Detroit Lions coach divulges rationale for choosing Michael Badgley over Riley Patterson
The Detroit Lions recently faced a crucial decision in their special teams department, ultimately choosing Michael Badgley over Riley Patterson as their kicker for the upcoming games. This decision, as explained on Thursday by Lions special teams coordinator Dave Fipp, was based on consistent performance in practice rather than game situations alone. Badgley's superior accuracy during practice sessions tipped the scales in his favor.
What Did Dave Fipp Say?
Fipp emphasized that in a role like a kicker, where results are quantifiable through makes and misses, practice performance is a significant indicator of game-day success.
“It was clear at the end of the day that he was playing better,” Lions special teams coordinator Dave Fipp said Thursday. “My job is to really have the best interests of the whole team in mind, or the whole locker room and all those players sitting in that meeting, and it’s not just one person but it’s really I have a responsibility to be fair to all of them by playing whoever I think’s the best player. With a kicker it’s pretty clear, makes and misses and percentages. And I do think that practice matters and I do think that players trend towards what their practice stuff is.”
The Lions held a comprehensive kicking competition between Patterson and Badgley since early November, assessing each kicker's performance over several weeks, and Badgley demonstrated a higher accuracy rate in practice.
“They would each get roughly six kicks a day and we kicked them at least twice a week, so 12 kicks a week,” he said. “And over the course of six weeks, Badgley had been better and we didn’t want to rush to make that decision right away, we felt like he deserved as fair of an opportunity as we could have given him.”
Fipp clarified that the decision was not influenced by leg strength, as Badgley’s range is very comparable to Patterson's. Fipp expressed confidence in Badgley's approach, noting his mental steadiness and consistency in technique, regardless of the kick's distance.
“It was definitely tough, but ultimately it was fairly clear to all of us, I think,” he said. “The one thing I love about him is he’s going to swing at the ball the exact same way every time. It doesn’t matter if it's a 53-yarder or it's, whatever, a 22-yarder. He’s going to approach the ball the same way every single time. He’s very consistent and mentally he really doesn’t waver. Make, miss, he knows that he’s going to miss some. We all do. Obviously, we hope not very many, but he’s very, very flat-line.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Detroit Lions choose Michael Badgley over Riley Patterson based on practice performance.
- Badgley displayed superior accuracy in practice, leading to the decision.
- The decision centered on consistency and mental fortitude, not just leg strength.
The Bottom Line – Kicking with Confidence
The Detroit Lions’ decision to go with Michael Badgley as their kicker speaks volumes about their approach to team building and player evaluation. It highlights the importance they place on consistent performance, mental toughness, and the ability to replicate practice success in actual game scenarios. Badgley's appointment is a testament to the Lions' belief in the adage “practice like you play,” ensuring that every kick, regardless of its range, is approached with the same level of precision and confidence. As the Lions move forward, they do so with a kicker who embodies the qualities they value most, setting the stage for a season where every point counts.