The LA Rams special teams in 2017 and 2018 were some of the best in the NFL. At the time, the Rams had the benefit of ST Coordinator John Fassel, LS Jake McQuaide, PK Greg Zuerlein, and of course, P Johnny Hekker. Since that time Fassel, McQuaide, and Zuerlein have since signed on with the Dallas Cowboys. And to be honest, I’ve no doubt that there is an immediate place on the Dallas Cowboys roster for Johnny Hekker if and when he should want to relocate to a new team.
Los Angeles Rams
Is that an event that will happen sooner or later?
If the Rams are truly committed to revitalizing their special teams’ performance, then the team must take a stand as rigidly as they did over the play at quarterback. Over the years, the entire spectrum of special teams production has fallen, to the point where the 2020 play was ranked among the bottom half of the NFL.
I get it. Fans love the flamboyant personality of Johnny Hekker. He makes people laugh. He makes people cheer. He’s been with the team since 2012, staying with the team through all of the lean years and throughout the move from Saint Louis to Los Angeles. In many ways, he is the heart of the team, the player who seems to rally fans no matter what the outlook of the team. And the LA Rams have rewarded his play by making him the highest-paid punter in the NFL. Not just by 99 cents, but by a large margin.
And that’s where it gets tricky. The LA Rams organization has spent a lot of money to reward elite players. But folks, like it or now, Johnny Hekker is no longer an elite NFL punter. He had good games at coffin kicking the football and pinning the opposing team inside their 20-yard line. But that occurred during the time where the Rams would not attempt a long field goal due to the limitations of placekicker Sam Sloman.