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Evaluating The Detroit Lions' Roster: Special Teams

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August 25, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson (4) kicks a field goal against the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
August 25, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson (4) kicks a field goal against the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

As usual, the Detroit Lions kept three special teams players on their 53-man roster this year. They have one kicker, one punter and one long snapper, and there weren't really any huge surprises. The only starting job that was up for grabs during camp was at punter, as the kicking and long snapping jobs were set.

Here's a look at the Lions' special teamers:

Kicker (1): Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson got off to a slow start in the preseason with a missed field goal, and he actually finished the preseason with two missed field goals (including one that was blocked) in the Buffalo Bills game. Even so, it was pretty clear that Hanson wasn't going to be let go in favor of undrafted rookie Derek Dimke. While Ryan Donahue did come in last year and unseat Nick Harris at punter, it would take a lot more than a few missed kicks for Hanson to lose his starting job.

Punter (1): Ben Graham

Speaking of Donahue, he lost out to a veteran at punter this year. Ben Graham, the man who replaced him after he got hurt last season, won the competition for the starting punter job. He didn't run away with it by any means, but Graham outperformed Donahue enough in the eyes of the coaches to win the starting job and make the 53-man roster.

Long snapper (1): Don Muhlbach

It's worth noting that the Lions worked out two long snappers on Tuesday, according to Jason La Canfora. (They also worked out five punters, interestingly enough.) Earlier in the summer, they actually signed a second long snapper and had him on the roster for a brief period of time. Could this be a sign that the Lions are looking to replace Muhlbach? Perhaps, but he is their long snapper for the time being, and unless there's an injury, I would be surprised if that changed.

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