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Detroit Lions Bubble Watch Week 2: Special teams battles remains stagnant

After one week of training camp, the special teams battles aren’t much clearer.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

As most of the focus of Detroit Lions training camp remains on the offense and defense, especially as the pads come on, there remains two training camp battles that could have a significant impact on the team in 2021. Long snapper Don Muhlbach remains the heavy favorite over Scott Daly to win that job, but the kicker battle is still wide open.

After a week of training camp, has anything shifted? Has one kicker taken advantage of the opportunity or has Scott Daly done anything to give off the impression that he could somehow unseat the unseatable in Muhlbach?

Let’s take a closer look at these two battles with Bubble Watch: Special Teams edition:

Special Teams Bubble Watch: Week 2

Player Jeremy Reisman Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Erik Schlitt John Whiticar Jerry Mallory TOTAL Change from last week
Player Jeremy Reisman Ryan Mathews Mike Payton Hamza Alex Reno Erik Schlitt John Whiticar Jerry Mallory TOTAL Change from last week
LS Don Muhlbach IN IN IN IN IN IN IN IN 8 0
K Randy Bullock IN IN OUT OUT IN IN IN IN 6 0


  • Don Muhlbach — 8 votes
  • Scott Daly — 0 votes

Nothing has changed our opinion of who is winning the long snapper battle, and there’s a pretty good chance nothing will. The easiest way to assess how the camp battle is going is simply by looking at who is getting the first and most reps. That man is Don Muhlbach, as he tries to gain a rapport with whoever will be his holder this year.

However, there was an interesting moment in camp between Muhlbach and Daly. The two spent a considerable amount of time at the video screen reviewing several different plays together. Even if Daly doesn’t win the job, he’ll have spent a few months of tutelage with the legendary long snapper. That’s worth something.


  • Randy Bullock — 6 votes
  • Matthew Wright — 1 vote

Pride of Detroit kicking expert Hamza Baccouche remains stubborn that Wright will win this battle despite struggling in Week 1, specifically on Saturday. Not only did Wright convert just three-of-six field goals from under 50 yards, but the last couple did not look even close. Granted, both kickers were perfect on Tuesday, converting four field goals each from between 40 and 49 yards. Meanwhile, Mike Payton is just as stubborn that neither of these kickers will be the answer.

One piece of the puzzle we haven’t seen yet is kicks beyond 50 yards. Neither kicker has a very good reputation from that distance, so we’ll see if the team even bothers to try those long-distance kicks.

Still, until then, it appears Bullock has a pretty strong grasp on the job, as I have not witnessed one miss from him yet.

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