The cesspool that is the LA Chargers claimed its latest victim: kicker Younghoe Koo, who was waived after a mediocre start to the season.
Kicker change in Los Angeles: The #Chargers have signed Nick Novak and waived Younghoe Koo, who missed some key kicks early.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 5, 2017
Koo, just the fourth South Korean player to take the field in the National Football League, was one of the few good things associated with the Chargers, who sit 0-4 after abandoning San Diego for “greener pastures” in Los Angeles this year.
An unsigned rookie free agent, Koo beat out Josh Lambo for the starting job during preseason. Unfortunately, Koo got off to a bad start in the NFL. In the waning moments of San Diego’s Week 1 game against the Denver Broncos, a 44-yard game-tying field goal attempt was blocked and the Chargers fell to 0-1. Not his fault the kick was blocked, but that kind of thing weighs heavy on a kicker’s mind.
NFL kickers are notoriously fickle. They spook easy. That’s why “icing the kicker” is a time-honored tradition.
You want your kicker to be like an pilot: calm, cool, and collected — even under pressure. Koo’s blocked field goal in Week 1 did not help him achieve that state of zen.
Week 2 was even worse. Koo missed a game-winning 44-yard field goal and the Chargers lost 17-19 to the Miami Dolphins. And that sealed Koo’s fate. He was involved in two game-deciding plays in two weeks and the Chargers lost both games. The worst player on the worst team in the NFL; an unenviable position to be certain, and a level 10 First World problem.
It took two more weeks for the hapless Chargers to bring in a new kicker. “New” is a bit of a euphemism. They brought in a refurbished kicker in 10-year vet Nick Novak, who, ironically, was displaced by Josh Lambo in the not-so-distant past.
No one in professional football has it worse than the Chargers right now. They play their home games in a a graveyard full of the other team’s fans.
— Dani Welniak (@KCTVDani) September 24, 2017
As a franchise, the Chargers are listing heavily and taking on water. Their owner, Dean Spanos, is arguably the most reviled man in sports right now, and first-year head coach Anthony Lynn is doing about as good of a job of righting the ship that Italian cruise ship captain.
— GetF'ingReal (@getfingreal) September 18, 2017
The Chargers are in limbo right now. Not Lambo; limbo. Actually, they may have descended into the Second or Third Circle of Hell by now — it is awfully hot in Carson for October…
Younghoe Koo wasn’t the solution for the Chargers, but neither is Nick Novak.