As the Chargers have been making multiple roster moves to shore up depth at linebacker and safety, as well as fixing some of the problems with special teams, it got me thinking about an altogether different strategy for addressing the kickoff coverage teams. Specifically, if one could find a kickoff specialist that could consistently put kickoffs either deep in or out of the endzone (80%+) , would that be a more efficient fix than bringing in an Osgood-quality kick coverage specialist, or re-inserting starters into special teams to improve kickoff coverage but at an increased risk of injury?
More after the jump.
Now, I realize that there are good reasons why teams rarely use this approach. Teams might do this from time to time, for example, to reduce the wear and tear on an injured/gimpy but otherwise accurate field goal kicker. And usually, the kickoff specialist is only on the roster for a limited period of time. Such a one-dimensional personnel strategy is definitely a luxury that is hard to justify with 53 roster spots, and a precious 45 active on game days. Although I was always curious why centers can't learn to do double duty as long snappers and save a roster spot, but it's obviously harder than it looks, so who am I to judge.
But perhaps, under certain scenarios, having a stud soccer goaltender-type hitting field goals from the kickoff tee might be worth a valuable roster spot. For example, if your team is giving up ESPN-worthy kickoff return highlights to the opponent on a weekly basis.
A risky strategy for sure, given the injury issues at other positions. I was just interested in the thoughts of other BFTB members, given our kick coverage woes this season.