Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 7/22/12
This is the10th in a series of 13 previews leading up to the Green Bay Packers' July 26 start of camp. July 10: Quarterbacks July 11: Running backs July 12: Wide receivers July 13: Tight ends July 16: Offensive linemen July 17: Defensive linemen July 18: Linebackers July 19: Safeties July 20: Cornerbacks July 23: Specialists July 24: Coaches July 25: 5 things to accomplish in camp July 26: Fans' guide to camp TODAY'S POSITION: SPECIALISTS Rating (1-to-10 scale): 8 Projected starters: kicker Mason Crosby (sixth season), long snapper Brett Goode (fifth season), punter Tim Masthay (third season), kick and punt returner Randall Cobb (second season) The breakdown: When it comes to the Packers' specialists, the team is set up nicely for the 2012 season, and likely for many seasons to come. Crosby is coming off his best season in his five-year NFL career, connecting on 24 of his 28 field goal attempts (85.7 percent). Crosby didn't miss his first field goal until Week 11 after making his first 16 tries early in the season. Considering the wind gusts that can swirl around Lambeau Field, especially late in the season, Crosby handles it well. At age 27, Crosby's right leg appears to be getting stronger every year, adding a 58-yard field goal last season, which is the longest in Packers history. Cobb exploded onto the scene as the Packers' kick and punt returner in his rookie season. In his first NFL game, the season-opener against the New Orleans Saints, Cobb returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown. Cobb also returned a punt for a touchdown midway through the season against the Minnesota Vikings. Overall, Cobb proved to be the game-changing, dynamic, speedy returner that the Packers had been lacking in recent seasons. At the moment, with Green Bay loaded at wide receiver, Cobb may not get a lot of opportunities in the passing game yet. But he can still make an impact in every game as a return specialist, and based on what Cobb showed last season, he can be counted on for at least a couple touchdowns in that role. Goode has been super dependable as the team's long snapper, holding down that spot for the past four seasons. Masthay improved in 2011, his second year in the NFL. He set all-time team records for gross yards (45.6) and net yards average (38.6). He was solid at getting the ball downed inside the 20-yard line and had good hang time to help prevent much alone time and open space for the opposing team's returner. The Packers are young and talented throughout each of these positions. It's a very impressive group that should be set up for a very good 2012 season. Ranking against the rest of the NFC North: 1. Bears; 2. Packers; 3. Vikings; 4. Lions. Chicago has Devin Hester, who is still one of the most dynamic returners in the NFL. But Hester will be turning 30 midway through this season, so it remains to be seen how much longer he's the type of player that needs to be avoided in the return game. The Bears also have kicker Robbie Gould, who was 6-for-6 in field goals of 50-plus yards last season, and missed only four of his 32 kicks all year. Minnesota released veteran kicker Ryan Longwell to give the job to rookie Blair Walsh. Percy Harvin is a dangerous kick returner, but split those opportunities with Lorenzo Booker and punt returner Marcus Sherels last season. Detroit's returner, Stefan Logan, now at age 31, was not a threat last season. Plus, the Lions are still hanging onto 42-year-old kicker, Jason Hanson. When Hanson began kicking for Detroit in 1992, Cobb was two years old. Crosby says: "Now I set a benchmark of where I want to be, in the mid-80s percentage-wise, in that range. I was able to capitalize on long field goals, and that's a huge part of it, too. We try a lot of long field goals, so if I'm making those, my percentage will be higher and where it needs to be. So I have to keep getting those to fall." Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Chris Paul, Spurs may have ‘mutual interest’ in deal

Antonio Brown tweets great reaction to relaxed celebration rules

Report: Timberwolves interested in signing Derrick Rose

Report: NFL teams raising ‘concerns’ over games in London

Doctors unsure whether Isaiah Thomas needs hip surgery

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBA will bring All-Star Game back to Charlotte in 2019

Chelsea cancels Premier League victory parade amid Manchester attack

Rob Gronkowski on field for start of OTAs

Report: Myles Garrett sidelined with minor injury at OTAs

Homer Simpson to be inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Richard Jefferson says LeBron James was ill during Game 3

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker