Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell fielded questions during training camp on Monday, and amongst them was just how well the kicking competition in camp between Austin Siebert and Riley Patterson is going.
Patterson signed with Detroit in mid-November last year, and appeared in seven games, booting 13-of-14 field goals, and a perfect 16-for-16 extra points in his debut. He was resigned in April as an exclusive rights free agent to compete with Seibert. Patterson replaced Seibert when the veteran went down with a hip injury that needed surgery after only signing with the Lions in September.
Both kickers are fairly young, and the Lions are looking for the long-term answer at kicker. They are utilizing this camp to have the two battle for the job. Both have limited games in Detroit, with six games for Seibert and seven for Patterson, so this camp battle is the best way to determine who will be the kicker for at least 2022, while the Lions determine if that long-term answer is even in the building.
So who exactly is leading the way for the Detroit Lions in 2022–and hopefully beyond–kicker? Coach Campbell was asked about how the kicker competition is progressing this far,
“I thought they both did a good job. But I felt really good about Seibert. I feel like he’s, right now, if you’re asking me today, he’s a tick better,” Campbell told reporters.
Hearing that after coming off a promising start to Austin Seibert’s Lions tenure, going 10-for-12 (longest of 52) and 5-for-5 in extra points before his season was cut short, is a huge plus for the former Cleveland Brown and Cincinnati Bengal. Especially considering that Seibert is coming off of surgery, and Patterson is fresh and has also looked promising thus far.
With these words from the head coach, it is possible to believe that Seibert could not only win the job for 2022, but may have a chance at landing in the Lions’ den long-term. So where does this leave Patterson’s chances of swinging the tides due to his performance?
Campbell had this to say about the battle,
“I thought (Seibert) did a hell of a job in there, just kicking. His kickoffs were outstanding. Now that being said, Patterson, Patterson’s still not banging away. It’s not like he’s not in there, and we still have a long camp to go. So, Patterson’s doing a good job, but I really like where Seibert’s at.”
As Campbell said, we do have a long camp to go, but each day is ticking by very fast, and in the short time we have left before final roster cuts, we would expect the kicking competition to have the flame turned higher.