Pete Dougherty and Aaron Nagler try to read the tea leaves on what Mike McCarthy's plans are for Aaron Rodgers and look at an embarrassing backup QB moment. (Aug. 16, 2017) USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
GREEN BAY - Kicker Mason Crosby made all six of his field-goal attempts during the Green Bay Packers' practice Wednesday. All six snaps came from veteran Brett Goode.
Coincidence? Correlation? Only the people involved know the answers to those questions. But it goes without saying that Crosby is totally comfortable with Goode as the triggerman on field goals, especially with Goode’s ability to put the laces in the right spot on nearly every snap.
That has been a problem area for long snapper Derek Hart and punter/holder Justin Vogel in camp.
“We had a few lace issues, laces inside, and I had some balls that just kind of jumped left on me,” Crosby said last week. “And that will tend to happen if the laces get thrown inside like that. Those are just little things that we’ve got to rep out and make sure that everything is in sync and we approach it the right way and we’re better on tomorrow’s practice and as we move into the game.”
Goode, on the other hand, snaps the ball in a way that allows the holder to simply catch it and place it on the ground. The laces are already in the correct spot for the majority of snaps. Crosby said it’s a unique skill that not every snapper can manage.
“I didn’t know he said that,” Goode said with a modest smile.
So how is it done?
“I don’t know,” Goode said. “I don’t know the answer to that. I just know I’m still working it. I’m still not happy with some of them, still trying to perfect it to get even better.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m perfect at it. There’s still constant work that I try to do every day. I don’t even know the time frame (of when I learned to do it). It was just one of those things where just a lot of practice and repetition, repetition, repetition.
“Once you can throw like a really good ball that’s consistent, then you can practice on doing other things to make it where you get the laces consistent.”
Mastermind: When outside linebacker Clay Matthews whiffed on an opportunity to sack Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz in the exhibition opener, the play devolved into one of the ugliest highlights a defense can imagine: Star pass rusher misses sack, rookie second-round pick (Kevin King) gets stiff-armed to the ground, No. 2 corner (Quinten Rollins) suffers the same fate as King and wide receiver Mack Hollins winds up in the end zone.
But Matthews had another take on the situation, one that was equal parts sarcastic and quick-witted. He exonerated himself for missing the tackle because it was all part of a lengthy plan to transfer the Packers’ scramble drills from the practice field to an actual game.
“No, see, I did that on purpose because we work on scramble drills and (quarterback Aaron Rodgers) does it all the time,” Matthews said jokingly Wednesday. “And I just, I wanted to let the guys get a look at it, and unfortunately we just weren’t ready for it. I mean, that’s my bad I guess.
“Nah, it’s true though. We talk about tackling a doughnut (in practice) is different versus tackling a quarterback. But come Week 1 I’ll make sure I can get quarterbacks down.”
Streak snapped: It took 11 practices, but someone finally intercepted quarterback Taysom Hill during team reps.
Hill, an undrafted free agent from Brigham Young, receives the fewest snaps of any quarterback, which certainly played a role in his impressive streak. But he was also playing well and caught the eyes of the coaches against the Eagles.
“I think he did some really good things in the fourth quarter,” coach Mike McCarthy said.
But Wednesday was a bit more problematic, and Hill finally joined his three counterparts — Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley, Joe Callahan — in the interception department.
Inside linebacker Cody Heiman caught a tipped ball in the end zone during a red-zone drill late in practice. Then, a few minutes later, Hill had another pass tipped by Kevin King. It fell directly into the arms of inside linebacker Jordan Tripp.
So far, the unofficial interception totals during team reps are as follows: Hundley with four (plus a fifth against the Eagles), Rodgers with two, Callahan with two and Hill with two.