Oct 27, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop (6) celebrates after kicking a field goal the first half of the game against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Who will be the Chiefs kicker in 2014?
Kansas City has a very curious competition brewing between Ryan Succop – the former Mr. Irrelevant who has been one of the most accurate kickers in Chiefs history – and Cairo Santos, a big legged rookie who could become a legit weapon for the Chiefs if he shows he has enough accuracy.
It is a pretty simple question: Do the Chiefs value power or do they value accuracy? In today’s game where going for it on fourth down is encouraged and where being able to kick the ball out of the end zone or hit a 60 yard field goal gives a team an extra edge, power legged kickers seem to be more valued than kickers how are hyper accurate but do not posses a lot of leg strength.
Succop, for the most part in his career, has been an accurate kicker who you can count on to hit most of the field goal chances presented to him inside of 40 yards. The problem is his range is limited, and he has shown issues with getting the ball deep or out of the end zone in kickoff situations. Succop is going to have to improve one of those two areas if he wants to keep his spot on the roster.
Santos has a massive leg but has been inconsistent with accuracy in his last year in college. He’ll point to a switch in long snapper and holder in his final year of college that caused some problems with his accuracy, but he’ll be dealing with a similar issue in Kansas City this summer. True, one would hope the long snapper and holder would be of better quality in the NFL but change is part of the game. At some point it falls on the kicker to make the kick no matter what the conditions are.
Should Santos make that leap one would think he would be a heavy candidate to earn the starting job. He’s significantly cheaper than Succop and has the leg strength to change a game for the Chiefs.