The Detroit Lions brought in two guys this offseason who they thought could claim the starting kicker job, Randy Bullock and Matthew Wright. As it stands right now, neither seems cut out for it. With Wright now out of the picture and Zane Gonzalez taking his place, we’re back to square one.
Bold prediction of the week: Kicking competition clears up against the Bills
I want to say that Gonzalez will come in and put some distance between himself and Bullock. Gonzalez is, in my opinion, holistically a better kicker in spite of his inconsistencies. Plus, he has the advantage of youth on Bullock, and with that, hopefully a stronger leg.
What makes this a bold prediction is a couple of things. The first is that kicking is a harder thing to just step in and do than most realize. Yes, there’s no playbook or scheme to learn. However, a very undervalued aspect is the timing and chemistry between a kicker and a holder. If you ever wonder why some very good kickers just get the heebie-jeebies seemingly out of nowhere in the middle of their careers, it can oftentimes be just that.
Secondly, there’s absolutely no guarantee anything happens tonight. For all we know, the Lions could end up kicking a field goal and a PAT and nothing more. Alternatively, we may see many field goals but a large share of them going to Bullock since Gonzalez has only been around Allen Park for a few days. Or, we could see them both get equal reps and both perform relatively similarly.
Time will tell, but long term, I’m placing my bets on Gonzalez. We’ll have to see if this staff has the patience to do so too.