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Don't let the title of this slide fool you. I think Havard Rugland is a great option for the Lions, now and in the future. He's obviously younger than his competition David Akers, and his leg is stronger at this point in his career as well.
Although to Akers' credit, he did kick a 63-yard field goal last year in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers.
Rugland's leg strength has been on display in Allen Park as well. According to Mlive, he made all four of his attempts Monday, including a 58-yarder.
His performance so far is working in his favor, but Akers' performance is not. The 16-year veteran is finally healthy and is showing no signs of the inaccuracy problems that plagued him last season.
He hasn't missed a kick and on Tuesday he booted a 48-yarder.
Akers hasn't worked his way up to 58 yards yet, but as long as he's healthy and his accuracy continues, the Lions will opt to go with the proven veteran over the YouTube sensation.
Rugland's leg is impressive, but his technique is still inconsistent. That's something that comes with repetition and time, two things that he needs more of.
Jim Schwartz alluded to this when speaking with the Detroit News' Josh Katzenstein:
That’s going to be the thing with Rugland is not just hitting one 58-yarder. It’s being consistent over the course of time. Those are the things that you look for in a placekicker. He certainly has the talent to do it.
Schwartz is right, he does have the talent. He just won't be where the Lions need him to be by the time camp and the preseason are over.
Akers is there right now and has been for years. The Lions love his experience and barring an injury setback, he's the favorite.