LA Rams: Will there or won’t there be competition for starting punter?

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Johnny Hekker
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Even Hekker admits underperformance

Why would anyone dare to hold LA Rams star punter up for any discernment or scrutiny?  Think back to the comments made by head coach Sean McVay.  Competition on the entire roster. But surely that doesn’t apply to Johnny Hekker, right? Tell that to Hekker, who took it all in stride. Does he deserve competition? Yes. Why?

Well, perhaps because as he admits himself, 2020 was one of his worst NFL seasons:

"“I definitely did not perform to the best of my abilities,” Hekker said. “There were a few games that I really, I don’t know, just kind of got just may be ahead of myself mentally. . . . There were definitely some kicks out there that I would have liked to have seen go better for the team. When I don’t put our team in good positions, that’s the stuff that really bugs me.” –per Johnny Hekker via ProFootballTalk NBCSports Charean Williams"

And as far as competition? Surely a tried and tested veteran doesn’t want to go back to square one and fight for his job, does he? What is Hekker’s perspective on the sudden surprising addition of the NFL’s best punter from 2020?

"“When push comes to shove, they have to make the best decisions for this roster. And there’s no running around the financial aspect of it. So, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to put together the best roster that you can.” ” –per Johnny Hekker as reported by LA Times Gary Klein"

And there is the whole narrative, laid out rather neatly. Practically anyone attached to a special team’s specific role for the LA Rams under ST coordinator John Fassel has been scooped up by the Dallas Cowboys. Johnny Hekker is the last remaining holdout. Will the Rams do the unthinkable, and part ways from Johnny Hekker?  Well here comes another unexpected twist in the road.