There really isn't much you can do to make the St. Louis Rams special teams better than they were last season. But third-year kicker Greg Zuerlein is working on it anyway.
"He's tweaked just minimally a few things, but we don't want to change them at all because I keep saying that I was really proud of him," special teams coordinator John Fassel said after Monday's special teams practice.
A sixth-round pick in 2012, Zuerlein arrived at his first camp amidst a swirl of hype about 70-yard cannon shots. He delivered in practice too, showing fans on hand for training camp just how effective of a long-range weapon he could be. He struggled over the last two thirds of the season, watching his kicking totals go from a perfect 13-for-13 on field goals through the first four games to finish with an underwhelming 74.2 percent success rate on three pointers.
His leg wore down, and the Rams worked with Zuerlein to improve the strength in his rocket launcher between year one and two. It worked.
"I thought he was stronger the last month than at any point in his first year or even after and up until that point," Fassel said. "It was significant and then year two the improvement from the beginning of the season to the end of the season was there, too, which was good."
He made 26 of 28 field goals, 92.9 percent, in 2013, including a season-best 54-yarder in Week 16 against the Buccaneers.
There's still plenty room for improvement.
"We're working off on kickoff, as well and on field goals," Fassel said. "He knows his leg strength is dynamite and we're working on putting it right down the middle every time so its good."