THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams kicker Brett Maher's initial reaction to a second opportunity with the team was simple and straightforward.
"I was very, very excited to be back here, be in the locker room and go on a playoff run," Maher told theRams.com after Friday's practice.
In his first stint with Los Angeles, Maher made 17 of 23 field goal attempts and 12 of 13 extra point attempts as its kicker for its first seven games of the season. Prior to being released, his 17 made field goals were tied with the Texans' Ka'imi Fairbairn and the Eagles' Jake Elliott for most in the NFL through the first seven weeks of the 2023 season.
Of his six misses, one was blocked. Of the remaining five, four came from 50 or more yards, though Rams head coach Sean McVay said Friday those long-range misfires had more to do with putting Maher in disadvantageous situations than Maher's kicking itself. Those attempts of 50-plus yards accounted for 7 of his 23 overall in his first stint with the Rams.
McVay said Maher has been "great" in practice this week, even in the midst of the windy conditions they had on Thursday.
"I mean, shoot, it was really windy yesterday. Those are not ideal situations to be able to kick in and I thought he was really smooth with the operation," McVay said prior to Friday's practice. "I thought he did a good job earlier on. When you go back and you look at it, I thought there were a lot of situations, if I'm being honest with myself, that you're saying those are tough spots to put anybody in with the amount of attempts from 50-plus, and you look at just the landscape of the league, even from the guys that have been doing it as well as anybody all-time or over the course of their careers as of late, so I think you have to be mindful of that. He's had some big-time game experience so I was pleased with the way Brett came back in."
Maher reiterated he has enjoyed being back in the locker room and working with the Rams coaching staff again, and is looking forward to seeing how far this journey takes them.
"I get to be around the people that are the best in the world at what they do, players, coaches," Maher said. "And I feel like I myself am in that category as well. So just doing what I can do to help the team and go on a run."