Chargers Special Teams Predictions

Michael Badgley now has most points (59) by a Chargers kicker through seven career games.

Chargers Special Teams Predictions

Ladies and gentlemen, Christmas is here! Ok, not exactly, but training camps have officially kicked off across the NFL and the season is that much closer to arriving. The Los Angeles Chargers showed up on Monday and fans went wild after months and months of waiting anxiously.

The Chargers’ draft picks are now all signed as well with Rashawn Slater inking his rookie deal. It has been a busy offseason and now camps starting and the hype is brewing.

With that being said, now is the time for the Bolts to fill out their roster and make the appropriate cuts, and let’s dive right in and examine the Chargers’ special teams unit for the 2021 season and who will end up making the cut.

Let’s start with the easiest of the Chargers special teams predictions, shall we?

Punter – Ty Long 

This is a no-brainer. The Chargers do have Lachlan Edwards in camp with them. It doesn’t matter. Ty Long is not just a fan favorite, he is a terrific punter and has earned every right to keep this job through and through until he proves otherwise.

The Chargers don’t have to stress too much about their punter “competition”, at least not yet.

Kick Returner – KJ Hill 

This is the most difficult of all the Chargers special teams battles. The reason why is not because KJ Hill is a bad option, but the Chargers might not keep him. They also could elect to cut ties with Joe Reed as well. It appears likely that one – if not both – of Hill or Reed ends up being cut, primarily due to the Chargers’ talented wide receiver room. Several people who have had eyes on the Chargers training camp have pointed out that Reed hasn’t been getting as many reps as a kick returner as the Hill and Adderley so far. He’s definitely on the chopping block.

Nasir Adderley returned a lot of kicks for the Chargers last season and was by far the explosive return man, but Brandon Staley might prefer to keep him away from that all together so he can focus solely on the defensive side of things.

This is one of the toughest battles to project in training camp, and who knows what they decide to do at the end of the day. This is– by far– the most unsure I am of all the predictions here.

Punt Returner- Austin Proehl 

This one could also go either way, similarly to the kick returner situation. Hill could end up doing both – as Daniel Popper of The Athletic reported Hill was returning kicks in camp.

However, Austin Proehl was also fielding punts during camp. His spot on the roster, in general, is far from a lock, so he needs to have an absolutely terrific camp as a receiver in order to snag a roster spot.

Ryan Dyrud had the insight himself while at Chargers camp.

Proehl has looked to be the most confident and comfortable. He could really carve out a role with this team in a position that has been a need for quite some time.

At the end of the day, it is still early, but Proehl seems to have an early lead on this job.

With that being said, a lot can change in the next few weeks as the roster starts to shape up.

Long Snapper – Cole Mazza 

Cole Mazza played every game for the Chargers last season and his familiarity with Ty Long probably lets him keep the job– at least a bit longer.

The Chargers do have Ryan Langan in camp competition with Mazza, and he could walk away with this job. Whenever a new regime comes in such as what happened with the Chargers, a lot of times they get rid of players they have no familiarity with.

Langan was a talented player in college during his time at Georgia Southern and the battle between the two will be interesting. This is another battle that is up in the air.

Kicker – Tristan Vizcaino 

Yes, Michael Badgley ends up getting cut – finally. He just missed too many kicks in important situations and Anthony Lynn refused to let him go.

the battle should ultimately come down to Tristan Vizcaino and Alex Kessman. Kessman was an undrafted free agent and has one strong leg. However, his accuracy is a big question mark, and going from Badgley to Kessman might not end up being that big of an upgrade.

So, enter Vizcaino. He kicked three field goals for the San Francisco 49ers at the end of the season and has a strong leg AND accuracy. How many times have the Chargers kickers missed bug kicks over the past decade?

Too many, and Staley and company roll with Vizcaino as the new kicker.

With all that, the return man and long snapper are the toughest to project. Ty Long is entrenched as the punter, and the kicking battle should– hopefully– come down to Kessman and Vizcaino.Badge

Michael Badgley now has most points (59) by a Chargers kicker through seven career games. Via Chargers Social Media