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Lions’ quest for Jason Hanson’s replacement enters second season

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The Lions aren’t used to making annual changes at kicker. Of course, the longevity discussion starts with Jason Hanson, who held the job from 1992 through 2012 — a 21-season run. And before Hanson, there was Eddie Murray, who handled the kicking duties for 12 seasons (1980-91).

Now, the Lions are in their second season trying to find a long-term replacement for Hanson. The club drafted Boston College’s Nate Freese in the seventh round in May, and as Hanson told the Detroit News, the rookie likely has an edge over veteran competitor Giorgio Tavecchio owing to that draft status.

“Giorgio is very good, so he’ll push Nate. But obviously if they draft a kid, they’re hoping he can be the guy,” Hanson said in May, according to Josh Katzenstein of the News. “Nate will have to prove that and show that, but I think from just watching him kick and his collegiate stats, he has every chance in the world to do well.”

As a senior, Freese hit all 20 of his field goal attempts, and he connected on at least 88 percent of his field goals in 3-of-4 collegiate seasons. Tavecchio, though, does have a slight NFL experience edge, with a couple of preseason stints to his credit.

The form of both kickers bears watching this summer. According to the News, Freese and Tavecchio each “had their share of struggles” in the spring. Ideally for Freese and Tavecchio, the Lions’ kicker competition comes down to just them — and doesn’t include an as-yet-unsigned veteran challenger.

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13 Responses to “Lions’ quest for Jason Hanson’s replacement enters second season”
  1. bassplucker says: Jun 28, 2014 5:27 PM

    They’re gonna be looking for awhile, I think. Jason Hanson was as good as it gets. And that’s coming from a Bears fan.

  2. theneedforspeeed says: Jun 28, 2014 5:31 PM

    We got spoiled with Murray/Hanson. Over 30 years of competence, not many teams can say that about the kicking position!

  3. Ed Bandell says: Jun 28, 2014 5:58 PM

    Ravens were spoiled for years with Auto-Matt-ic Stover. Great kicker but as he aged he lost the thump in his leg. 40 yards and in, you could pretty much forget about it, it was a done deal with Matt.

    Now it looks like we got really lucky and found another star in Justin Turner.

  4. ravenmadnky says: Jun 28, 2014 6:23 PM


  5. longsufferingkcfan says: Jun 28, 2014 6:26 PM

    I remember seeing him play when I was in the fourth grade (I’m now in my thirties) and that fact that he was still playing a couple of years ago made me feel really young. I was really bummed out when he retired and felt like a last link to my childhood was severed.

  6. mantastic54 says: Jun 28, 2014 7:55 PM

    Special teams guys get taken for granted, until you lose one and realize how hard they are to replace

  7. 88ibis says: Jun 28, 2014 8:28 PM

    One does not simply replace Jason Hanson.

  8. cityclub13 says: Jun 28, 2014 9:27 PM

    We’ve had one of the greatest RB’s, Kicker and WR of all time. Still no title…

  9. bcajun says: Jun 28, 2014 9:48 PM

    Garrett Hartleys still avaiable lmao

  10. vincelombardisghost says: Jun 28, 2014 11:01 PM

    Chester Marcol….”Call on line one. “

  11. vikingspride says: Jun 28, 2014 11:07 PM

    It will be hard to find a kicker as good as Hanson was. The kickers coming out of college today are unbelievable but finding a kicker that will have the long term success that Hanson had may prove to be impossible.

  12. garrison1981 says: Jun 29, 2014 2:33 AM

    His name is Justin Tucker. Freese will get the job.

  13. freddiec8 says: Jun 29, 2014 9:13 AM

    We are talking about a kicker did you here me a kicker, score points and you dont have to worry about a kicker

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