After 21 seasons as the Lions’ kicker, Jason Hanson retired in 2013. Now he’s back. Sort of.
The 43-year-old Hanson would probably be a better option than either of the two kickers currently under contract to the Lions, John Potter and Giorgio Tavecchio. But when the Lions brought Hanson to their minicamp this week, it wasn’t to lure him out of retirement. It was because special teams coordinator John Bonamego wanted to get Hanson’s perspective on how the Lions’ two young kickers looked.
“He just wanted another set of eyes for the guys they want to kick,” Hanson told the Lions’ website. “He wanted my opinion – somebody else to give feedback to him. They have a short time to look at the guys, to see if they feel they have the guys they want or if they want to look at other people. . . . I appreciate that he wants another set of eyes. While I’m out there, they’re asking me stuff. I’m glad to help them any way I can.”
Hanson added, however, that there’s only so much you can tell from watching a kicker at a minicamp. After all, there are lots of guys who can boot 50-plus-yard field goals in practice. The key is finding a kicker who can do it consistently, when a game is on the line.
“Here’s the problem: everybody’s good,” Hanson said. “If you brought them in, they’re good.”
Unfortunately for the Lions, it’s unlikely they’ll find any kicker as good as Hanson, one of the best in NFL history.