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Crosby's aim: Think free, swing free

Jul. 28, 2013
 
Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby warms up during Sunday's training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field.
Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby warms up during Sunday's training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field. / H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette Media

If you hear Mason Crosby repeat one word this summer, it probably will be “free” – as in thinking free and swinging free.

Coming off the worst season of his six-year career, the last thing the Packers kicker wanted to do was make things more complicated. So he didn’t beat ball after ball. He didn’t dwell on the 12 misses in a 24-kick stretch late in the season.

“I just kept everything simple,” Crosby said today. “Just see the ball, see my target and hit it to that. I feel good about my mindset coming into camp here, and I just have to keep applying it every time I go out on the field.

“My mindset is just being free and swinging free and going through the ball and just allowing it to do what it does.”

But converting an NFL-low 63.6 percent of his field goals last season has put Crosby in a position he hasn’t been in since his rookie training camp in 2007. He now has competition, from first-year free agent Giorgio Tavecchio.

In only one field goal session so far, Tavecchio gained a slight edge. He went 5-for-6, while Crosby went 4-for-6 during a kicking period on the first day of camp. Crosby missed from 50 and 53, while Tavecchio missed from 53. Both also made 53-yarders.

Coach Mike McCarthy plans to kick them every other day, but today’s kickoff period counted for their most recent work. There was no field goal kicking in today’s practice.

“It’s nice how the camp sets up,” Crosby said. “It gives us every other day and in between we can work on stuff we need to and then go out and compete and have fun doing what we get to do.”

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