The Falcons made it clear after the 2019 season that they didn’t expect to just hand the kicking job to Younghoe Koo this season. The team tried that last offseason with Giorgio Tavecchio, cutting living legend Matt Bryant and handing him the gig outright, only to watch Tavecchio come down with a bad case of the yips and lose the job.
Koo’s strong 2019 over a longer time period than Tavecchio in 2018 suggests he isn’t likely to repeat that performance, but the team is smart to make it an honest competion. Koo was solid on kickoffs and very good from 25-45 yards out, but the team clearly didn’t trust him at range and would presumably hand some long attempts to rookie Sterling Hoftrichter even if they do roll with him.
#Falcons are still considering bringing in kicking competition for Younghoe Koo. Have one roster spot open.— William McFadden (@willmcfadden) May 12, 2020
What’s the holdup, given that the Falcons have a teeny tiny bit of cap space and an open spot? Chances are good the team wants to actually work out a kicker before they add him to the squad, and are likely waiting until they can open their facility in Flowery Branch, which Rich McKay has said is coming in the relatively near future. Look for a kicker with a strong leg to joint the competition, though I don’t have any real guesses on who outside of it not being Blair Walsh again.
I still expect Koo to win the gig based on how well he fared in 2019, but it sounds like we’ll have a kicker added to the roster within the next few weeks. It’ll be a competition to look forward to this summer.