The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired kicker Josh Scobee Monday morning in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars and while it’s easy to understand why they wanted an experienced leg when it comes to field goals, you might be interested to know that he’s been solid on kickoffs as well when it comes to touchbacks.
Dating back to 2011, when the league moved kickoffs up to the 35 yard-line, Scobee has an adjusted touchback percentage of 53.2. That adjusted number accounts for the removal of onside kicks.
Just last season, Scobee had an adjusted touchback percentage of 63.8 and as you can see in the chart below, that was good for seventh-best in the league when compared to all kickers who had 50 or more kickoffs. In case you’re curious, Steelers injured kicker Shaun Suisham posted a 37.2 adjusted touchback percentage in 2014 and only four other kickers and that ranked him near the bottom of this list.
According to my research, the league average last season on adjusted touchback percentages was 51.5.
Now, we certainly don’t know when kickers are told to attempt to kick a touchback and the strategy related to that is an argument for another day. Additionally, it should be noted that Scobee previously kicked for the Jaguars, who play half of their games every season in Florida.
Here’s another interesting stat about Scobee’s kickoffs last year. According to Pro Football Focus, the average starting field position of opponents following Scobee’s kickoffs last season was 19.1 yards and that was tops in the league when compared to all kickers who kicked off 50 or more times.
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