans expect next week with the return of your weekly Warpaint blog, Colquitt's Coffin Corner?

DC: When there's a genius behind the words involved, I can just live the experiences and tell my story. You put it on paper better than anybody could, so it's going to be fun. It's not going to be just the season, we're going to extend it all year round because I breathe football all year round. I know a lot of people in this area, big Chiefs fans, around the NFL and in my hometown of Knoxville, read it. We're going to give them a good taste all year long.

WPI: What message do you have for those fans?

DC: There's a lot of changes coming tomorrow. We're looking into free agency and the draft is going to be huge with this fifth overall pick. Just be ready, because this is a machine that we're fine-tuning, and we're going to be ready for the '08 season.

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