Stay Or Go: No Worries When It Comes To Special Teams

The Only Solid Position Group On The Team Again Is Special Teams

One thing Detroit is known for is having a great kicker and supporting cast. Detroit had Jason Hanson for 20 years, brought in David Akers for a year before having a mess that Matt Prater was able to clean up. Detroit isn’t known for their punters as much, but Sam Martin will make you know his name. Don’t forget about the only 0-16 team member still on the roster, long snapper Don Muhlbach. Detroit has a solid core, one that shouldn’t be questioned for their future.

Matt Prater

Another great year by Matt Prater. Going 31 for 36 on field goals, seven for seven when coming from 5o yards plus. Prater did struggle when it came to extra points still, missing two. Either way, Detroit should be happy to have this kicker on their special teams unit as the short span of having a kicker miss everything was long enough to deal with for many fans.

Decision: Stay

Sam Martin

New contract, same boot. Sam Martin had another good year punting for Detroit. He ended up third in the NFL in average yards per punt, with 48.5, only allowing three touchbacks and having 23 land inside the 20 yard line. It is simple with Martin on this one.

Decision: Stay

Don Muhlbach

The mule was considering retirement in 2015, but signed up for another year in 2016. With Detroit drafting long snapper Jimmy Landes in the 2016 draft, the writing was on the wall when it came for a replacement. Some even thought Muhlbach would lose his job then have no choice but to retire. Luckily Muhlbach won his job and had another great year. If he chooses to play another season, then keep him. If he decides to retire, then Detroit might be in trouble.

Decision: Stay

Jimmy Landes

This is where Detroit could have some problems. While Landes missed the entire season with a shoulder injury, he did get some reps in during training camp and preseason. He struggled at camp and had a bad snap during the preseason. Detroit might have to deal with him if Muhlbach retires, if he doesn’t then Detroit won’t cut Landes. He will simply be on the roster and once Muhlbach retires he will fight for the job, if Detroit signs anybody else to compete with him for it.

Decision: Stay

Possible Additions

  • Zak DeOssie
  • Jon Condo
  • Tanner Purdum
  • Brett Goode

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BKnappBlogs, find me on Reddit at /u/sportsguy4life and share your thoughts on the Detroit Lions subreddit.

Like this? Please click here and support our site via Patreon!
This content is for Patrons pledging $1 or more on Patreon

About the Author

Brandon Knapp

Brandon Knapp is a senior at Central Michigan University, majoring in Journalism, minoring in Sports Management. He was born and raised in the city of Marysville, MI. He also writes for and covers the Michigan Wolverines Football team (his other love). Brandon also enjoys watching the Detroit Red Wings, Pistons and Tigers.