Rams News: Les Snead Wants To Improve Kicking Game
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams have a number of notable voids to fill on their roster this offseason following a disappointing finish to the 2019 NFL season.

Aside from their shortcomings on both sides of the ball, one of the biggest issues they faced was the lack of consistency from their special teams, especially in the kicking game. What had once been their strength even before the arrival of head coach Sean McVay had now been a sudden weakness amidst their underwhelming 9-7 finish.

It is no secret that kicker Greg Zuerlein struggled to find his footing this season while punt Johnny Hekker had taken a step back after failing to make an All-Pro team for the first time in six seasons. Their woes have not gone unnoticed by general manager Les Snead.

Snead feels this part of their game will need to be much more reliable moving forward, via Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times:

“We want to get more consistent in the kicking game than we were this year,” Snead said.

Most of the headlines surrounding the Rams’ struggles were centered around the surprising regression on offense under McVay and rightfully so since they had been the highest-scoring group in the league in the first two seasons of his arrival. Meanwhile, the defense experienced plenty of turnover due to injuries and midseason trades that have now resulted in the departure of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

Regardless, it is clear that Snead plans on holding the special teams unit just as accountable for their shortcomings as special teams coordinator John Fassel will also not be returning after joining the Dallas Cowboys’ staff.

His desire to improve in this area is certainly understandable considering all the potential game-changing kicks that could have helped them get back into the playoff picture.

Snead’s comments indicate that Zuerlein’s future may be up in the air as he gets set to become an unrestricted free agent. He did not exactly make a strong case for a lucrative extension after finishing the 2019 campaign hitting 24-of-33 field-goal attempts and one can argue that his missed kick against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5 had major implications on their standing in the NFC West.

As a result, the Rams will be looking to do their due diligence on some of the other kickers set to hit the market once the 2019 campaign officially draws to a close. The onus will also fall on Hekker to bounce back and redeem himself as the best punter in the NFL.