During a three-game stretch from Weeks 5-7, Greg Zuerlein made just three of nine field goal attempts. If this is your first time tuning in to the particulars of kicking as it pertains to American football, allow me to explain that that is bad.
It was that kind of stretch that pushed Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher in January to call for competition at the kicker position in training camp this preseason even after signing GZ to a one-year deal out of free agency.
Enter Texas A&M K Taylor Bertolet to provide that competition.
Bertolet split time at the position at A&M with Josh Lambo who took over kicking duties with the Chargers as a 2015 UDFA. He's certainly hoping to join him as an NFL kicker, though the question is if Zuerlein will open a window to give him a shot...
I'd personally think Zuerlein's locked in from the outset, but the question for me is more mid-range. What would GZ have to do to entice the Rams to make a call-up mid-season for Bertolet?
Put another way, I'd put Zuerlein's chances of being the starter for Week 1 at 100%. Week 10? Not 100%.
That's the Bertolet window.
Well, I think we're going to get a decent sense of things as camp kicks up (pun intended).
Here's how I'd gauge it. What are GZ's chances of hitting a 60-yard kick? What are Bertolet's chances of hitting the same kick? Now line up their chances from 40.
There's likely a gap between GZ and Bertolet. We'll get a sense of it during camp. That gap, though, will grow increasingly smaller with each struggling performance from GZ. If he can get through October without any big minuses on the report card, that gap will likely remain in tact. A similar season to 2015? That gap may flip in Bertolet's favor...
Chances of Making Final Roster: 1/10
I'm leaving the faintest light on in case Legatron looks absolutely horrible in August. Assuming he doesn't (and I'm comfortable with that assumption), he's the starting kicker for the 2016 Los Angeles Rams in Week 1.
In Week 1...