Brad Holmes is trying to talk himself into having confidence in Riley Patterson as Lions' kicker

With seemingly few other viable options, Lions GM Brad Holmes is trying to talk himself into having confidence in Riley Patterson as the team's kicker.

Detroit Lions v Carolina Panthers
Detroit Lions v Carolina Panthers / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

It was a little odd when the Detroit Lions re-acquired Riley Patterson in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars back in May. It gave them three kickers on the roster, and Patterson lost the kicking job in Detroit to the not-so great Austin Seibert last preseason. Then Michael Badgley was released right before training camp, leaving Patterson as the front runner for the job.

Patterson held that status quo, until a preseason finale where he came up short on a 53-yard field goal (hit the crossbar) and missed an extra point. Then the Lions were reported to be in the market to trade for a kicker, before bringing Badgley back on the practice squad after he was let go by two teams in a span of a couple weeks.

There are still some interesting available options out there, but for now the Lions aren't adding a new name to the list of kickers they've had since Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell arrived in 2021. Bringing Badgley back was a sign that confidence in Patterson is waning, as it should be.

But Holmes won't put that out there publicly.

Brad Holmes is trying to speak confidence in Riley Patterson into existence

During his press conference on Friday, via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News, Holmes said Patterson will "start us off" after winning the kicking job, while also highlighting Badgley's return. Holmes went further, saying why he is comfortable with Patterson.

"When we first had Riley, I thought Riley did a really good job,"He got claimed by Jacksonville and kicked for them and still did a good job. He's had his moments this training camp where you'd like him to be a little bit more consistent, but what I know about Riley is he's got a very low heart rate when it comes to game time. His confidence is high, so I'm not too concerned because I know who he is as a person."

"You kind of saw the kick in Carolina that was probably a little outside his range of what he normally he is, but within his range, just look at the data on him in game and in critical situations," Holmes said. "He's been pretty good, so feel good about it.""

Patterson did have a good season for Jacksonville last year, going 30-for-35 on field goals (with a long of 53) during the regular season and making the game-winner to complete an epic playoff comeback against the Chargers. But it's telling that as soon as an upgrade was made available (Brandon McManus), the Jaguars wasted little time to replace him.

One rough outing doesn't have to, and maybe it shouldn't, dictate the Lions' confidence in Patterson. But that 53-yard attempt against Carolina in the preseason finale felt like a test he did not pass, which he followed by missing an extra point.

Holmes can say all he wants about being comfortable with Patterson, and he would not say otherwise publicly. But the "start us off" comment, coupled with bringing Badgley back on the practice squad as an easy fallback option, conveys otherwise.

For some reason this regime just can't find the right kicker, as trivial as it seems. It may come back to bit them now, in a critical moment during a season with high expectations.

Next. 3 Lions on the initial 53-man roster who won't last the season in Detroit. 3 Lions on the initial 53-man roster who won't last the season in Detroit. dark