Detroit Lions coach talks about confidence in K Riley Patterson
In the intense and precise world of NFL kicking, Riley Patterson of the Detroit Lions has come under the spotlight. This season, Patterson has missed two extra points, a fact that hasn't gone unnoticed by the team’s special teams coach, Dave Fipp. While acknowledging Patterson's 94% success rate, Fipp expressed a desire for perfection, though he realistically admitted that no kicker hits every single kick.
What Did Dave Fipp Say About Riley Patterson?
“He’s got two missed PAT’s all year, I think he’s sitting at 94 percent. I’d love to tell you he was 100, I think 94 is kind of around average,” said special teams coach Dave Fipp. “Not saying that’s good, not saying that’s what we’re shooting for, but ultimately there is some reality out there that you’d love all these guys to be perfect but all of them aren’t. But yeah, at the end of the day, we’re striving for better than that for sure.”
Additionally, the Lions’ strategy appears to be influenced by Patterson's perceived range limitations, as evidenced by the team opting for fourth-down attempts instead of long field goals.
“I would say there is. What is that number? But I do think there is a number of things that factor into it. In the last game, the ball was on the 35-yard line so it would be a 53-yard attempt from there. Outdoors, with some wind, it wasn’t bad but it was definitely a factor,” Fipp said. “It was cold, the ball didn’t travel as well. I don’t think either team was gonna attempt a field goal from that position on the field in just a normal situation, maybe at the end of a game where you’d need it, something like that it would be different.”
Fipp noted that several factors, including environmental conditions and game strategy, play a role in deciding whether to attempt long-range field goals. These decisions are not just a reflection of Patterson’s abilities but also an indicator of the evolving strategies in the league regarding field goal attempts.
“I would say, in general, with a long field goal, I think what you’re seeing around the league and certainly for us is a multitude of things that come into play. You’re talking about down, distance, the likelihood of making a field goal. Score of the game, time on the clock, opportunity to go for it and put six, seven or eight on the board versus three,” Fipp commented further. “I think there’s a lot more that’s going into that decision than ever. I think you’re seeing a lot of teams go for it more than ever, it’s taking some field goal attempts away and certainly some of those longer attempts. And then obviously your kicker factors into that too. Is this guy a great long-range kicker or not? That’s another strength and that factors into that.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Acknowledgment of Performance Limits: Detroit Lions' special teams coach Dave Fipp recognizes Riley Patterson's 94% success rate in kicking but also acknowledges the reality that no kicker is perfect, reflecting an understanding of the inherent challenges in achieving a 100% success rate.
- Strategic Decision-Making: The Lions' preference for opting for fourth-down plays over attempting long field goals suggests a tactical approach influenced by Patterson’s kicking range, environmental conditions, and game strategy.
- Comprehensive Factors in Play Calling: The decision-making process for field goal attempts involves multiple factors, including the kicker's range, game score, time on the clock, and environmental conditions.
The Bottom Line – A Game of Inches and Instincts
The Detroit Lions’ handling of Riley Patterson illustrates the intricate balance between player capabilities and game strategy. While Patterson's performance may not be flawless, Coach Fipp's confidence in him underscores an important aspect of team sports: trust and understanding between players and coaches.