Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Crosby takes Round 2 of kicking competition

Aug. 1, 2013
 
Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby during training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field on Thursday. Lukas Keapproth/Press Gazette Media
Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby during training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field on Thursday. Lukas Keapproth/Press Gazette Media

As much as Mason Crosby is competing with Giorgio Tavecchio for the Green Bay Packers’ kicking job, the biggest factor in whether Crosby will be back for a seventh season with the team largely remains himself.

During Thursday’s practice, there wasn’t much to fault the 28-year-old kicker for as he blasted five attempts through the north-end uprights of Ray Nitschke Field from 33, 37, 43, 47 and 51 yards during field-goal team drills.

Solid trajectory on each of his makes reenforced the notion that Crosby’s play throughout training camp likely will have more say in if he stays than the 23-year-old Tavecchio, a street free agent signed in April whom Mike McCarthy mistakenly referred to as “Sergio” during his post-practice news conference.

Crosby looked shaky the first time the two alternated kicks last Friday, going 4-for-6 with misses from 50 and 53, but said a solid week leading up to Thursday’s practice buoyed his effort, which trumped Tavecchio’s 5-for-6 with a miss-and-make from 51.

“That was a very positive thing with today,” said Crosby, who’s facing his first competition for the job since his rookie year in 2007. “I hit five really good balls there. I think my biggest thing is carrying over my process, everything I did on Tuesday that I worked on and brought it into the session today. That was really important for me.”

Through a week of training camp, Tavecchio has proven he’s no slouch — he’s made 10-of-12 kicks in camp while displaying plenty of leg — but appears in the rearview of Crosby on kickoffs.

That’s not a total deal breaker as punter Tim Masthay is proficient in that capacity and could handle that role should Tavecchio beat out Crosby for the duties, but a noticeable difference between the trajectories of the two players’ kicks also plays a factor.

“I thought they both kicked a lot better today,” McCarthy said. “I thought, obviously Mason kicked with excellent accuracy but the height of the football is where it needs to be. I thought Sergio made his kicks, but he doesn’t have quite the lift that Mason has. It’s going to be a good battle. We’re going to feature those guys on (Saturday) night like we did years ago with Mason and Dave. It’ll be a similar format.”

Tavecchio didn’t read too much into McCarthy mispronouncing his name, but said he spent the months leading up to the training camp battle working on his kickoffs.

“I know I haven’t had too much to do with placement of the ball these past couple years, so these past couple months I’ve been working on really pinpointing where the ball is going to be placed because I know it helps the coverage team a lot,” Tavecchio said. “That’s been something I’ve been working on. I don’t think I got as much of the two balls that we kicked yesterday or the day before, I didn’t quite get as much of a drive on them as much as I got hang time and placement. Continuously working on that and once day at a time I guess.”

During Saturday night’s annual Family Night intra-squad scrimmage, it’ll be the first time either kicker has attempted a field goal inside Lambeau Field since the south end-zone expansion recently wrapped up and could play a role in wind currents on the field.

About this blog

Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
576 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1017 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports

ORDER YOURS

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports