Originally written on The Detroit Sports Site  |  Last updated 7/31/13
With training camp underway for the Detroit Lions and the preseason approaching, we’re putting some positional battles under the microscope with a series of Toss-ups … Training Camp Toss-up, No. 2: Who wins the battle to replace Jason Hanson at kicker, exicting Havard “Kickalicious” Rugland or veteran signee David Akers? Max DeMara: David Akers is the more steady, known commodity which makes him valuable to a team like Detroit which badly needs to make the playoffs. Rugland is more exciting and flashy what with his trick shots the likes of which have never been seen before, but the last time I checked, kicking remains straight ahead in games and there are no extra style points for difficulty. There’s no need for sideways field goals or drop kicks in the NFL, and though Rugland nailed a 58 yarder in practice, Akers still has him beaten in length with his 63 yarder in 2012. Besides, how would he look with the game on the line? Too risky a move. Chris Burke: David Akers. The Kickalicious saga is a fun one to follow, but my mind was made up as soon as Havard Rugland tweeted the other day that he was kicking in pads for the first time. He’s never seen a rush, never been in a game situation … the Lions will go with the veteran Akers. Andrew Tomlinson: Even though it may not be a popular choice, Kickalicious, could very well be the choice. He has a strong leg and it appears to be some accuracy, not only that though, he is young. David Akers is a little bit of an old man, something we saw last year with his inaccuracy and struggle with injury. Havard Rugland is younger and can project a little further than Akers, who very well may be in the final year of his career, putting the Lions right back in the same situation as they were when Jason Hanson retired.
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