Shawn Slocum doesn’t use any mental exercises or techniques to help his specialists move past a major mistake.
Instead, this week the Packers’ special teams coach has had Mason Crosby emphasizing kicking basics in practice after Crosby missed two field goals in the Packers’ loss at Indianapolis last week, including the potential game winner in the final seconds.
Those were Crosby’s only two misses (from 52 yards and 51 yards) this season in seven attempts. The missed game winner was a 51-yarder that he hit badly and duck hooked. Immediately after the game Crosby was unsure what went wrong, but after watching the game video, he and Slocum determined that Crosby’s steps were off on his approach, and his plant foot was too close to the ball.
“I just think it’s important to not overreact, but to make sure we’re addressing the fundamentals and really emphasize rhythm and tempo,” said Slocum. “In performing that particular skill, rhythm and tempo are very important. We train that way, and if you get out of rhythm or your tempo increases or decreases, you’re not synchronized in your movement. So if there’s a problem along those lines it’s important to go back and re-establish that fundamental rhythm.”
Immediately after the game, Crosby also said he thought something seemed “weird” about the snap and hold on the final kick, though he wasn’t sure what. The video showed both to be fine.
“I think it was more the rhythm-tempo in his plant which made it seem out of place,” Slocum said.
Slocum said Crosby has handle the miss "like a pro. He’s moved on and is excited about the next opportunity."