The Indianapolis Colts had a number of special teams standouts this past season, most notably in their kicking game with Pat McAfee and Adam Vinatieri respectively. Both players went on to have arguably career seasons and were named not only Pro Bowlers, but were 1st-Team All-Pros.
Jan 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Indianapolis Colts safety Colt Anderson (32) against the Denver Broncos in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Colts defeated the Broncos 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
However, one unsung hero of the Colts special teams units was backup safety Colt Anderson. The 5th-year veteran was among the best special teams gunners in the game last season.
Coming out of the unheralded University of Montana as an undrafted free agent in 2009, Anderson has joined a list of notable current University of Montana Grizzlies players that have gone on to have successful careers in the NFL, including Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Kroy Biermann and Buffalo Bills placekicker Dan Carpenter.
Anderson has made his mark largely due to his special teams prowess, where he plays with the utmost energy and effort. Flying down the field with reckless abandonment on special teams, Anderson consistently graded out as one of the best special teams contributors last season. According to ProFootballFocus (subscription), his +8.0 grade overall effectively tied him as the 4th best special teamer overall. It’s worth noting that his 11 tackles on special teams were a team high this past season.
The Colts ranked as one of the best special teams units in the NFL. Per ProFootballFocus, their special teams unit grade was a +78.0 overall grade, which was the best in the league. While star players like McAfee and Vinatieri were undoubtedly a big reason why and are sure to draw the majority of the headlines, it’s relatively easy to forget about some of the “other guys”.
However, Anderson deserves his fair due, as he was tremendous playing an often unheralded, yet nevertheless very important position on special teams. We noted his contributions in our safety positional review, as he looks to be a player that the Colts would like to re-sign due to his exceptional special teams play.
Originally signed as a free agent to a 1-year, $800K contract, after spending his 1st 4 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Anderson has hopefully found a long-term home with the Indianapolis Colts. While it seems like an obvious fit given his unique first name, it’s more about his special, special teams play than anything, where Anderson is nothing short of an ace.
Nov 16, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New Enlgand Patriots receiver Danny Amendola (80 ) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts safety Colt Anderson (32) on special teams at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports