As the kicker battle for the Detroit Lions goes on, head coach Dan Campbell did confirm who has a slight leg up right now.
For a stretch last season, the Detroit Lions cycled through kickers as often as some people might cycle through underwear. Riley Patterson stabilized the situation down the stretch, giving him a slight perceived edge in a battle with Austin Seibert entering training camp.
Patterson went 13-for-14 on field goals and 16-for-16 on extra points in seven games for the Lions last year. Siebert kicked in six games before he landed on IR with a hip injury, going 10-for-12 on field goals and 5-for-5 on extra points.
During Saturday’s fan day at Ford Field, Siebert made a 62-yard field goal. Patterson struggled on longer range kicks, and his kickoffs were not as good as Siebert’s. Maybe the kicker battle will play out as ESPN Lions’ beat writer Eric Woodyard foresaw a while back in his 53-man roster projection.
Detroit Lions: Dan Campbell confirms who has ‘leg up’ in kicker battle
Lions head coach Dan Campbell spoke to the media Monday, and he confirmed Seibert has the advantage in the kicking battle right now.
The Lions kicker battle is lined up to go right to the end, as it at or near final cut down day late this month. Campbell did point to the idea punter Jack Fox could handle kickoffs, while citing the need for a kicker who can come through when the game is on the line.
The Lions expect to have a better offense and a better team this year, but they’ll still have to win games in some small margins. A missed kick at a critical time can be deflating to the entire team, so it’s important to have some stability and reliability there. That’s why Campbell devoted so much time to talking about it on Monday.
When it comes down it, there’s little or no difference between Seibert and Patterson in terms of their quality as a kicker. But the best man will win the job for the Lions, and while it’s Seibert now it could still ultimately be Patterson as a tight competition goes on.