The Rams lost many key pieces to their success over the past couple of seasons. They let go of Todd Gurley and shipped off productive receiver Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans. They also let some marquee players walk via free agency with one of them being longtime kicker Greg Zuerlein.
Zuerlein had been a staple in the Rams Special Teams and his departure left the franchise with a big hole to fill. Fast forward to camp and the team is taking its time evaluating its three options: former XFL kicker Austin MacGinnis, former Canadian kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, and rookie Samuel Sloman. While it’s interesting that the Rams didn’t pursue anyone with prior NFL experience, all three have certainly impressed thus far.
When asked about the kicker competition during a team press conference, head coach Sean McVay acknowledged that there is a reason each player is still in camp. He discussed that the team is taking its time in order to find the right fit for the kicking unit.
“Everyone always attributes the misses or the makes to the kicker, but it truly is a reflection of the entire operation with the snap, the hold, and the kick.”
What McVay said is very true. You want the unit to be able to work in sync, especially under pressure. Long Snapper, Jake McQuaide was also asked about the kicker competition which he mentioned was still a work in progress while also citing efficiency as a key element.
“You can have talent as a kicker and not be the best kicker. It’s not necessarily the most talented guy that’s gonna have the best percentage but when it comes down to it, you’re judged strictly on whether it went in or out.”
While the hope is for one kicker to separate himself from the other two, McVay didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of carrying one on the practice squad. The Rams still have some time to figure it all out, but the clock is ticking and people want to know who will step in to fill the shoes of Zuerlein.