Lions still mulling options at kicker

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Jim Caldwell didn’t want to make any rash decisions Sunday after Nate Freese missed two field goals in Detroit’s loss to Carolina.

A day later, though, Caldwell didn’t give Freese a ringing endorsement, either.

“We’re still discussing, talking, looking at different options,” Caldwell said Monday. “I still believe this young man is going to be a fine kicker in this league. I don’t think there is any question about that.

“We’ll see how it goes here but I still believe, you look at him, he had three kicks of 50 yards plus in the preseason, so you know he can get it out there. Sometimes guys just have a bad day, but we’ll look at that.”

Caldwell declined to say whether the team will audition kickers this week. Among the available kickers are the player Freese beat out during training camp, Giorgio Tavecchio, and veterans Jay Feely and Rob Bironas. Feely was cut by Arizona during the preseason and Bironas was released by Tennessee in March.

As far as Freese having a bad day, these types of struggles have not been new for him. He has not made a field goal this season over 30 yards – he’s 0 of 3 including two misses from 49 yards on Sunday – and had some consistency issues during training camp as well.

As the Lions decide what to do with Freese, they are also working on trying to figure out what his struggles are.

“We don’t analyze it any differently than any other position when you have some mistakes and problems you need to get corrected,” Caldwell said. “We try to look at those from a technical standpoint. We try to look at all the variables just to make sure we narrow it down and see if we can solve the problem.

“Take a look at what the problem was, what caused the problem and how do we go about correcting it.”