The St. Louis Rams have gone young in the kicking game for 2012, but place kicker Greg Zuerlein in particular has really impressed the coaching staff and players alike. He was selected in the sixth round by the team after being brought in out of nearby Missouri Western State during the pre-draft workout process. That selection is looking awfully smart at this point.
In a scrimmage on Saturday at the Edward Jones Dome, Zuerlein nailed kicks of 39, 44, 49, 54 and 59 yards before barely missing a 64 yard attempt wide left. He was reluctantly happy with his own performance saying: “I had the distance; I just didn’t connect on it. I’d like to make every kick and when I don’t it’s kind of disappointing. Other than that, it was a good day.”
Quarterback Sam Bradford hopes that the majority of kicks Zuerlein is making this year are extra points, but he was highly enthused about the rookie’s showing. Bradford said: “That last one was, what, 64? It got there. To have that in your back pocket and know that we don’t have to get down to the 31-, 30-yard line to get our special teams, I think that last one was from the 46. So it’s nice to not have to get it all the way down there to get yourself in position to get some points.”
Those chances at points are crucial at the end of halves or in game-deciding situations. The Rams have to like the direction things are trending with their youth infusion on special teams and if Zuerlein can continue to build on his accurate display from Saturday, the point total should greatly increase for the team this season.
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