Chiefs Camp Day 2: Cairo Santos

St. Joseph, MO - They say kickers are a dime a dozen in the NFL. However if any Chiefs fan remembers, Lin Elliot, some of those coins are best left unspent. In Kansas City, the Chiefs decided incumbent, Ryan Succop, could use a little competition in training camp. So who is Cairo Santos and will he make the final 53-man roster?

It’s far too early in camp to begin any discussions about special teams. We all know Punter, Dustin Colquitt and Kicker, Ryan Succup should make the Kansas City Chiefs opening day roster.

However, Succup, one of the games highest paid kickers, will get some stiff competition over the summer from Brazilian Kicker, Cairo Santos. Though most reporters in camp were intent on asking him questions about the most recent World Cup on Tuesday morning, there’s no question he can knock the ball between the goal posts.

Last season at Tulane University Santos hit 21 of 21 field goal attempts. His only blemish on the season was a missed PAT (point after touchdown). He also knocked 31 of 55 kickoffs for touchbacks.

Let’s be honest his chances of making the roster are slim but that doesn’t mean he won’t do whatever he can to make an impression on special teams coach, Dave Toub.

“The biggest thing for me is to impress this coaching staff,” he stated. “If I can’t get a job here, I trust that they’ll put in a word to another team for me. I know that coach (Dave) Toub is very well respected in the NFL, so I’m thankful to be kicking in front of this staff and I know whatever happens, they’ll be willing to help me out.”

That’s the perfect attitude to take for an undrafted rookie kicker who is on the verge of battling one of the games most skilled place kickers in the NFL. But I’m an underdog type of guy, so the fact the Chiefs brought in someone this capable, I wouldn’t disrespect his chances to unseat Succop.

In fact, though he’s undersized in football terms, if he can deliver in crunch time by using his own strengths, why can’t he make it on the Chiefs final roster.

“I think because I’m not a big guy, and strong like the other NFL kickers that I rely on technique and consistency. I have short steps that give me that consistency and follow-through, so I just rely on my consistency,” Santos said.

For any kicker, their longevity in the NFL is based on that very thing. The knock on Succop, at times he loses focus and concentration. Don’t get me wrong he’s a solid kicker and I’d be hard pressed to cut him but he is replaceable.

For Santos, his roster chances will go beyond his ability to hit the 50 plus field goals or the short 30-yarder to win a game, it will boil down to how he handles the pressure.

“I’ve learned that you establish a routine in practice. Every kick, you approach it with the same routine, the same mindset that when you go out for a kick on Sundays, you just kind of get in a comfortable zone. I’ve been talking to a lot of guys and they all seem to say the same thing; establish your own routine, and kind of block everything out that’s going on,” he stated.

Will that routine be enough to become a roster candidate for the Chiefs this season? It remains to be seen but if you want to make a case for Santos, you could very easily do just that. Again Succop is highly paid with a large cap number. So if he struggles even the slightest bit in camp or in the exhibition games, the Brazilian native might just get his NFL shot with the Chiefs.

Photos Credits: Derick E. Hingle USA Today Sports

Will Santos give Succop a run to become the opening day kicker?

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