Nate Freese didn’t seem to do much to differentiate himself from Giorgio Tavecchio but it appears he has done enough to win the Detroit Lions’ kicking job.
From ESPN’s Mike Rothstein:
The Detroit Lions have ended their kicking competition and settled on their draft pick.
A source told ESPN.com that the team waived kicker Giorgio Tavecchio on Monday morning, meaning the Lions will go with — at least for now — seventh-round draft pick Nate Freese as their kicker for 2014.
Tavecchio was reportedly the more steady of the two for a good portion of training camp but Freese got the better of the opportunities presented in preseason games. Freese missed an extra point (at the longer experimental distance) at Oakland but closed strong with a 55-yard field goal. Tavecchio had a long field goal attempt of his own last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars but wasn’t able to convert.
Despite the waiving of Tavecchio, Freese probably still needs to inspire some confidence in the preseason finale on Thursday night. A shaky performance could lead the Lions to look at veteran options on the open market. Former University of Michigan kicker Jay Feely was added to that list after being released by the Arizona Cardinals today.
How do you feel about the Lions entering the regular season with Freese? Confident, or should the Lions consider other options as well?