The Los Angeles Rams didn’t exercise much patience with Brett Maher this season, cutting him after seven games and seven total misses. There’s no doubt he was struggling, but four of his six missed field goals were from beyond 50 yards.
His replacement, Lucas Havrisik, has endured his share of kicking trouble, too. In four games, Havrisik is 5-for-7 on field goal attempts and 6-for-7 on PATs. Havrisik missed a 48-yarder in the Rams’ win over the Cardinals on Sunday, as well as an extra point, raising some questions about whether Los Angeles might consider another kicking change.
Sean McVay was asked about sticking with Havrisik during the “Coach McVay Show” on Monday and he said it’s way too early to hit the panic button. He loves what he’s seen from Havrisik thus far and expects him to bounce back.
“I think you got to be able to learn from it. I like his resolve. There is a lot of things to really like about him and what we’ve seen in a short amount of time and the confidence, the swagger. Just the overall ability where the ball jumps off his leg,” McVay said. “That’s not the sturdiest surface where you don’t always necessarily trust your plant leg in some of those situations and scenarios, but I think it’s a great learning opp. ‘Hey, man. Trust your technique. Trust your fundamentals. Let’s be as consistent as we can with our approach and our stroke as it relates to when we’re getting into those extra point or field goal attempts.’ I’m confident he can rebound the right way. I think it would be way too early to press the panic button, but we do want to see an improvement, but also an ability to be able to move on.”
The Rams were fortunate to have Greg Zuerlein and Matt Gay kicking for them for several years. They’ve been two of the best kickers in the league during the last decade, and while Havrisik has a long way to go before he’s in their class, McVay sees similarities between him and the Rams’ two former star kickers.
“There’s a legitimate, like, swag that he has and I felt that same thing from Zuerlein, I felt that same thing from Matt Gay,” he said. “You’re talking about two guys that have done it at a really high level that we were fortunate enough to have here. The more that you do this, the more you realize you don’t ever want to take for granted some of the consistency and the production at a position like that that we’ve been so fortunate to have as it relates to Greg and Matt. And I think Lucas has a chance to be in alignment with that conversation, but let’s respond the right way as we move forward into next week.”
The Rams are making a push for the postseason and they’ll need someone reliable kicking for them down the stretch. The hope is that Havrisik can be that guy, but the jury may still be out.