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Entering 21st season, Jason Hanson believes he’s as good as ever

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When he kicks for the Lions this year, Jason Hanson will break the NFL record of 20 consecutive seasons with one team, which he currently shares with Jackie Slater and Darrell Green. And he doesn’t think he’s much different as a kicker now than he was when the Lions took him in the second round of the 1992 NFL draft.

“I never thought I’d play this long,” Hanson told the Detroit Free Press. “I just know this: I know that when I’m kicking, I can kick as well as I ever have. And it’s just enough to make it each year.”

Hanson, who went 5-for-7 on field goal attempts of 50 yards or longer last season, becoming the first player in NFL history to have 50 field goals of 50 yards or longer in his career, is virtually assured of being the Lions’ kicker again this season. But he says the presence of undrafted rookie kicker Derek Dimke on the offseason roster means he views himself as competing for his job.

“You always have to perform,” Hanson said. “Always. There’s a few guys who are young and at the top of their game where they’re the guys. But everyone else, ‘Hey, Hanson, let’s see what you got?’ And once you reprove it and they’re like, ‘He’s ready,’ great. But as soon as you show up and your kickoffs are a little shorter and your hang times are down or you’ve missed a few more than you usually do, you bring young guys in who are good and they’re fired up.”

Hanson sounds fired up for at least one year. Maybe this will be the year the Lions do something that they haven’t done in his 20 seasons: Win a playoff game.

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9 Responses to “Entering 21st season, Jason Hanson believes he’s as good as ever”
  1. jagsfanugh says: May 25, 2012 8:20 AM

    That is amazing to be with one team that long. Grats to him and the team.

  2. darthhitman77 says: May 25, 2012 8:26 AM

    WOW MDS, you impressed me as you wrote a Lions article without taking any type of jab at them…until the last sentence anyway. Golf clap for you and your closed mind…funny how your closed mind resembles your team’s closed window so closely.

  3. bigd9484 says: May 25, 2012 8:59 AM

    Darth – Don’t let the truth hurt you so much.

    I thought the last sentence really put the Lion’s woes into perspective. You think about how long Hanson has been around and been one of the top 15 kickers in the league EVERY year, and then you think the Lions haven’t won a single playoff game that ENTIRE time. Crazy to think about. Too bad Matt Millen had to happen. Classy guy, deserves to win a few playoff games.

  4. schmitty2 says: May 25, 2012 9:21 AM

    darthhitman77 says:May 25, 2012 8:26 AM

    WOW MDS, you impressed me as you wrote a Lions article without taking any type of jab at them…until the last sentence anyway. Golf clap for you and your closed mind…funny how your closed mind resembles your team’s closed window so closely.

    God Lions fans are so whiny lately. I have seen lots of positive articles about them especially after the great year they had. Remember…they used to be the laughinstock of the league so NEVER got good press. Embrace the fact you have a good team!

  5. noeffinway says: May 25, 2012 10:08 AM

    First ballot Hall-Of-Famer! Go get em Jason!

  6. superjroch says: May 25, 2012 10:56 AM

    Flash in the pan. Won’t be around long.

  7. granadafan says: May 25, 2012 1:52 PM

    I know he’s just a kicker, but it’s amazing for one player to stay in the league this long and at a high level. Great job!

  8. gloomsquadron says: May 25, 2012 4:42 PM

    technically…they won one the year before he was drafted…but….meh

  9. ndnut says: May 26, 2012 12:30 AM

    He was drafted in the 2ND ROUND?!?!?! That’s almost as bad as 5 1st round picks in a row going to WRs (or was it 6. I think I lost count somewhere).

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