When YouTube stardom translated into a pre-season with the Lions -- competing for a place with 38-year-old placekicker David Akers -- many wondered whether a Norwegian with no football experience could actually make it in the NFL.
He didn't do too badly. As the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday, Rugland made all three of his field goals during exhibition season and got a long with the rest of his teammates. He even make friends with his rival Akers.
“We became decent friends, so we’re definitely going to be keeping in contact with each other. He’s a great person, man. It’s a blessing to have him in my life," Akers said.
But coach Jim Schwartz wanted the consistency that comes with experience.
Like a lot of young kickers, he needs to work on consistency," Schwartz said. "That’s a lot of guys who have been released over the last few weeks is for the same thing. It’s not a matter of talent as much as consistency and things like that.
Rugland may not have made it with the Lions, but he could still have a shot in the NFL. As ESPN's Kevin Seifert writes, Rugland may have minimal professional experience, but he "has a genuinely strong leg."
“He had a good camp, but I think when it was all said and done [David] Akers was a clear-cut winner in that position,” Schwartz told the Detroit Free Press. “What the future holds, I don’t know."