The Detroit Lions made some early offseason news when they signed Norwegian kicker Havard Rugland to a contract, despite his lack of football experience. Rugland, who is better known as “Kickalicious” from his sensational trick shot video on YouTube, has never played football before, so there is plenty of attention on him at the team’s rookie camp.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was asked about Rugland’s first football practice and there is no doubt that the coaching staff is starting from the very beginning.
Schwartz was asked what the first thing Rugland had to learn was and his answer was serious, but still hilarious.
“Putting a helmet on,” Schwartz said, via the Lions official website. “Didn’t really get that whole thing. I actually asked him out there, ‘Is this the first time you’ve had a helmet on,’ and he said, ‘Yeah.’ So, you’ve got to start there.”
Rugland may be able to make some trick shots in his videos, but there is still a lot of work for him to do if he hopes to have a chance at making the Lions final roster, which is clearly a long shot.
“You know, he’s kicked the ball his whole life but it’s different,” Schwartz said. “There’s a snapper, there’s a holder, and there are 10 other guys on the field. It’s not an individual sport. As much as the technique and everything else is individual, you’re relying on a lot of different guys. So, this was his first taste of that. We didn’t really do any kicking today, but as we go that will be. But he’s never put a pair of football pants on. When we make thigh pads and knee pads mandatory, he’s not going to know which one’s which and where they go without some direction.”
Rugland is certainly starting from square one, but there will be many hoping that he gets a shot.
His trick shot video was enough to get him attention and now he will have to put in the work to show his leg strength and accuracy can transition to the professional game.
Personally, I am rooting for Rugland.
I would show up very early to games just to watch Rugland go out on the field and put on some fascinating warm ups.