Newly Signed Kicker Looks For Way To Fit In

David Boclair

NASHVILLE – Ryan Santoso is difficult to overlook. Not everyone sees him the same way, though.

The Tennessee Titans signed the 6-foot-5, 258-pound specialist Wednesday and listed him as a kicker on their roster. However, Santoso, 24, has spent the last two offseasons/preseasons with the Detroit Lions, who had him as a punter. He averaged 44.1 yards on 18 punts in 2019 preseason games and 45.8 yards on 13 preseason punts in 2018. As a placekicker, he was 3-for-4 on field goal attempts and 11-for-11 on PATs.

The point is: He can kick.

The Titans (6-5) plan to look at him this week and see if he can help with kickoffs.

Veteran placekicker Ryan Succop kicked off seven times in Sunday’s victory over Jacksonville. Three reached the end zone. None resulted in touchbacks. His six kickoffs against Kansas City on Nov. 10 resulted in two touchbacks and three of four against Carolina (Nov. 3) were returned, although all but one reached the end zone.

“We were looking for a young leg to evaluate,” coach Mike Vrabel said. “We’ll see if he handles the kickoff duties. … We’ll evaluate him here.”

If he does something – anything – Sunday against Indianapolis it will be a first. Undrafted out of the University of Minnesota in 2018, he has yet to play in an NFL regular season game.

Santoso spent two years in college as a placekicker (2014-15) and two years as a punter (2016-17). He averaged 41.8 yards on 144 career punts and made 29 of 39 field goal attempts, including 17 of 21 in 2015.

The Florida native handled kickoff duties for the Gophers all four seasons. More than half his kickoffs as a freshman (38 of 70) resulted in touchbacks but the same was true for only roughly one-third of (17 of 52) during his senior season.

“I am just happy to help out the team in any way possible, and do my part,” Santoso said. “I have a big body, a strong leg, and I’ve had a lot of great coaches who have helped me get to this position. … We’ll see what the coaches think, and I’ll do whatever they ask me to do.”

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