ST. LOUIS (AP) -- For the St. Louis Rams, going young at positions that'll be in the spotlight on fourth down is only partly about rebuilding.
New general manager Les Snead said measured expectations of a franchise that totaled just 15 victories in the last five seasons factored into the decision to cut ties with veteran kicker Josh Brown and punter Donnie Jones in favor of promising young legs.
Especially in the case of kicker Greg Zuerlein, drafted in the sixth round minutes before the Rams made the call to Brown telling him he'd been released, it was capitalizing on a kid who's right at home beyond the 50-yard line.
At 6-foot-5, the undrafted John Hekker of Oregon State has the frame Snead calls ideal for a long career at punter. He's the favorite to replace Jones, now with the Houston Texans.