Originally posted on cover32 - Rams  |  Last updated 7/24/14
Over the past two weeks, I’ve given grades out for the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. It’s now time to grade an often overlooked, but extremely necessary group, the special teams. Kicker: A Starting the list off is Greg Zuerlein a.k.a. Greg the Leg a.k.a. Legatron. Last year was his best year in his two-year career, nailing all but two if his field goals (26-28), while also converting all 34 of his extra points. For those counting at home, that’s 112 points for the Leg. Those are excellent numbers for a now third-year player, and we should see more of the same this year. Namely, easy 3 points from 50+ yards out. Punter: A+ Next is the always underrated punter, Johnny Hecker. The man was a Pro Bowler last year, leading the league – and breaking an NFL record – with a net average of 44.2 on his punts. When you have a tandem of kicking specialists like the Rams do, who can control the field of play by being able to score from 50+ yards out and being able to pin the opposing offense deep in it’s own territory, the special teams begin to look like a dangerous weapon for the offense and defense. Long Snapper: A Let’s not forget the man distributing the ball to these two kickers, Jake McQuaide. The four year veteran is a relatively unknown player, but that’s almost what you want from a long snapper. When you start getting attention in games, it is because you’re sailing the ball over the kicker’s head. Coverage: B+ Lastly, the kick coverage teams as well as the return teams were rough at first for the Rams, but blossomed as the year progressed. Constantly penalized for block in the backs to begin the year turned into big returns for Tavon Austin (see Colts game). With another year under their belt, and further tutelage from John Fassel, this special teams unit should excel.
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