ALLEN PARK — Two years gone and the Lions still miss Jason Hanson who was nearly automatic in his 21 seasons as the place kicker.
He didn’t start off that way, though.
When Hanson played as a rookie in 1992 he was nailed the only attempt in his first game, but then 1-of-2 in Game 2 and 1-of-3 in Game 3. In Game 2 he missed a 45-yard attempt. In Game 3, which was at Washington, he missed from 52 yards and 49 yards. So in Hanson’s first three games he was 3-of-6.
The kicker discussion has re-ignited because rookie kicker Nate Freese is 2-of-5 in his first two games.
Jim Caldwell said he thinks Freese is going to be a fine NFL kicker. The Lions coach just didn’t say that it will be for the Lions. It's not unusual for a kicker to travel around in the NFL for a few years before he makes a roster.
Freese, a seventh-round draft pick, missed two 49-yard field goal attempts in the loss at Carolina on Sunday. In Game 1 he was 2-of-3.
It appears the Lions haven’t made a decision on whether he will be replaced this week.
“We’re still discussing, talking, looking at different options. I still believe this young man is going to be a fine kicker in this league I don’t think there’s any question about that,’’ Caldwell said at his Monday press conference. “We’ll see how it goes here. I still believe, you look at him he had three kicks of 50-yards plus in the preseason so you know he can get it out there. Sometimes guys have a bad day. We’ll look at that.’’
Caldwell would not say if they will bring kickers in this week.
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