For starter, Happy 4th of July!
In honor of the American holiday, we wanted to share an amazing video that premiered earlier this week…
We have all spent that one night watching all of the trick-shot videos on YouTube. From basketballs off high-rise buildings to hole-in-ones from the tops of houses, the internet has no shortage of amazing sports feats, captured in a single video.
However, there was only one
popular video highlighting some extreme kicking… not anymore. To end the drought, the Rams’ special teams aces came together and directed their own trick-shot compilation, filled with monster punts, crazy kicks, and some pin-point long-snapping.
This video comes on the heals of long-snapper Jake McQuaide signing a four-year extension with the St. Louis Rams. McQuaide is now slotted into the “long-term” plan in St. Louis, after playing in all 32 games over the last two season. He has clearly formed some chemistry with his young counterparts, with both Greg Zeurlein and Johnny Hekker entering their sophomore seasons in the NFL. His accuracy, clearly displayed in the video, was a major factor on a number of plays this season, which will go largely unrecognized. Each time the St. Louis Rams chose to fake-punt, direct-snap to a personal protector, or some other crazy special teams play, Jake McQuaide was the man starting it all off. Any mistakes from the long-snapper could drastically change the outcome of a game, and that has never been the case with McQuaide thus far.
Johnny Hekker might have been the Rams biggest UDFA signing of 2012. In some instances, the rookie red-rifle was one of the better punters in the league, bombing punts down the field for massive field position swings.
In other cases, Hekker was horrendous, shanking punts short or out-of-bounds, and putting the Rams’ defense in a tough spot. However, overall, the good out-weighed the bad for the young punter, downing 22 punts inside the 20-yard line and limiting his touchbacks to only four on the season. More importantly, the was highly efficient on “trick plays,” completing 3 out of 3 passing attempts; two counting for first-downs, and the other for a touchdown to Danny Amendola. Hekker ended the season with a 158.3 passer rating, which was technically higher than any other player in the NFL last season. With the “Top Passer Rating” crown under his belt and his improved accuracy, made apparent in the trick-shot video, the Rams’ punter should be looking at a long, long stay in St. Louis.
No need to talk about Greg “the Leg” Zeurlein, our placekicker-extraordinaire, the nickname says it all…
With McQuaide, Hekker, and Zeurlein in tow, the St. Louis Rams appear to be set on special teams into the foreseeable future. Besides staying healthy and improving in their craft, there is nothing better than seeing players bond with teammates in the offseason. If this video is any indication of that “bond” our Three Musketeers have built, there should be no worries heading into the 2013 season.