This is only a perceived weakness because no one knows what the team will get out of undrafted rookie Tyler Newsome. In fact, he could end up making the punting position a strength for the team.
Strength describes Newsome quite well. He has a booming leg and the 30 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press at the scouting combine were more than many of the top players invited.
However, the fact remains that the Chargers haven’t had a good, long-term punter since Mike Scifres was around, and that’s been a few years. Last season, Drew Kaser averaged 48.4 yards per punt but he had one blocked against the Los Angeles Rams which led to a tough loss. He also was the scapegoat for the fact that the team struggled so much when kicking field goals and extra points and was released as a result.
Donnie Jones came in and that punting averaged dipped down to 42.3 yards. That may not seem like much, but six yards less per kick combined with any return yardage creates a significant change in starting field position.
Kaser was a better punter and as far as I’m concerned, should still be on the team. He must have rubbed someone the wrong way in the organization, but the plan will be for Newsome to make everyone forget about that.
Hopefully, the team has a good handle on who will hold for field goal attempts, because Mike Badgley was a terrific find.