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Meet The Man They Call ‘Legatron’


Meet The Man They Call ‘Legatron’, Greg Zuerlein isn’t a household name, but the Rams rookie has an impressive nickname and following. Rams rookie Greg Zuerlein has become a kicking sensation and has the nicknames to back it up, John Fassel is dying to try. Oh how he wants to try. The St. Louis Rams special teams coordinator, and son of former NFL head coach Jim Fassel, has a dream in mind.

He can see it now. The ball will be somewhere on the horn of the Rams’ insignia in the middle of the field. The goal posts will look like a pair of luminous toothpicks lost in the roaring fans. And Rams head coach Jeff Fisher will glance at Fassel and nod his head.

Send in the kid.

It will be a record field goal, no doubt. Maybe 64 yards. Maybe 65. Something rarely ventured. And the ball will be snapped, the holder will put it down and Greg Zuerlein will plant his left leg and swing his magnificent right foot. In one mighty swoop, shoe will smack against ball sending a tiny brown streak climbing toward those distant poles

“Oh yeah, I definitely want to know if he can make it,” Fassel says. “And he does too.”

His rookie kicker, this kid no one much has heard of – from a place called Missouri Western State – is blasting footballs from remarkable distances. Wherever the Rams have the ball and the call goes for him, he jogs out, takes his step and a half, and pounds the ball so hard through the goal posts it often smacks against the netting, no matter the distance. This is making him the most talked-about player on a team with a former No. 1 overall draft pick (Sam Bradford), a seven-time 1,000-yard rusher (Steven Jackson) and a swarming defense. His kicks in preseason games made news, each seemingly longer than the one before, until the regular season came and it was all but expected he would make everything he tried.

And so far he has. He’s hit all 13 of his field goal attempts in the NFL. Last week he set a team record by kicking a 58-yard field goal and then broke it by hitting a 60-yarder – three yards short of the NFL mark. Both sailed over the crossbar as if they were extra points.

With his sudden fame comes the nicknames. Sobriquets like “Greg The Leg”, “Legatron” and “Young GZ”. Each has its own Twitter hashtag. All for a kicker nobody knew just seven weeks ago.

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