(Eds: APNewsNow. With AP Photos.)By JASON L. YOUNGAssociated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Johnny Hekker is beginning to make his mark as one of five rookie punters in the NFL.
The Rams' punt team's statistics don't give much reason for pause, ranking in the bottom third in net average, percentage of punts inside the opponents' 20 yard line, fair catches forced and several other categories. But what coach Jeff Fisher likes is Hekker's ability to help the Rams overcome their anemic offense by repeatedly ``flipping the field'' to help the defense.
The best returners aren't getting far if they do catch the ball. The Rams are tied for sixth in the number of returns attempted against them and tied for 12th with an average of 10.2 yards allowed per return.
Learning to kick directionally - away from the returner and toward the sideline - has been the key to his success.