Detroit Lions 2022 Training Camp Preview: Special Teams

Twentyman’s point of view: The Lions finished seventh overall in Rick Gosselin’s NFL Special Teams standings. They don’t really have a weakness in any special teams phase.

Third-year punter Fox, who has quickly become one of the best in the business, is leading the way for the Lions. Fox is having a historic career start. He boasts the highest gross and net averages in the NFL on a punter’s first 25, 50, 75 and 100 punts. Since his NFL debut in 2020, Fox has thrown 124 times while averaging 49.2 yards with a net average of 43.5 yards and a long punt of 70 yards. He is a weapon for the Lions and could soon benefit from a long-term contract extension here.

Special Teams Coordinator Dave Fipp has done a great job with this unit. From kick and punt to units of coverage and the return game, the Lions are above average in every category. It also stems in large part from the importance head coach Dan Campbell places on special teams play, something not all coaches do. The Lions spend a lot of time training on special teams.

The team re-signed wide receiver Kalif Raymond this offseason. Raymond caught 46 passes last season and he also finished fourth in the NFL with a punt return average of 11.2 yards per return. He is solid and reliable as a returner.

The Lions ranked seventh in the NFL in throwback average (24.4), with Godwin Igwebuike leading with an average of 24.9 yards on 28 returns. Igwebuike is back with the team in 2022, and his special teams prowess could give him the advantage in the last two running back spots.

All in all, a very good special teams unit from top to bottom.

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