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Colts 2016 player preview: Punter Pat McAfee

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NFL: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts will report to training camp on July 26 with their 90-man roster, which will be cut down to 53 players by the end of the preseason. To pass the time until camp, we’re taking a look at every player on the Colts’ 90-man roster. Today, we’re looking at punter Pat McAfee.

Who is he?

Pat McAfee is arguably the best punter and best special teams player in the entire NFL. In 2014, he was named to the Pro Bowl and was also a first-team All-Pro, and while he didn’t receive the individual honors in 2015 like he did the year before, he was still really good. He averaged 47.7 yards per punt while nearing his career high in punts in a season (he was three shy of tying the 88 punts he had in 2011), proving to be as important as ever with the Colts’ offense struggling. He also had 28 punts pinned inside the 20-yard line, the second-most in a single-season in franchise history behind his own mark of 30 set in 2014 (his last three seasons have featured the three highest totals in Colts history). The downside was that the Colts allowed three punt return touchdowns, though it’s hard to place the blame entirely on McAfee. In addition to his role as a punter, McAfee also is the Colts’ field goal holder, kickoff specialist, and onside kick expert. He’s a versatile player and very talented, proving to be as good at his position as anyone on the Colts roster.

What is his role?

McAfee’s role on the Colts is pretty clear: he’s their punter, holder, and kickoff specialist. That’s the role he’s held for the past several years, and he shows no signs of wearing down from those jobs either. The team might bring a guy in to training camp to help relieve the workload for McAfee and Adam Vinatieri (though that’s far from guaranteed to happen), but McAfee’s job is not in jeopardy whatsoever. A few weeks ago, head coach Chuck Pagano joked that only one guy has his job locked up already: Andrew Luck. He said this as a joke to emphasize the competitive nature of the offseason workouts, but I think we can go ahead and add a second player to that list: Pat McAfee’s job is completely locked up, too.

What are his chances?

A no-brainer – he’s an absolute lock.