After struggling during training camp and preseason and then missing three of his five attempts this season, it looks the Detroit Lions will be sticking with kicker Nate Freese, or at least for the time being.
“At this point in time, he is our guy,” Caldwell said before Wednesday’s practice. “I think (Freese) is a young guy who has potential. But just like anything else in our business, its performance business. And we all certainly understand that thing, and he understands it as well.”
As you as can see from Caldwell’s statement above, there is no doubt that he and his staff are watching Freese closely. However, that doesn’t change the fact that this staff, needs to have a kicker that they can count on, which is something the Lions haven’t had that since Jason Hanson retired in 2012.
Even though, it’s only been two games, Caldwell and his staff have to take some blame here when it comes to Freese. During preseason play and overall training camp, it was clear that kicker Giorgio Tavecchio was the better kicker, as Freese struggled, which included a missed extra point against Oakland in the second preseason game.
However, because the Lions invested a seventh-round draft pick in Freese in the 2014 NFL Draft, I honestly felt like the Lions wanted to keep him in the hopes that he would develop into a good consistent kicker. Which is why they chose him and waived Tavecchio.
Although, I’m was not a fan of kicker David Akers when he was with the Lions, it says a lot that Freese has already proven to be even worse than Akers when you consider the fact that he has missed the same amount of field goals in two games that Akers did in a season.
Now is there still a chance for Freese to succeed? I still think there is a chance that Freese could still be a good kicker in the NFL, seeing that he is only a rookie. However, none of that changes the fact that the Lions may need to go out and sign another kicker in case Freese continues to perform badly.
In fact, the Lion brought in veteran kickers Rob Bironas, Alex Henery and Garrett Hartley for workouts on Tuesday, according to ESPN.
Although, coach Caldwell declined to comment on their recent workouts with the veteran kickers. Freese told reporters on Monday that feels he has the support of Detroit’s coaching staff and he is not focusing on who the Lions are bringing in for workouts.
“I can’t really worry about (veteran tryouts),” Freese said. “It’s out of my control. I can only control what I can control.”
“Like I always say, I’m never too high, never too low,” Freese continued. “I go into this week as any other week. I put the game behind me and look forward to next week.”
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Editor of Radio One Detroit
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