July 30, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Lions camp observations: Kickers pound uprights as competition intensifies

Detroit — The competition will continue throughout training camp, but the Lions’ kickers had their most extensive work Wednesday night at Wayne State’s Tom Adams Field.

And Giorgio Tavecchio, who participated in camp with the 49ers in 2012 and the Packers last year, had a better night than Nate Freese, the Lions’ seventh-round pick.

Tavecchio made all of six of his field goals, including a 48-yarder in the two-minute drill. Freese went 4-for-6 after one of his 30-yard attempts was blocked and he missed his 48-yard try wide right.

Although this competition is truly head to head right now, neither kicker is thinking too intensely about the battle.

“I kind of look at it as a competition with myself,” Freese said. “If I’m happy with myself and I do what I know I can do, then I’ll be OK.”

Freese said he’s still adjusting to the timing with long snapper Don Muhlbach and holder Sam Martin, but that aspect is improving.

Tavecchio is also focused on his own game.

“I know it’s a cliché, but one day at a time,” he said. “Be as task oriented as possible, try to make every kick just another kick and enjoy the ride.”

The competition is far from over, but the Lions hope one of the two can be consistent after David Akers struggled in 2013.

Here are some other observations from Wednesday’s camp:

*Golden Tate displayed part of his game that made the Lions sign him. In a 7-on-7 drill, Tate caught a beautiful pass from Matthew Stafford between two defenders and ran upfield untouched. When he reached the red zone with defenders chasing him, Tate cut back to the other side, showing his knack for the big play.

*Second-year receiver Corey Fuller had the other big highlight as he high-pointed a deep pass and caught it over cornerback Cassius Vaughn along the sideline.

*Defensive end George Johnson continued to earn first-team reps and burst through the line on an 11-on-11 play that would’ve resulted in a tackle for loss.

*The players showed more intensity under the lights, and there was even a tackle when cornerback Mohammed Seisay took down tight end Jacob Maxwell.

*Corey Hilliard earned first-team snaps at right tackle while LaAdrian Waddle played left tackle for the second team.



Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio made 48-yarder during a two-minute drill Wednesday at Wayne State's Tom Adams Field. / Daniel Mears / Detroit News