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Chargers 90-in-90: P Ty Long

Can Long fend off the first real competition he’s ever had in training camp?

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ty Long was born and raised in Roswell, Georgia where he prepped for Roswell High School as a stud kicker and punter.

In his senior season in 2010, Long was named to the Kohl’s Professional Kicking Camp All-American Team after connecting on 14-of-21 field goals with a long of 52. As a punter, Long averaged a very healthy 48 yards across 38 punts. For his efforts, he was named to the All-Region 6-AAAAA First Team by the Georgia Football Daily and the All-North Fulton Team by the ATL Journal-Constitution.

After committing to play at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Long wasted no time in earning the team’s starting kicker job as a true freshman. In 2011, Long converted 16-of-19 field goals. As a sophomore, he finished with a 82.4 conversion percentage, making 14-of-17 kicks and a long of 54 yards against Ohio State which was a school record long. He was named to the Honorable Mention All-Conference USA team following the campaign.

Over his next two seasons, Long converted on 29 of his 41 field goal attempts before going undrafted in 2015. Initially, he signed with Washington following the draft and played in a trio of preseason contest. but was among the final cuts made on August 30. After the season, Long latched on to the Steelers for most of the 2016 offseason but was waived once more on May 5 of that year.

A year later, Long landed a contract with the CFL’s BC Lions where he earned both the starting kicker and punter jobs prior to the 2017 season. His first year in Canada, Long hit home on 39-of-44 field goals with a long of 50 and averaged 47.9 yards on 116 punts while being named the West Division’s Most Outstanding Special Teams Player of the Year. In 2018, Long converted on 43 of his 49 attempts with a long of 52 and averaged a whopping 48.8 yards per punt on 120 kicks.

On January 4, after being granted a release from the CFL, Long signed with the Chargers for his third stint with a NFL team. After an injury to Michael Badgley, Long took over kicking duties for the first half of the season. He converted seven of nine field goals, all nine extra points, and 47.0 yards per punt in 2019.

In 2020, Long started all 16 games and finished with a 46.8 average over 57 total punts. He did record a career-long 63-yarder but unfortunately had three kicks blocked.

Basic Info

Height: 6’2
Weight: 205
College: University of Alabama-Birmingham
Experience: 2 (NFL), 2 (CFL)
Years with team: 2

Contract Status

“Ty Long signed a 2 year, $1,080,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $540,000. In 2021, Long will earn a base salary of $850,000, while carrying a cap hit of $850,000.” - Spotrac.com

The Good

Long stayed consistent from his first year with the Chargers to his second, going from a 47.0 average in 2019 to a 46.8 average in 2020. He hasn’t muffed any punts nor has he shanked any kicks thus far in his career, either. He’s been solid and that’s all you can ask of a punter.

The Bad

Long had three of his punts blocked in 2020 but that’s not usually his fault. At least, it’s “mostly” not his fault. Despite the blocking up front being horrendous, Long must be able to track the ball, catch, and kick all while reading the penetration by the opposing team. If he sees a man get loose through the line, he must know to get the ball of sooner. For a punter, that usually means taking one less step into the kick or speeding up their entire process. Of his three blocked kicks, at least one or two could have been avoided if he would have been aware of what was in front of him.

Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2021?

With Lachlan Edwards providing competition in camp, I don’t think the starting job is as locked down for Long as it was a year ago. Edwards actually has more experience as an NFL punter than Long and he wasn’t too bad for the Jets from 2016-2019. Long has better averages through his first two years, so that may give him the edge, but as expected, all three special teams positions are up for grabs after what happened a year ago.