With Ritchie Leone heading to the NFL the Lions have their work cut out for them for the 2017 season in the kicking department. I thought Leone was great at punting but when it came to FG kicking he just couldn't cut it. He was inconsistent and often left me biting my nails whether he'd be able to put it between the uprights, even from 35 yards out which for place kickers is routine. To Leone's credit he did kick a 56 yarder during the 2015 regular season which set a Lions club record and got fans in BC Place standing on their feet! That is no small feat. [no pun intended]
A lot of teams over the past few years have shown interest in Leone's ability to punt but he was always beaten out by someone just a little better. It will be interesting to see how long he survives in the NFL. Who knows, we might see him back sooner than later.
Paul McCallum, who was resurrected from retirement is 47 years old. Some of you will remember McCallum was brought in near the end of the 2016 season because Leone was having difficulty finding his target.
I cannot see McCallum coming back in 2017 but stranger things have happened. If he does it will only be until the Lions have found what they're looking for.
Reliable kicking is a must for any CFL team. Games have been lost when teams have had to settle for 2 points when they could have had 6 with a couple of successful FGs. Great punting can give a team a clear advantage when stuck deep in their own end or when they're trying to pin the opposition deep in its own end. Leone was excellent at pushing a team back. It is too bad he was not a better place kicker but then again he obviously had other plans.
It will be interesting to see how things develop in the 2017 season.