The Indianapolis Colts’ wild and crazy guy prides himself in having a little more fun.
So when a snap came high and outside to punter Pat McAfee during Sunday’s 35-33 win at Tennessee, he noticed in those quick seconds as he stepped to his right that tight end Jack Doyle had secured the edge.
And there wasn’t a Titans player in sight. So McAfee tucked it and ran. Eighteen yards later, he had a first down and something to celebrate.
“Everybody thinks the quarterback is the only one with a pocket, but in punting there is a pocket too because there are very impressive athletes coming off the edge,” McAfee said. “If I get pulled off the pocket a little bit and I think it could get blocked possibly and I see the edge wide open I’m allowed to take it. I get the green light.”
Thing is, he has to make it.
“If I don’t get it I don’t go back to our sideline,” he said with a hearty laugh.
On Wednesday, the seventh-year pro was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time of his career.
That might seem like a ho-hum deal for a 28-year-old free spirit who made headlines early in his career for a late-night swim of the Broad Ripple Canal and has since rode a camel in the Canary Islands, been a pace car driver at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and left the public laughing as a stand-up comedian, among other gigs.
But McAfee, first and foremost, is still pretty good at what he does.
Last season was the first time he was voted to the Pro Bowl as well as selected All-Pro first team. On Sunday, in addition to his heads-up scramble, he netted a 50-yard average on five punts and boomed six touchbacks on kickoffs.
“I think player of the week is really cool,” he said. “I think it’s just recognition and special teams even more so than offense or defense. It’s really a group award. Our coverage teams right now are incredible and I’m reaping the benefits of it from this award.
“We’re all happy that we won. You got guys like Clayton Geathers, Winston Guy Jr., Colt Anderson, Matt Overton, Jack Doyle, Tyler Varga, Bjoern Werner, Sio Moore. You just got a group of guys out there that are covering so well. I’m the weak link of the group really out of all of us. So I’m excited to be a part of this group and we’re having a lot of fun.”
Fun, something McAfee always seems to get his fill of in life.
Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.