By: Mike Sullivan
During Lions practice today, Jim Caldwell decided to add a little extra pressure and motivation to the kicking competition between Nate Freese and Giorgio Tavecchio.
According to DetroitLions.com Senior Writer, Tim Twentyman, the kicking period of practice consisted of the whole team surrounding the kickers, while yelling and putting pressure on them. Freese and Tavecchio had to kick from 36, 45, 54, 62 and 67 yards.
Freese went 2-5, and Tavecchio hit 3-5. Both guys missed from the long distance ranges of 62 and 67. Freese also missed his first kick from just 36 yards.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m officially concerned with the Lions kicking situation. After sitting through last season, I realized that I really miss Jason Hanson. His consistency was always assuring and he seemed to be automatic for basically his whole career.
Freese looked pretty good last Saturday against Cleveland, he hit both of his field goals, and also the game winning extra point which was essentially a 32 yarder due to the NFL’s experimental phase of kicking extra points from the 15 yard line for weeks one and two of the preseason.
Caldwell on the kicking atmosphere today:
“We’re just trying to add a little competition, a little pressure, something a little different and out of the ordinary… We thought it would help create some distraction and all of our players enjoyed it today.”
That being said, the reports out of Lions training camp these past few weeks haven’t necessarily been great. Neither Freese nor Tavecchio have really stood out or taken over the position battle.
Today was an opportunity to put some internal pressure on these kickers while they were competing. It was fun for the Lions to be able to mess around with their teammates, heckle the kickers, and simulate a loud environment for the field goal tries.
In my opinion, it seems like this type of situation might even be more pressure for the kickers than an actual hostile, in-game, environment. Ultimately, they’ll have to hear all about in the locker room if they miss a field goal. Having played college football myself, I know there are just some things that teammates (whom you spend every single day with) will continue to bring up and never let you live down!