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Travis Coons Set on Seizing Control of Kicking Job
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The Chargers’ kicking situation has been in flux all year.
After Younghoe Koo was waived following the first four games, veteran Nick Novak served as the team’s kicker for the next seven. Unfortunately, a back injury landed him on IR following Week 12, leading to the Bolts signing Travis Coons as their third kicker of the year.
Believe it or not, Coons was in Arizona learning his father’s construction business when he got the call to try out for the Bolts.
“I was never going to give up kicking, but it was something to do and earn some money,” he said. “I was learning the business from my dad.”
Hopefully he won’t have to learn those ropes for quite a while.
Coons’ goal is to not only stabilize the position in the short term. His goal is to seize control of it for the foreseeable future.
“It’s extremely hard for kickers because there are so many good ones, and only 32 jobs,” he said. “It’s a fight to get a job. Once you get one, you have to do everything you can to keep it. Regardless of what team you’re on or what situation you’re in, you’ve got to make your kicks. You have to do your job in order to stay on the team. I’m going to do whatever I can to help this team win.”
It’s crazy to think Coons hasn’t been on a regular season roster since 2015. He converted 28 of 32 attempts (87.5 percent) that year, including 18 in a row, with a long of 47. However, he was beaten out in training camp the following year, and was out of the league for all of 2016.
“It was disappointing,” he said. “I thought I’d have a job the next year (in 2016). But that’s on me. I have to do a better job than I did that year in training camp. I have a different mindset now that I know how it works. It’s a business. Obviously, if you’re not doing your job you’re going to be gone. I understand that more.”
Coons spent this past training camp with the Rams, booting a 53-yard field goal against the Bolts, yet knew going into the preseason he was auditioning for 31 other teams.
“Any time you’re in a training camp where there’s a guy like Greg Zuerlein, all you’re doing is fighting for a job on another team. So regardless of who we’re playing, I’m trying to put good tape out there for all other 31 teams to see it.”
All Coons did in his first game was set a franchise record for the most field goals in a Chargers debut (four). However, he got off to a rocky start when his first attempt from 38 yards out clanked off the right upright.
“You’ve just got to move on (when you miss). You learn to forget about it. You compartmentalize it. You have to know that the game’s not over, so you have to do everything you’re supposed to after that. It definitely can be hard, because if we lost because of that miss, it would be horrible. It was definitely not the first impression I wanted, but it happens. You’ve just got to move on. I did.”
It’s been a long, arduous process for Coons in scoring another NFL gig. However, landing in L.A. on a team in the midst in of the playoff hunt is the ideal situation for the Southern California native.
“Absolutely (the best). Here in California, I live 45 minutes away and being in this situation, (I) couldn’t ask for better.” Read