Richey a Goner? You bet

Wade Richey was cut by the Chargers on Monday after a terrible game on Sunday vs. Denver. Richey was making $525,000 this year just to kick off.

General manager John Butler signed Richey in April 2001 as a restricted free agent from San Francisco after the Chargers revoked their offer to popular longtime kicker John Carney (Carney is 48-for-55 (87.2 percent) in two seasons with New Orleans).

Wade Richey continued to disturb and perturb on Sunday. Richey had 16 touchbacks for the year used exclusively on kickoffs. Just as many times if not more he had kicks that defied explanation.

Wade Richey had been so bad that on one kickoff he kicked the ground before making contact with the ball. A number of times this year he kicked the ball out of bounds, a play that gives the opposition prime field position at the 40 yard line. In the Denver game he had a number of bad kicks in a row.

What happened during those kicks?

"That's what Coach Schottenheimer asked and honestly I told him I don't know," said Richey. "I've got some issues to deal with."

"I have never, never in practice kicked four balls in a row bad like that, much less in a game," said Richey. "Through my career, I've shot out a bad kick or two, but never consecutive ones like that."

He now has more than issues as he becomes a casualty. Richey had some idea of what would happen after the game on Sunday.

"They have some decisions to make," Richey said. "We have some injuries, and I am taking up a roster spot."

"It was time to make a change," Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer said Monday.

"The inability to keep the ball on the field of play has been an issue," said Schottenheimer. "Notwithstanding the fact that he's got a great leg and he's shown the ability to kick it into the end zone, it has reached the point that I felt like we needed to go in another direction. I visited with him today and wished him all the best, but at this juncture, it was just time to make a change."

Schottenheimer wasn't sure if the Chargers will sign another kicker.

Steve Christie now takes over the kicking duty full time. He has not held that responsibility since 2000 in Buffalo.

Schottenheimer gave Christie a vote of confidence in blaming the blocked field goal on poor footing at Qualcomm Stadium. "It was kind of greasy out there," Schottenheimer said.

"But he made the one he had to make to win the game," Schottenheimer said. "As long as he keeps doing that, we're all right."

Roster spots are important and as the Chargers edge closer to the playoffs. Spots are a commodity as is the kicking game and special teams.

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