With OTAs underway, the Detroit Lions' kicker competition is really starting to heat up. Nate Freese is the clear favorite to win the competition considering the Lions spent a seventh-round pick on him, but he's far from a lock to emerge as the starter. Giorgio Tavecchio also has his sights set on winning the starting kicker job, and he had an impressive performance on Wednesday.
Nate Freese was 3/4 during initial special teams period. Nailed left upright from 48. ... Tavecchio was 4-of-4, and cleared 48 EASILY— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) May 28, 2014
Tavecchio also nailed a game-winner during situational stuff from 56. Offense's only score in 5 tries. ... Freese missed wide right from 46— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) May 28, 2014
Just as we learned last summer when David Akers and Havard Rugland battled for the starting job, one miss or one bad day isn't going to dramatically change the dynamic of the kicker competition. How Freese and Tavecchio perform over the course of several months is more important, especially once the preseason arrives and they get a chance to kick in actual games.
In the short term, Tavecchio's performance on Wednesday is merely a reminder that the kicker job is far from set in stone. Freese may be going into training camp in the Akers role in the sense that it's his job to lose, but he's still going to have to earn the starting spot. As for Tavecchio, the Lions may not have spent a draft pick on him, but he's hoping to make them regret their decision to use one on Freese.