Obviously it was an emotional game for a lot of people because it usually is an emotional scrimmage at the beginning of the year.
It was good for our season to play them because we have a pretty close relationship with them and we needed a big win before we went to San Diego.
Always in a game like that, when you have both defenses that are playing well, there wasn't a whole lot of running the ball – I know Adrian Peterson kind of busted out a couple times early – but other than that we held him in check. Both defenses were playing good so that puts a lot of pressure on the special teams just to be extra-special because it's going to come down to a field position game and normally the last person with the ball usually wins those kind of games.
You drive down and hopefully get a field goal and win by three or a small amount, so it's always big when you get some big punts at the end of the game or a change of adrenaline when you get a big play - like a tackle inside the 20 or a kickoff return or anything like that. We did that in that game on special teams.
Minnesota's punter, Chris Kluwe, is great. I think we came in the same year and he's got a big-time leg. I think he caught Eddie Drummond by surprise that one time, he kind of just hit the ball over his head. You've got to take those chances some times because there's times when a return man may be a little bit too close to you and if you don't have any wind, you can go for it, but you have to realize you're taking a big chance. If you don't get that ball over his head it's coming back, all the way.
He had a great day and it was fun to go out there and see some of those big punts. The best thing about punting is everyone wants to see a big punt, nobody wants to see shanks.
In the game, we see things not necessarily going wrong, but the offense and the defense are trying to find an opportunity to take advantage of the other team. You see a lot of close games like that because how teams win in the NFL is by exploiting that one weak spot. So when you're seeing all these people arguing and you're seeing all this chaos on the field, they're trying to find that weak spot.
Basically what it does for special teams, we realize that our job just got super important because as our defense and offense try to find their identity during the course of a game - what they're going to work on to stop that team or what they're going to do to get through their defense to score some points - we've got to hold up our end of the bargain while they're trying to figure that weakness.
So we have to have big hang time punts that change field position, Dave Rayner's got to come in here and hit field goals like he did while we're not scoring touchdowns. We finally found that weak spot and Dwayne Bowe got open and made an unbelievable catch in the end zone. As long as we're moving the ball and Dave's giving us points, until we can figure out how to exploit their defense, that's what we have to do.
Dave kicked off great on Sunday and that's fun to see, because he's got a big-time leg. That really helps out a lot because we're getting coverage sometimes down to the 13-yard line and tackles on the 10. That's a huge part of our coverage and field position.
This week it's an AFC West battle and it's a big deal because first of all, they have a big-time punter in Mike Scifres out there in San Diego. It's always fun to go to other places where they're known to have a good specialists corps. It's also important to us because we haven't won in San Diego since I've been here, and it's something that we want to do. We always go out there and sometimes it's a close game, sometimes it's not so close, but we've got to come together. I think this is a good time to go out there because they're not really sure who they are on offense and defense right now.
I know they can find themselves during the course of any given game, but we need to take this opportunity to go down there and really start going. Dwayne Bowe's on fire right now, we've got to get him the ball. Obviously Larry, he hasn't been playing very much because he's still warming up. He's still going to have a remarkable season.
As specialists we have to go out there and level out the playing field and make sure our defense has a lot of field to work with in whatever packages they want to throw at their offense. When they punt we want to make sure they're punting from deep so our offense doesn't have to do a whole lot of work getting the ball back into scoring position.
Thanks for reading Colquitt's Coffin Corner. See you next Tuesday.
Colquitt's Coffin Corner: Ready for San Diego
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