What's so special about LA Rams new ST Coordinator?
By Bret Stuter
LA Rams 2022 ST struggles
The LA Rams special teams' performance throughout the 2022 NFL season was certainly a mixed bag. There were bright spots and there were head shakers. What do I mean?
If you click on this link to Lineups.com, you will find a ranking of each aspect of an NFL team's special team functions. Unlike offense or defense, which fits the two basic categories of running or passing, special teams' functions consist of more than 10 separate categories. They are:
Kickoff returns (coverage)
Opp Field Goals
Opp Extra points
Opp kickoff returns (coverage)
Opp Punt returns
The trick to special teams 'rankings' is how to weigh the importance of each component. And then, how to overlay what aspects of the team's special teams play are 'good as is,' versus which aspect is due for an overhaul to improve the performance.
The LA Rams special teams play in 2022 was pretty good in terms of place kicking. Kicker Matt Gay had another very impressive season for the Rams, and the Rams special teams ranked very high in categories that Matt Gay impacted directly: FG% (4th ranked), Opp Kickoff Returns (2nd ranked), Opp Kickoff Return Yards (3rd ranked).
Where the LA Rams seemed to struggle is in punting and in their return game. The LA Rams were among the bottom of the NFL in Opp Punt Return Yards (29th), and in their own Punt Returns (25th). Two other categories where the Rams struggled is Opp FG Attempts (25th ranked) and in Opp FG Made (29th ranked). So what can a special teams coordinator do to help those areas out?