Mason Crosby has been a star place kicker in Green Bay, but Coach McCarthy wants him “to compete” for the starting spot (Credit: AP Photo)
After dealing with three-hundred plus pound men driving through the line, doing everything in their power to prevent him from getting his kicks off, Mason Crosby is facing a new obstacle that he hasn’t faced in his six seasons and one-hundred and ninety-eight field goal attempts, 76.8% of which were made: competition for his job. According to ESPN.com, head coach Mike McCarthy is applying some pressure to his star kicker:
“I want him to compete,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “There’s no doubt about it. Last year’s performance definitely warrants competition. … Let’s be honest. Mason has to perform at a whole other level than he did last year. I believe he will. But this is what he needs. He needs competition just like all of us. Competition brings out the best of us, and I’m looking for him to make the most of it.”
Crosby did see a major decline in performance last season, especially in comparison to his spectacular play in 2011. Most notable among the tanking statistics are Crosby’s %FGM which dropped from 85.7% to 63.6% and his total points which went from 140, one short of his all-time best, to 113, one more than his all-time worst. These sharp decreases may be the result of any number of reasons such as the increase in the number of long (forty or more yard) field goals that he attempted last season as opposed to 2011 which were twenty-one and eight respectively or even factors out of anyone’s control such as weather and wind. Whatever the reason, Crosby is not letting last season get to him:
“I’m not thinking about last season anymore unless it comes up in these kinds of [media] settings,” Crosby said. “I’m drawing on positives and I’m focusing on what is ahead. … I’ve evaluated last season and moved on.”
If I were Crosby, I wouldn’t be all that concerned with last season either considering the “competition” McCarthy is bringing in: a 22-year-old Italian named Giorgio Tavecchio that has never even attempted an NFL kick. Moreover, Crosby is easily one of the best kickers in the NFL and a slump is nothing that is unheard of for even the best in the game. I expect that Crosby will keep his starting spot on the roster with relative ease, hopefully while simultaneously getting his game back to the level expected of him by himself, McCarthy and all Packers fans.
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