The swift rise of Atlanta Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo has been a fascinating one.
After the team’s deeply odd saga with franchise great Matt Bryant (wherever you stand on it, c’mon, Money deserved better), the team went out and signed Koo, who was stellar in the AAF after testing the waters of the NFL earlier in his career.
Since that decision to cut Bryant and make Koo the kicker for 2019, the Georgia Southern grad has been lights out.
Heading into Week 13, he’s 10 of 11 on kicks this season and has hit one from as far as 48 yards. He’s also 5/5 on extra points and is averaging 62.6 yards on kickoffs so far.
The Falcons have a lot of mystery surrounding where this team will go in the future, who will be making decisions about its roster and so on and so forth. But Koo’s future shouldn’t be so vague.
He should be very much the frontrunner for the team’s kicking job in 2020. If he keeps playing like this, it should only make this an easier decision.
The team placed faith in a young kicker before in Giorgio Tavecchio only to not have it work out after he struggled in preseason, but Tavecchio only made five kicks in three games.
Koo has made 10 kicks in three games, which is a much better sample size, and he’ll get plenty more opportunities to showcase that as the season winds down.
The team has a lot of hard calls to make in the future, but somehow, figuring out the future at kicker might not qualify there. If Koo keeps this up, the job needs to be his, at least in theory, going into 2020. Bring in competition if you’d like, but give him the inner track.
This whole kicking debacle might actually find a good resolution if Koo is given the opportunity to keep sporting the Falcons jersey past January.