The agonizing questions of yesteryear are gone for the Falcons special teams unit, and they’ve been replaced by new ones. We’re no longer wondering whether Keith Armstrong will keep coaching special teams (he was fired last spring), or whether Matt Bryant will return for another year (the team cut him this past week). Now the questions concern an entirely new kicker, potentially an entirely new special teams coordinator, and a familiar face at punter.
Rather than organize by needed re-signings, nice-to-haves, and will walk-ers, let’s just talk about the two players that are relevant to discuss here for the moment. We’ll dive in deeper on Ben Kotwica closer to the end of the season.
P Matt Bosher
Bosher has been the team’s punter since 2011 and figured to be for a while heading into this season, given that he’d missed just one game since he was drafted and was still a pretty effective punter, kickoff specialist, and tackler of Kenjon Barner. The calculus has changed, though.
Bosher simply didn’t look healthy this year and was ultimately put on injured reserve after punting in just three games. His contract is now up and the Falcons are going to be looking to go young and save money at the positions they can, and one of those might very well be punter. It should probably give the Falcons pause that they haven’t been able to find someone to take over for him—as I write this, they still don’t actually have a punter under contract that we’re aware of—but nothing should surprise us after they chased Bryant out of town. They’re not going to be keen to re-sign Bosher to a sizeable deal after an injury.
My guess is that Bosher has punted his last for Atlanta, which is really a bummer. We’ll always have those highlight reel hits.
K Younghoe Koo
It’s anyone’s guess at this point, isn’t it?
Koo is the new addition to the roster after the Falcons unceremoniously cut matt Bryant, and just the third non-Bryant kicker for Atlanta since Bryant signed in 2009. His NFL regular season kicking experience is very limited—he flamed out surprisingly quickly with the Chargers considering his college career—but he does have a strong leg and will presumably handle kickoffs. If he fares well in the final eight games of the season, Atlanta will probably try to lock him up for a couple of years, similar to the ultimately failed Giorgio Tavecchio experience of 2018-2019.
Until he kicks, though, we’re just guessing here. The big takeaway is that the special teams specialists are more unsettled than they’ve been in a long, long time, which adds one more question for a 2020 Falcons team about to face a lot of them.