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Caleb Sturgis Sets Sights on Stabilizing Bolts' Kicking Game

Caleb Sturgis knows exactly what happened last year.

For the Bolts…and for him.

He's keenly aware of the Chargers' struggles at kicker, which was a rotating door all year long as the team deployed Younghoe Koo, Nick Novak, Travis Coons and Nick Rose.  The quartet combined to make just 20-of-30 field goals (66.7-percent) as the Bolts were the only team to make less than 72-percent of their attempts.

Meanwhile, Sturgis had to sit and watch as the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl.  Yes, he was thrilled to be part of a championship team, but it killed him inside to be unable to contribute after he suffered a season-ending hip injury in the season opener.

Sturgis was highly sought after in free agency, receiving multiple offers throughout the league. Even though he had several options, the choice was an easy one.

The opportunity to fix the Chargers' kicking issues while joining a team he feels gives him the best chance to contribute during a Super Bowl run was too perfect to pass up.

"I'm stoked to be here," he said moments after inking his two-year contract.  "Watching the way this team finished last season, it looked like a team you wanted to be a part of. This organization is going the right way. They have a good group of guys in the locker room, and it's a great place to kick."

Having a quarterback like Philip Rivers under center was also a factor.

After all, Sturgis knows he'll have plenty of chances to put the ball through the uprights with the way the Bolts march down the field.

"It's awesome," he said.  "You know you're going to be kicking a lot whether it be extra points or field goals.  The great thing is you are always going to be winning games when you have a quarterback like Philip."

Kicker is as high-pressure a job as there is in professional sports.  Still, Sturgis understands that microscope will be even more intense with the Chargers due to the team's struggles at kicker a year ago.

Being the one the team identified as their choice to right the ship feeds into his competitive nature.

"It would mean a ton to me (to fix it), but also I have something to prove," he said.  "Being hurt last year, I want to come out and have a great season.  What better place to do that than here?  The Chargers expressed a lot of interest in me, and that meant a lot.  It was mutual. It's neat as a kicker because in free agency, it's a position that flies under the radar.  But I'm excited to be part of this organization.  I (understand what happened) last year, and they expressed interest in me.  That was the coolest part because you want to be part of a team that really sought you out and wanted you."   

Add in being a spectator during the Eagles' Super Bowl run and you have a kicker motivated on multiple fronts.

"Absolutely it (motivates me)," he said. "As a competitor it was extremely tough.  I really thought going into last year it was a time in my career that I was really going to take off. To sit back and watch the next 15 games (after my injury), and then the playoff games and the Super Bowl was tough.  But at the same time, it was amazing to watch my teammates accomplish that.  So to come to a team like the Chargers, that is really going to be competing for a Super Bowl, is what really enticed me to be here."

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