The Runner Sports

The San Diego Chargers Have A New Holder- Sudden Super Bowl Favorites?

The San Diego Chargers, for some reason, used a sixth-round pick on Texas A&M punter Drew Kaser, selecting him 179th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. Kaser had a solid college career, spending three seasons as the team’s primary punter and averaging 46.3 yards per punt. He had 60 punts of over 50 yards and pinned the opposition inside their own 20-yard line on 36 percent of his college punts. He was a very good college punter.

He’s been a very bad NFL punter. Small sample size warning applies, of course, but still. Wow, has he been bad. In Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Kaser booted a 17-yard punt. There are many internet tough guys who say things like, “I can’t believe he gets paid for that, I could do that myself if I could just get off this couch” but in this case, I am sure half of the people reading this article could indeed punt a football over 17 yards. But wait! There’s more! In yet another devastating loss that’s becoming routine for the Bolts, Kaser kicked a 16-yard punt against the Oakland Raiders. The 50% of readers who couldn’t punt a football 17 yards? Maybe they can hit 16 instead.

The concern with Kaser is that he is unable to handle the pressure of the NFL stage. In preseason games, he led the league in average punt distance with 52.3 yards. Since the games have started to count? He’s averaging 39.1 yards, the worst in the league. When the games don’t count, Kaser is the best punter in football. When they count, he is the worst. That’s a problem, because Chargers games count now.

To make matters worse, Kaser was directly responsible for an even more noticeable mistake against the Raiders. With the Chargers looking to kick a field goal to tie the game at an almost automatically-short field goal distance, Kaser fumbled a picture perfect snap, seemingly shoving the ball into the ground instead of catching it and holding it as he should. Kicker Josh Lambo was unable to do anything about it and the Chargers lost. Again. In a devastating way.

The team has since given signs that Kaser has lost one of his jobs. Not his job as punter, which he has been bad at more than once, but his job as holder, which he has been bad at just once. Backup quarterback Kellen Clemens was seen holding in practice and will likely hold for Lambo when the situation presents itself in Thursday’s game against Denver (assuming the newest devastating way for the Chargers to lose isn’t to be shutout at home).

With a quarterback like Kellen Clemens holding for kicks instead of a punter like Drew Kaser, could that open the door for more risky trick plays and field goal tries becoming exciting, must-watch events? Please, this is a Mike McCoy-run team. A team that would likely go for an extra point in a two score game with one second left on the clock.

It’s been a long season already. It’s Week 6. Someone help.

David Marcillo

David Marcillo

English teacher by day, baseball writer usually also by day. Based in Los Angeles, but born in Miami. Marlins fan since 1993, it's been two good years and a lot of frustrating ones.
David Marcillo