The Los Angeles Chargers have had a kicking problem for a while. It has gotten worse the last two seasons resulting in a head to head kicking battle in training camp this year between veteran kicker Caleb Sturgis, and already crowned “draft bust” Roberto Aguayo.
This battle seems to have been pretty back and forth so far. 2 weeks ago Aguayo was winning the competition in practice, converting more of his attempts than Sturgis. Then the first preseason game happened and Sturgis missed a 41 yard FG attempt. Which brings us to this week and Sturgis converted all 7 of his attempts in practice yesterday (all the way out to 54 yards) while Aguayo took a step back and only converted 4 of 7 attempts.
In Sturgis’ defense, he has apparently been dealing with some leg soreness, although the team is now saying he is good to go.
Aguayo is slated to be the kicker in the second preseason game this Saturday so we will see how he does in a game situation, if the team is able to give him some opportunities to attempt some kicks. This will be important because head coach Anthony Lynn confirmed yesterday he values game kicking performance over practice kicking. Which makes sense.
However, Lynn also said something that makes much less sense.
“Is there a possibility of carrying two kickers?”
Lynn - “Thats a possibility as well. No doubt”
“As in two kickers on the active roster, not one on the practice squad?”
Lynn - “I’ve had two kickers before”
“How would that work?”
Lynn - “Well you’re gonna take a hit somewhere else so you better be deep at another position”
I am not a fan of even considering carrying two kickers right now. First of all, I don’t think the Chargers are deep enough at any position to “take a hit” there. They’d never do it, but to me the most viable option there would be to just carry Philip Rivers on the active roster because, let’s be honest here, if Rivers goes down, thats a wrap. Second of all, what does carrying two questionable kickers solve? The only scenario that makes sense for carrying two kickers is the one like Lynn described where you have a reliable, accurate field goal kicker, and a kick off specialist.
Hopefully over the next three preseason games, one of these two kickers really stands out and makes this an easy decision. If it continues to be back and forth, Lynn might be tempted to keep both guys, and that’s the wrong answer.