Rookie Anders Carlson is the only kicker on the Green Bay Packers roster entering organized team activities
GREEN BAY – On the day their organized team activities got underway, the Green Bay Packers cleared their kicking job for sixth-round draft pick Anders Carlson to win.
The team announced Monday they signed running back Emanuel Wilson to their offseason roster. With the roster at capacity, they released kicker Patrick White to clear the spot. That leaves Carlson as the only kicker on the roster.
The Packers haven’t closed the door on reuniting with veteran Mason Crosby, but it’s clear their preference is for Carlson to win the kicking job this offseason, and continue the remarkable stability at that position enjoyed over the past three decades. Since 1989, when Chris Jacke started his eight-year career with the Packers, the team − with a one-year exception − has had only three kickers. Ryan Longwell replaced Jacke and Crosby replaced Longwell after nine seasons.
Special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia has known the Carlson family since his month spent as an assistant coach on Auburn’s staff in 2013. Bisaccia was quickly hired to be the Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator, but not before he had a recruiting visit with Daniel Carlson, Anders’ older brother who went on to kick for Auburn. Bisaccia later coached Daniel Carlson for four seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Bisaccia tracked Anders Carlson through his career at Auburn, derailed at times because of injuries, which the Packers believe were responsible for limiting his performance. He sees Anders Carlson as a young kicker with a lot of potential.
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“He had the ups and downs a little bit through college,” Bisaccia said, “but he’s been there six years. He stayed when he could’ve tried to come out. He’s had an ACL injury, he’s had a shoulder injury. And I know a lot of people just look at stats, and 71% coming out, but I look at really the makeup of the person. I think he’s a strong, mental-makeup person. I think he’s been his best regardless of the circumstance. He’s been in a lot of big games, he’s kicked in a lot of different situations in the SEC, he’s kicked in many bowl games.
“So I love his body structure and the power that he has and the ability to get stronger, and the ability to self-correct is a little bit of a family trait that we’re seeing from him. So we’re excited about where he’s going to go forward.”