Thursday night, the always-excellent Dan Miller with Fox 2 Sports had a video chat with the top punter in the league on the 6 o’clock news. The full video is posted on the Fox 2 site linked below in this tweet from the station:
WATCH - @lions punter Jack Fox is having quite a season in his first year with Detroit. He's 1st in the NFL in net punting average. @DanMillerFox2 sat down with Fox to discuss his success. https://t.co/h9fTkuhdCo— FOX 2 Sports (@FOX2Sports) October 30, 2020
One tidbit pointed out during the interview by Miller is that the current NFL single-season record for average yards per punt since 1939 is held by Sammy Baugh for a 51.4 yard average in 1940. Both Miller and Fox are careful to note there is still a lot of games to play this year, but Fox’s current average per punt is 53.4 yards.
Pride of Detroit readers are no doubt familiar with the hardcore kicking game mania that runs rampant among our staff, but the shocking awesomeness with which Fox burst onto the scene as the Lions’ new punter in 2020 took even us by surprise. While it was great to see the league officially acknowledge the dominance last month, the general football world has not yet realized what is going on in the Lions special teams unit.
In the Madden 21 player ratings update for Week 7, the Fantastic Mr. Fox rose four points in awareness to make his overall rating bump up to 77 from 75. This makes the September Special Teams Player of the Month tied for 11th among all punters in the game. He is just behind Minnesota’s Britton Colquitt and Cleveland’s Jamie Gillian, who are tied at 78 overall. Colquitt sports a 44.2 yards per punt average (26th, and 9.2 yards per punt lower than Fox) while Gillian is a bit lower at 43.9 yards per punt (28th in the league) on roughly the same number of punts as Fox.
As pointed out by MLive’s Kyle Meinke, we regret to inform our readers that the streak of recognition from the league has been broken:
For the first time in his career, Jack Fox has not won special teams player of the month— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) October 29, 2020
Travesty. In any case, here’s a great shot taken in Atlanta from the team’s official account.
Whether or not the rest of the football world “gets it,” the fans of this team know what we’re seeing each week from Fox really is special. And now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:
- Aaron Wilson at the Houston Chronicle posted the Wednesday tryouts report and a few items caught our eye. Veteran lineman Kenny Wiggins, who was cut by the Lions recently, visited the New York Giants. The Lions brought in two tight ends to take a look: Jerell Adams and a familiar face from 2016:
PFF's top-graded XFL tight end Khari Lee*, had no idea those existed but am very here for it https://t.co/B17m6X0Ir0— Benjamin Raven (@BenjaminSRaven) October 29, 2020
- According to Justin Rogers with the Detroit News, Reggie Ragland’s Zoom session with the media was very entertaining and engaging. You can watch it and see for yourself here. Rogers wrote about it for his paper, as did MLive’s Ben Raven.
- In addition to the Elijah Lee transaction reported yesterday, the Lions made two moves on the practice squad. Running back Dalyn Dawkins was added to the practice squad and defensive tackle Albert Huggins was released from the practice squad.
- The Chinese food buffet can be serious business in the NFC North:
Adrian Peterson's story about how he heroically saved the Vikings' post-practice Chinese food buffet while wrestling Everson Griffen. pic.twitter.com/2cOtpVvRRJ— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) October 29, 2020
- The Athletic’s Chris Burke offers some insight (subscription required) into how the Lions set their sights on acquiring John Penisini.
- Not Lions-related, but of general football interest: