There have been many ups and downs during the first three games of the 2012 Indianapolis Colts season. Indianapolis finds themselves at a disappointing (but not-super-surprising) record of one win and two losses. The team has looked impressive at times, and befuddling at others.
One aspect of this reloaded Indianapolis Colts team that has looked well overall is the special teams. A thin and often-abused part of the Colts roster for a long time, the 2012 special teams coverage and consistency has been one side of the the Colts that has looked solid so far this season. Concrete special teams play is even more important for a young team that might often find themselves playing a low-scoring game based on field position.
One of the special teams players that has stood out for the Colts already this season, is defensive back Joe Lefeged. Lefeged was taken as an undrafted free agent by the Colts in 2011. He played in all 16 games last season, but had only three special teams tackles. In the first three games this year, Lefeged leads the Colts with seven special teams tackles. Against the Chicago Bears in week one, Lefeged batted two punts out of the opponent’s end zone and back into the field of play, where they were downed inside the five-yard line. Lefeged has also downed two punts inside the opponent’s five-yard line on his own.
The second-year defensive back gives a lot of credit to his punter, Pat McAfee. “Pat did a great job just putting the ball where he did,” said Lefeged. “He’s been doing it in practice. As a gunner, you have faith in the punter placing the ball in that area. You just have to get to the spot. He did a great job, and the coaches have been doing a great job of teaching me the techniques to beat the double-press and being able to get down the field.”
McAfee returned equal respect when speaking of Lefeged. “He’s the type of guy you want on your team, the type of guy you want for your business. If you’re going to war, he’s the type of guy you want on your side.”