By all accounts from those in attendance at Allen Park, the weekly press conferences for Detroit Lions special teams coach Dave Fipp are a fun experience. On Thursday, he apparently curried favor from reporters by ordering in tacos.
But it was also time to get down to business eventually, and there was a headline in Fipp's area. Kicker Michael Badgley was called up from the practice squad for last week's win over the Denver Broncos, replacing Riley Patterson. Then, in need of a roster spot for rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker, Patterson was waived this week.
So, barring something unforeseen, Badgley will be the Lions' kicker for the rest of the season. After the win over the Broncos, head coach Dan Campbell revealed a multi-week kicking competition had taken place during practice.
"Yeah, they’ve been competing now for about five weeks,” Campbell said. “I mean before the Chargers. So, this was something we wanted to do, give (Badgley) Badge a go with Riley (Patterson) and they’ve been battling it out, and he (Badgley) won it.”
Lions special teams coach Dave Fipp explains kicker switch
Naturally, via SI.com, Fipp addressed the process behind the switch at kicker during his press conference on Thursday.
"We had those guys competing in practice. So they would each get roughly six kicks a day and we would kick them at least twice a week, so 12 kicks a week," "Over the course of six weeks, Badgley had been better. We didn't want to rush to make that decision right away, we felt like he deserved as fair of an opportunity as we could've given him. But it was clear at the end of the day that he was playing better."
Fipp added how it's clear to see which kicker is performing better in practice, since makes and misses are so cut-and-dry.
"With a kicker, it's pretty clear. Makes and misses, percentages. And I do think practice matters, and I do think players trend towards what their practice stuff is."
The Lions clearly did not make the decision to switch kickers in a rushed manor. But they had seen enough from Badgley over a number of weeks, while Patterson had missed an extra point in two of three games before last week, to push them to make the change when they did.