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Thread: Greg Zuerlien?

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    10m39s80i81t's Avatar
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    Greg Zuerlien?

    Anyone else a little concerned about our young kickers overall accuracy? He's fantastic at at 50 plus but what about 30 plus? Ever since the 49er tied game last year I have noticed a decline.....maybe confidence?


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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    It's been well-documented that Zuerlein suffered leg fatigue last year after training non-stop for two years after a leg injury. His special teams coach told him to basically "sit on it" after the 2012 season, and he did. He's come back refreshed and looking superb in the preseason. I don't have a single concern.

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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    Not worried at all, he's going to have a great year.
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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    I must admit, I'm just a bit concerned about GZ. He came out of the gate in automatic mode last year, going 15 for 15 to start, but finished 8-16. I know the tired leg explanation has been commonly floated out there, but his misses started in week 6, so I'm not sure I buy it. I agree with the OP, the problem was likely confidence. He ended up ranked 29th in FG's made percentage, and that has to improve, drastically.
    Last edited by r8rh8rmike; -09-03-2013 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Correct numbers

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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will be fine....

    but

    when it comes to kickers I'm always a little concerned.
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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    GZ said it was his worst year ever!

    Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein hoping to bounce back after disappointing second half in 2012
    Published July 28, 2013
    Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS – Greg Zuerlein's secret is out. The St. Louis Rams' second-year kicker cheated a bit during his coach-ordered, three-month rest period earlier this year.

    Last season as a rookie, Zuerlein came from out of nowhere to convert his first 15 field goal attempts. He bottomed out over the second half, missing eight of his final 16 tries, and special teams coordinator John Fassel attributed the drop-off to fatigue and told Zuerlein to rest from January to March.

    "He stayed fit, but he stayed away from kicking for a while," Fassel said.

    Well, not exactly. The always-active Zuerlein did tone it down a bit — but he also couldn't stay away completely.

    "He doesn't know it, but I'd sneak out there and tap a few," Zuerlein said. "Nothing hard. Some light taps just to get the foot to the ball. But nothing strenuous."

    The well-rested Zuerlein is looking to improve on a solid rookie campaign. He made 23 of 31 attempts and booted a franchise-record 60-yarder in a 19-13 win over Seattle.

    Zuerlein was an impressive 7 for 13 from 50 yards or longer, including a 58-yard bomb. He hit all seven of his tries from the 40-to-49-yard range.

    Still, the Missouri Western State product is haunted by his less-than-perfect second half. He missed three field goals, including a 37-yarder, in a 17-14 loss at Miami which started the downfall.

    "Worst season I've ever had," Zuerlein said. "I wasn't happy with it. I missed some big kicks that our team needed."

    Zuerlein is his own worst critic. He still takes the blame for missing a 66-yarder on the last play of regulation in the three-point loss at Miami. The 24-year-old had enough distance on the kick but pulled it to the left.

    "Could've made them all," he said of his eight misses. "Should have made them all. I've never missed that many — ever."

    Zuerlein's early 15-kick blitz to start the season included a 56-yarder outdoors in Chicago.

    "He started on fire," Fassel said. "But he wasn't happy with the way it ended. A lot of that had to do with a young guy just getting worn out."

    Zuerlein kicked for two years straight from his senior season in college to early January. Although he said the three-month rest was difficult, he realizes now that it was for his own good.

    "It was kind of boring, but I needed it," he said. "I feel a lot better for it."

    Zuerlein has yet to cut loose in training camp. He expects to ease into a groove over the next few weeks.

    The Rams held a special teams only practice on Sunday morning. Zuerlein did some work on the side but did not attempt to kick.

    Fassel wants to ease his prize pupil into the upcoming season in hopes he can remain fresh down the stretch.

    "His strength has improved, so his ability and his success later in the season should improve," Fassel said.

    The Rams drafted Zeurlein in the sixth round of the 2012 draft. On the same day, they released kicker Josh Brown after four solid seasons with the team.

    That gamble paid immediate dividends as Zuerlein came within one kick of trying the NFL record for most successful field goals to start a career set by Garrett Hartley of New Orleans in 2008-09.

    Now, Zuerlein is determined to avoid any sophomore jinx.

    "Right now, I feel more comfortable than I did last year at this time," he said.

    Notes: The special teams-only practice lasted just over an hour. The highlights came during a set of gunner drills where several minor scuffles broke out. First-round draft choice Tavon Austin returned punts during the workout along with Isaiah Pead, Nick Johnson, Zac Stacy, Chase Reynolds and Andre Martin.
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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    I must admit, I'm just a bit concerned about GZ. He came out of the gate in automatic mode last year, going 15 for 15 to start, but finished 8-16. I know the tired leg explanation has been commonly floated out there, but his misses started in week 6, so I'm not sure I buy it. I agree with the OP, the problem was likely confidence. He ended up ranked 29th in FG's made percentage, and that has to improve, drastically.
    Kickers are a whimsical, quirky group of guy's. But, having said that, I do not think we have anything to worry about with Legatron. I sense he will have a big year. Could be all pro alternate IMO
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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    Quote Originally Posted by macrammer View Post
    Kickers are a whimsical, quirky group of guy's. But, having said that, I do not think we have anything to worry about with Legatron. I sense he will have a big year. Could be all pro alternate IMO
    The talent is there without a doubt, but I'm really hoping he makes his first few FG's.

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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    I'm with r8rh8rmike on this one. I love Zeurlein and his leg strength is unbelievable, but his performance tailed off last season. And while we're all enamored with his distance, there is more to placekicking than blasting 58 yarders from time to time. He's certainly not a major concern, but improvement is needed.
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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    I'm with r8rh8rmike on this one. I love Zeurlein and his leg strength is unbelievable, but his performance tailed off last season. And while we're all enamored with his distance, there is more to placekicking than blasting 58 yarders from time to time. He's certainly not a major concern, but improvement is needed.
    Who would your rather have? Anyone else? I think Greg went through his rookie jitters last year. This year I expect he'll do better. No matter who's kicking for us, I've always held my breath a bit on field goals - you just never know when a guy's gonna miss. I'm glad we found Leg & Hek. If the rest of our team plays better, there will be less pressure on them as well. Scoring more touchdowns and kicking less field goals certainly would help. Hopefully Hekkers leg gets a lot of rest during the regular season!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    Who would your rather have? Anyone else?
    Not sure how that leap comes about so often. We are not talking about replacing him. There is some justified concern and we are looking for improvement. He needs to be more consistent with his kicks. I don't think anyone would deny they'd like to see his percentage in the 90's range instead of the 70's. Wouldn't you?

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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curly Horns View Post
    Not sure how that leap comes about so often. We are not talking about replacing him. There is some justified concern and we are looking for improvement. He needs to be more consistent with his kicks. I don't think anyone would deny they'd like to see his percentage in the 90's range instead of the 70's. Wouldn't you?
    Absolutely I would!

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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curly Horns View Post
    Not sure how that leap comes about so often. We are not talking about replacing him. There is some justified concern and we are looking for improvement. He needs to be more consistent with his kicks. I don't think anyone would deny they'd like to see his percentage in the 90's range instead of the 70's. Wouldn't you?
    Well translated. I never advocated for Zeurlein to be replaced- such a thing would be insane- but 8 for 16 in your last 24 kicks is unacceptable in professional football. Consistency is expected- think Jeff Wilkins!!

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    To be fair, 6 of his 8 misses were on attempts of 50 yards or more.
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    Re: Greg Zuerlien?

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    To be fair, 6 of his 8 misses were on attempts of 50 yards or more.
    Bingo. When discussing the consistency of GZ, one has to note his made percentage has less to do with a consistency issue than it does with the fact that he faced more 50+ yard field goal attempts than any kicker in the league. He was 7 for 13 from 50+. Only Blair Walsh made more from that distance, and no kicker attempted more from that distance.

    Of his field goal attempts, 42% were from greater than 50 yards. No other kicker in the league was placed in that position. Not Walsh (26%), not Dawson (22%), not Barth (27%), not Janikowski (26%), not Graham (24%), not Crosby (27%), not Vinatieri (21%), not Bailey (16%)......nobody.

    The average NFL kicker attempted 4 from beyond 50 last year. If GZ had been put into the postion of the average kicker he would probably hit on 2 of 4 (he hit on 54% from that distance last year). So instead of 23 for 31, he would have been 18 for 22.

    And to further the point, from within 49, he was 16 for 18. That's an 89% rate. That's on par with both pro bowlers, Walsh (89%) and Dawson (91%).

    The concern over GZ's consistency is much ado about nothing. His total hit percentage is not a factor of his consistency, but rather more being asked of him than any other kicker in the league.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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