Morning Roar: Tavecchio stays focused

DETROIT -- Giorgio Tavecchio had to remain focused, even if he saw his teammates turn the ball over in the red zone late Saturday night.

The Detroit Lions' kicker knew there was still a chance, even if he hadn't attempted a field goal or extra point against Cleveland to that point -- something that could be viewed as a detriment when you're competing for a job. Still, Tavecchio knew there was a chance.

Then the Lions' defense forced Cleveland to punt. And Kellen Moore found Corey Fuller in the end zone for a touchdown. All of a sudden, Tavecchio was needed on the field, one long extra point away from a win.

"How the game goes is out of my control," Tavecchio said. "I made it a point to tell myself, I think it was at 2 minutes, 41 seconds left, there was a change of possession so I said, 'You know what, stay focused. You owe it to yourself, to your teammates for all the hard work you put in.'

"Stay focused for the next 2 minutes, 41 seconds and then you can relax because it had been kind of an up-and-down rollercoaster because you get in range and then you get out of range. You're just kind of sitting there waiting, about to pull the trigger and it doesn't work out like you planned."

Not quite, but it still gave Tavecchio a shot to show he can kick in a game and make a kick under pressure -- as he did with the 33-yard extra point to give the Lions a 13-12 win against the Browns.

Tavecchio is in an interesting spot now. Nate Freese, the rookie he is competing with, has settled down after a rough start to training camp and made two field goals Saturday as the No. 1 kicker. And for a while, through no fault of his own, it looked like he wouldn't get a chance to make any counterargument in the competition.

Then Detroit scored and Tavecchio, theoretically, won the game.

"I feel very fortunate to have that last chance to put the little chocolate sprinkles on top of the tiramisu," Tavecchio said. "And the last point of the game. Cherry on top for apple pie. For tiramisu, you have to do a little chocolate shavings on top."

Whatever the topping, Tavecchio is glad he got his chance to perform.

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