The Los Angeles Rams are sorely missing their All-Pro kicker. While there is a chance that Gregr Zuerlein could return for the Rams week 5 game against the Seattle Seahawks, that is by no means a guarantee. In last week’s shootout with the Minnesota Vikings, Sam Ficken drew a lot of ire from Rams fans and head coach Sean McVay took notice as well.
From his press conference the day after the Rams week 4 victory:
(On an update on K Greg Zuerlein and if he’s committed with K Sam Ficken going forward)
”We’ll get a chance, just because we gave guys off. We watched it as a coaching staff separately, so before we kind of move forward with any type of decision like that, I would not feel appropriate unless you get a chance to talk to (Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel) ‘Bones’ and we’ll always make decisions that we think are best. (K) Greg (Zuerlein) is making progress right now. As far as what that timetable is, I think it’s still a little bit of a ways away. But, certainly we’ve got to be better in that area when we get a chance to go up 13 (points) in a game that’s been back and forth. Those are plays that we have to be able to make and make them consistently. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case the last couple weeks, but every decision we make is something that we discuss as a staff. Until I have a chance to really sit down, talk with ‘Bones’ and talk with (Assistant Special Teams Coach) Matt (Daniels) and everybody that’s involved, we haven’t made any decision like that.”
Kicker isn’t like other positions in the NFL. It is an oddity in the sense that kickers are largely interchangeable. There are two paths that teams can take when looking at a potential change: the young and old. Given the Rams long term security at the position, I’m going to pass over Roberto Aguayo and Giorgio Tavecchio.
When perusing available kickers, two names immediately pop out at me as potential short term solutions: Blair Walsh and Nick Novak. Both have seasons of over 90% field goal completions and a career completion rate north of 80%.
Yes, they both had their issues in 2017.
No, they aren’t perfect fits.
But I trust special teams coordinator to get the most out of a couple of seasoned veterans. They would both be less nerve racking options than Ficken.