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.——————
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .