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Monday, September 14, 2015

St. Louis Rams Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

September 13, 2015 - Greg Zuerlein kicks OT game winner over Seattle
"the Rams’ special-teamers shook it off and improved throughout the game, playing a major role in the team’s 34-31 overtime win over the two-time defending NFC champs....
The big play by Marquez, followed by a 22-yard pass from Foles to Stedman Bailey, helped set up Zuerlein’s 37-yard field goal, which turned into the game-winning margin when the Rams’ defense stopped the Seahawks near midfield to end the contest. 'The PAT in the last minute (of regulation) was a tougher kick; with the new rules, those aren’t gimmes anymore,' Zuerlein said. 'Knowing the kind of defense we have, I felt pretty confident that the kick in OT would give us a pretty good shot at the win. Any time you win in the NFL, it’s a big deal. But it’s always nice to get that first one because of all the hard work you’ve done in the offseason. Hopefully this is something we can build on'." - Post-Dispatch

August 31, 2015 - long snapper Tyler Ott and kicker/punter Michael Palardy released

May 9, 2015 - long snapper Tyler Ott signed
"Ott, a long snapper, was signed after he was invited to the Rams rookie orientation Friday and Saturday as part of a tryout. Ott spent much of training camp last summer with the New England Patriots before being released. He re-signed with the Patriots in March, but was released last Tuesday, a few days after the New England drafted Navy long snapper Joe Cardona." - Tulsa World

January 6, 2015 - punter/kicker Michael Palardy signed to futures contract
"Palardy was on the Raiders’ practice squad in 2014, following a successful college career at Tennessee. There, Palardy excelled as both a kicker and punter in his senior season, converting 14-of-17 field goal attempts and making 63 punts -- including 33 inside the 20, a mark that tied for the FBS lead." - Rams

December 7, 2014 - Greg Zuerlein misses a few kicks in win over Washington
"Kicker Greg Zuerlein missed an extra point and two short field goals in the first half, leaving the Rams with just a 6-0 lead going into the locker room. He rebounded slightly in the second half by making an extra point and a 34-yard field goal, but all of his kicks seemed to drift to the right. However, Fisher gave Zuerlein a vote of confidence in a unique way after the game. 'I want you all to know that in our closed door locker room there, I had Johnny Hekker hold the ball and put the ball down and Greg hit the locker, and that’s what he was aiming for,' Fisher said. 'So he’s OK. Greg is going to be fine, OK'." - ESPN

December 4, 2014 - punter Johnny Hekker signs six-year extension
"The Rams have locked up their promising young punter with a lucrative long-term deal. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Pro Bowler Johnny Hekker signed a six-year, $18 million extension on Friday, per a source who has seen the contract. The third-year kicker is guaranteed $9 million and can make up to $19 million over the life of the pact. The Rams later confirmed the signing, which will keep Hekker, 24, with the team through the 2020 season. It's the highest amount of guaranteed cash for any kicker or punter in the NFL, per ESPN, prompting the Rams to headline their official release on the deal by noting: "PUNTERS GET PAID LIKE PEOPLE, TOO." - NFL

November 19, 2014 - kicker Greg Zuerlein named NFC special teams player of the week
"Zuerlein converted all five field goal attempts, including two from beyond 50 yards, and scored 16 points in the Rams’ 22-7 win over Denver. He also added five touchbacks on seven kickoffs. He is the second player in franchise history to make at least five field goals in a game witho ut a miss, joining Jeff Wilkins (October 1, 2000). Zuerlein had at least one field goal in every quarter, including a 55 and 53 yarder in the fourth quarter." - NFL

November 16, 2014 - Greg Zuerlein kicks five field goals in win over Broncos
"Since kicking four field goals in a 19-17 victory over Tampa Bay in Game 2, Zuerlein has had a quiet season. But the Rams’ place-kicker made his presence felt against Denver, kicking a career-best five field goals. Those 15 points spelled the difference in a 15-point Rams victory. Zuerlein got his leg warmed up with three shorter kicks in the opening three quarters, making field goals of 37, 29 and 22 yards. Then came two long-range boots in the fourth quarter, from 55 and 53 yards to give the Rams some breathing room. 'It’s just nice getting into a rhythm early on, and then feeling confident throughout the game,' Zuerlein said." - St. Louis Today

November 2, 2014 - Greg Zuerlein kicks winning points
"Buoyed by a strong defensive performance, the Rams came away with a gritty 13-10 victory over the 49ers in their first visit to Levi’s Stadium....  The Rams were able to put up the game-winning points midway through the final frame. After offsetting penalties induced a re-punt deep in San Francisco territory, 49ers punter Andy Lee shanked the kick off his right foot for only 23 yards. Greg Zuerlein nailed a 39-yard field goal to put the Rams on top for good, 13-10." - Rams

September 14, 2014 - Greg Zuerlein kicks four field goals, including game winner over Bucs
"That means low-scoring games in which everyone contributes and not just on offense and defense but special teams, too. It's something the Rams freely acknowledge and was readily apparent in Sunday's 19-17 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.... Zuerlein also provided a strong response in sloppy conditions after a shaky preseason and missing a 50-yard kick against Minnesota last week. But even with the field offering little solid footing, something clearly evident on Zuerlein's kickoffs, he managed to convert from 36, 35, 46 and 38 yards. The last of those coming with 38 seconds to go and providing the Rams with the winning points. 'Anytime you can help your team win the ball game, it’s huge as a kicker,' Zuerlein said. 'The guys are out there depending on you to do your job. They’ve been battling it out for the whole game and you’ve just got to pull through for them'." - ESPN

August 25, 2014 - punter Bobby Cowan, long snapper Jorgen Hus released
- Rams

August 11, 2014 - snap, hold, kick
"After missing only two field goal attempts all of last season, kicker Greg Zeurlein missed a pair in Friday’s contest. So, what gives? Well, Fisher said part of it had to do with who’s snapping the ball. The Rams’ first-team long snapper is Jake McQuaide, but when Zeurlein missed those attempts, backup long snapper Jorgen Hus was in the game. Acording to Fisher, Hus 'has not worked a lot with [holder] Johnny Hekker and Greg Zuerlein thus far in camp and there’s a difference between his ball and Jake’s ball. … There’s a fine line. You’ve got your backup snapper and the ball appears to be a decent snap but the ball is different, the laces are different and the whole routine’s different on the kick.' Fisher said Hekker and Zuerlein will continue to work with Hus in order to get everything on the right track." - Rams

August 8, 2014 - kicker Greg Zuerlein misses late pair in preseason opener
A pair of late Greg Zuerlein field goal attempts in the game's final five or so minutes went wide left as New Orleans came away with a 26-24 victory over the Rams in the preseason opener for both clubs Friday night at the Edward Jones Dome.... But a 46-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein was hooked to the left with 5:02 to play.... The Rams got the ball back with just over two minutes to play and put themselves in position for another field goal at the buzzer. But the 59-yarder from Zuerlein again went to the left." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

July 29, 2014 - punter Johnny Hekker
"Rams punter Johnny Hekker enjoyed a breakout season in 2013, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl after setting an NFL record with a 44.2-yard net punting average.... 'I think the best thing I can do for myself and my team is put all that behind me,' the third-year pro from Oregon State said after Monday morning’s special-teams workout at Rams Park. 'That was last season and it has no bearing on what I’m going to do this season, I’m just going to put that out of my mind. ... In order to have a special season, I’m going to have to have an even better work ethic, an even better game plan and mental approach to the game. I believe I can have another great year. I think I can be a better punter, definitely. ... I’m just going to go out on every rep and kick the ball where I can. I have some amazing teammates around me that you saw today working their butts off and I have the best special teams coach in the NFL, without a doubt, and he’s going to get us ready week in and week out to dominate." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

July 28, 2014 - kicker Greg Zuerlein
“Year two was better than year one but by no means was it up to my standards of where I can perform,' Zuerlein said. 'I got to keep working here (in training camp).  I have a long way to go.  I’m not hitting the ball how I want to even right now.  I just got to come out and put in the work.' When asked if he’ll ever be satisfied until he hits 100% of his field goals, the 26-year old simply said he will not. 'I always know how many I miss.  I lose track of how many I make but I just want that miss number to be zero,' Zuerlein said. The Rams are working with the Missouri Western State graduate on his kickoffs in addition to his field goals.  He has 'dynamite' leg strength according to his coaches and just needs to harness that power in a more efficient manner." - KMOV

June 18, 2014 - punter Bobby Cowan
"In an effort to prepare then-rookie Tavon Austin for receiving punts from Arizona Cardinals left-footed punter Dave Zastudil last season, the Rams brought in lefty Bobby Cowan for a workout. He made enough of an impression to be signed by the Rams as a free agent. 'The workout last year probably helped. Plus, I had a pretty good showing at a kicking combine that (Rams special teams coordinator John Fassel) saw,' said Cowan following Tuesday’s OTA at Rams Park. 'This is a great opportunity for me and I’m just trying to do everything I can to get better and learn as much as I can'.... Cowan is realistic about his chances with the Rams, who return third-year pro Johnny Hekker at punter. A year ago, Hekker earned a trip to the Pro Bowl after breaking the league record for net punting average (44.2)." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

May 13, 2014 - long snapper Jorgen Hus claimed
"The Rams claimed Hus off waivers after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Monday. Hus gained some notoriety with a YouTube video of his long-snapping skills. He spent training camp with the Rams last season but was released in favor Jake McQuaide. Hus played college football for the University of Regina in Saskatchewan." - NBC Sports

April 8, 2014 - punter Bobby Cowan signed
"The Rams have signed punter Bobby Cowan to help ease some of the workload from Pro Bowl punter Johnny Hekker as well as place-kicker Greg Zuerlein this spring and summer. Cowan, who had a career punting average of 44.7 yards at the University of Idaho, will also help on kickoffs, extra points, and field goals. Because he'll do both, that saves the Rams a spot on their training camp roster. The left-footed Cowan, 24, was in Oakland's camp briefly last spring and worked out for the Rams last fall." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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