How to Fix Packers Kicker Mason Crosby

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Packers K Mason Crosby
Packers K Mason Crosby needed a hug after Sunday’s game against the Lions (photo from JSOnline.com)

Everyone is yelling and screaming about Packers kicker Mason Crosby and it’s making my head hurt.

Stop yelling and screaming. Ryan Longwell ain’t walking through that door anytime soon.

If a quarterback continually misses passes or a linebacker can’t make a tackle, we can usually point to a reason why these things keep happening. Maybe the quarterback isn’t stepping into his throws or the linebacker can’t get off a block.

When a kicker goes haywire, all we can do is yell and scream at him. Nobody really knows enough about kicking technique to break down the film and say that Crosby’s big toe is angled too far to the left, causing his kicks to sail wide.

And even though most fans think they’re psychologists with a PhD from Harvard with the ability to diagnose what’s giong on in a kicker’s head, most fans arent psychologists wtih a PhD from Harvard and have no clue what’s going on inside a kicker’s head.

So how do you fix Crosby? I don’t know. I just titled this post “How to Fix Packers Kicker Mason Crosby” to get more people to click on it. If I actually had the answer to this question, I wouldn’t be writing on a fan blog. I’d be getting paid to miraculously fix struggling kickers.

Like most Packers fans, I don’t know enough about kicking to breakdown his technique and I don’t know Crosby personally to get in his head and figure out what’s going on.

From my outsider’s perspective, this is how I view the Packers’ options:

  • Cut him. Besides a stretch last season, Crosby has never been a great kicker. The Packers could go ahead and cut him right now. If Ted Thompson felt there was another kicker sitting at home who could consistently drill a 40-yard field goal, Crosby would probably be gone. I think Thompson feels that Crosby is his best option at the moment and cutting him would be counterproductive.
  • Ride it out. Mike McCarthy and other players are treating this rough stretch as a slump. I don’t know if they actually believe that, but it’s what they’re saying. What else are they supposed to say? It wouldn’t do much good to call your kicker a bum and openly wish you had a different one. Perhaps Shawn Sloccum (or whoever knows about kicking form and technique) can continue working with Crosby to make technique corrections and hope this slump passes. I’d have more confidence in the riding it out option if Crosby had a track record as an upper-tier kicker before all of this started happening.
  • Competition. Letting Crosby “clear his head” hasn’t worked. Whatever technique corrections he’s made haven’t worked. Votes of confidence from the coach haven’t worked. Maybe it’s time to bring in another kicker to provide some competition. Crosby hasn’t done enough to have a monopoly on the kicking position. Competition is supposed to bring out the best in us, right? This is America, after all.

I vote for option 3. Crosby has a canon for a leg and I wouldn’t feel right cutting him loose just to bring in some guy off the street that probably has similar accuracy issues.

Riding it out hasn’t worked so far.

Bringing in another kicker makes the most sense. Maybe a little pressure from someone else will relieve some of the pressure that Crosby puts on himself and bring out the best in him. Or maybe the other kicker will be so impressive that they cut Crosby.

I don’t buy the argument that bringing in someone else will damage Crosby’s confidence even more. The Packers pay Crosby $15 million to kick a football. They’ve already showed they have plenty of confidence in him.

Competition is a good thing and typically brings out the best in people. It’s time to see if it can bring out the best in the Packers struggling kicker.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • frozentundra91

    I’d be very surprised if the Packers brought in another kicker and McCarthy said right after the game that Crosby is their guy.
    However, if he doesn’t improve I would think you have to address the issue. It’s not like this is the first time he has had his struggles. For as much money as he makes the Packers aren’t getting a very good return on their investment.
    Hopefully for the sake of this team he gets it together. I kind of feel bad for the guy, it seems like his confidence is about as good as Christian Ponder when he throws a pass longer than five yards.

    • Adam Czech

      Yeah, I don’t think we’ll be seeing another K come in this week, either….

  • Chad Lundberg

    There’s no immediate fix to the kicking problem. But I would like to see the Packers try out Nate Kaeding.

    Now look, I now he’s one of the biggest choking kickers in the NFL, but he would still be an upgrade over Mason Crosby. He has a lifetime kicking percentage of 87%.

    Just throwing that out there for anyone who might find that idea interesting.

  • Beep

    As an unlicensed and untrained sports pyschologist, I recommend that the Packers have Crosby kick blindfolded. He has to know the steps without looking, so this way its all on rhythm and timing lodged in the back of his brain. And then when he does miss, at least he doesn’t have to watch it do this weird fade left then abruptly slice right flight as it sails wide right.

    • Adam Czech

      Sounds good to me.

      Maybe when the Packers are up by four TDs on Sunday against the Giants, they can trot Crosby out there blindfolded for practice (and to get the Giants angry).

    • Art Rosen

      Blindfolded made me laugh. Who can ever forget Michael Jordan taking foul shots with his eyes closed and hitting both of them? I say we use a different psychology, one where he nutsack is taped with a wire hooked up to a car battery and a switch. If he misses a field goal or extra point, well, you all know the rest.

      • Pete Kliman

        Ha ha ha, what a sick mental picture you just put in my head.

        • Adam Czech

          Wouldn’t that mean Crosby has to kick FGs naked? Yuck.

          Gonna be some major shrinkage issues at Lambeau in January…..

    • big o

      This might be the answer, wasn’t it John Smolts (pitcher for Braves ) who had his pyschologist at every game, were he could see him in the stands, lets just fix a seat to that roaming field camera and get one for Crosby

  • ELo

    Damn straight. Putting aside the psychological aspects of what may be affecting his kicking, the fact is he isn’t getting it done. It will cost us down the stretch. Crosby looked lost yesterday. Bring someone competition in now.

  • Wagszilla

    As everyone and their brother has been saying, Crosby has looked “off” since Family Night.

    I thought it was an injury at first but his kickoffs have been solid so that can’t be it. I think it simply comes down to something psychological.

    Remember the 2010 Eagles playoff game? David Akers’ daughter was having some medical problems but one of the NFL’s best, most sure-footed kickers shanked at least 2 field goals in that game. Guess what? Packers won by 5.

    There’s the difference. Eventual Super Bowl or no Super Bowl. All on the foot of a kicker.

    This being said, “Option 3″ is the most sensible with an important alteration. This isn’t the preseason, we don’t need competition, we need immediate change in performance. So, I’d amend that to “bring someone in to kick field goals”. Crosby is good at kickoffs and a weapon at onsides kicks but when we need a big-time FG down the stretch you have to know you have someone you can rely on.

    • Adam Czech

      With the way injuries are going, can we give up the roster spot for a guy who just kicks FGs?

      • Wagszilla

        Valid point.

        I think the current idea (behind closed doors) is either let Crosby right the ship – he’s earned that much from his time in Green Bay or they’ll sign someone else before season’s end.

        • Ann

          If we cut every wide receiver that dropped a ball they wouldn’t have any and benched Aaron Rodger when he over throws Graham Harold would get some playing time. Every one goes through some kind of funk now and again. Be thankful it is now and not in the playoffs. And if you look at the tape after he missed the second one Greg Jennings came over and said something to him, pissed him off a bit, next one he hit.

          • PissedoffinAZ

            Looked more like Jennings was messing with him in a good way, trying to cheer him up.

  • Art Rosen

    Remember Super Bowl XXV Buffalo against the NY Giants? Scott Norwood’s 47 yard field goal atttempt was wide to the right. Shortly thereafter I understand Scott Norwood attempted suicide by putting a gun to his head. Fortunately, it too was wide to the right. :)

    • Pete Kliman

      You are on a roll !

      • Art Rosen

        thanks Pete, being a “fan” you can always find something funny in everything in sports.

  • JimR_in_DC

    I have nothing wise to offer on this subject. I just feel bad about Crosby’s recent performance, like everyone else here. Who’s available to come in? Any viable choices, or just wishful thinking? If I was in TT’s shoes, I wouldn’t even attempt to bring someone in unless they were very likely to provide a strong challenge to Crosby.

  • Big T

    If I know the coaching staff as well as I think I do, they will do absolutely nothing. They will wait until he loses a playoff game for us or prevents us from getting in the playoffs, then they will act…Lead from behind… Hell have Raji kick field goals anyone is better than air nuts right now…

    • Barutan Seijin

      Or put Crosby in as a back or on the OL…

  • mark gast

    Both Paul Hornung and Jerry Kramer kicked field goals for Lombardi’s Packers. Why not try Jeff Saturday or Donald Driver at kicking. Don Chandler won a playoff game in 1965 with a FG for the Packers in the fog at Lambeau that many think was wide. If the Packers need Crosby to kick a FG late better hope there is fog around the up
    around the goal posts.

  • Slim11

    As a formr college and high school kicker, I feel for Crosby right now. One thing I did was when I had a bad practice I’d do something for a day which had NOTHING to do with football. It usually worked and I was fine the next day.

    I’m more inclined to think this is in his head as we don’t know of any injuries. Several seasons back, GB changed the holder from Matt Flynn to Jeremy Kapinos. Sometimes, a change in holder is called for.

    The bottom line is something has to change. If he doesn’t improve soon, Crosby’s departure from the Packers could be that change!

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      I agree completely that the problem is now in his head… Probably over-thinking every kick…

  • http://TalkinPackers Yoop

    Can Cobb kick? He does everything else! I know he can hold for field goals!

  • Dan

    Sign Jon Stenerud

    The Bears are getting dismantled by the niners, I wish cutler was playing, I love watching him get drilled all game long. Love the way his face looks on the sidelines after his Oline gets ran over, love watching cutler getting buried under defenders.

    The Pack is no1 in the NFC central and a half game out of a first rd bye!

    PS.. do you think the niners would trade Olines with the Pack, straight up trade? Please

    • Mojo

      If you have time, tune in 670 The Score. Doug Buffone and Ed O’Bradovich are hilarious.

      • Steve Cheez

        I don’t know OB

  • Gary

    Sign Ryan Longwell as a kicking coach.

    • Mark gast

      Why not sign Chester Marcol?

  • MikeR

    Bring back Longwell…automatic from 40 yards

  • http://yahoo.com mark

    It is time to bring in a new kicker. Ryan Longwell is available.

  • Adam Czech

    Ryan Longwell is not the answer, folks. He can’t kickoff and I wouldn’t feel comfortable whenever he trots out there for anything longer than 40 yards.

  • Rob

    Crosby just needs a confidence boost. Remember in all of those old-time Hollywood movies, the thoroughbred horse needed a side kick companion to keep him settled. Perhaps that is as Crosby needs. I was thinking along the lines of Francis the Talking Mule. Companionship, good conversation, and in a pinch, the mule could do the kicking.

    • big O

      You know I really think Crosby can kick it as far as Francis!! but not even close to as accurate!!

  • Mike

    Nate Kaeding…most accurate kicker in the history of the sport is available no?

    • Chad Lundberg

      That’s what I said. I got two dislikes for it. For whatever reason…

      The guy has a 87% kicking completion. Yeah, he’s a choker, but so is Crosby so we won’t be losing anything at all.

      And if Kaeding were to turn his career around in the clutch with the Packers, it wouldn’t be the first time a player has done that.

  • bigbill992001

    Are we sure Crosby is kicking with the LACES OUT?

  • http://www.bekawatts.com Beka

    Thank you for not reverting to the fan favorites, “I could kick it better,” and/or “If we only had (fill in the blank comparable kicker who is probably not much better than the current kicker).” I really appreciated your level-headed analysis, and totally agree. Bring in a little competition sooner rather than later. I’d hate to be crossing my fingers in January if it all comes down to a kick…

  • Cindy

    I vote option 3….I hope whatever is going on he gets his groove back on o.O