Two members of the Indianapolis Colts’ “4th Down Army” were voted by the Associated Press to the All-Pro first team announced Friday.
Kicker Adam Vinatieri, the NFL’s oldest player at 42, and punter/kickoff specialist/holder Pat McAfee were elated to be selected together. This is Vinatieri’s third time on the first team in 19 seasons, the other years in 2002 and 2004. It’s McAfee’s first time in six seasons.
The honor is bestowed upon the NFL’s best players at their positions.
“It’s an honor,” Vinatieri told colts.com. “For me being the old guy in the league, not only in the locker room but in the league, it says something about your longevity. For me, I feel the older you get, the harder you have to work … to be able to hit the higher standards and stuff, it gives you a lot of self satisfaction.”
Vinatieri had a career year with 30 field goals in 31 attempts (96.8 percent) and 50 successful extra points without a miss. His consecutive streak of 35 consecutive field goals in the regular season dating back to 2013 ended with a 46-yard miss in Sunday’s finale at Tennessee.
McAfee broke his own Colts record with 30 punts pinned inside the 20-yard line, three more than last season. His net punting average of 42.8 yards also broke his own franchise mark of 40.3 yards set in 2012.
“This is really cool. I’m happy you guys broke the news to me,” McAfee said in the locker room. “It’s all a testament to the special teams guys that we have this year. I’m so lucky to be with them. It’s so much fun. I just found out All-Pro is a really big deal. It’s cool. I’m so lucky to have the guys, (coaches) Tom McMahon and Brant Boyer helping me out.
“The luckiest thing that I’ve had in my life is a chance to work under a guy who’s going to go down as the greatest of all-time, because the amount of things I’ve learned on-the-field and off-the-field from (Vinatieri) is just priceless.”
He added about Vinatieri, “That guy is the best in the world at what he does.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.