According to an Italian Web site and a tweet from current Packer Jeremy Ross, the Packers have signed former Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio. The left-footed Tavecchio was in camp with the 49ers last year, but was cut in favor of David Akers. Additional sources have reported the same news.
As a California Golden Bear, Tavechhio made 48 of 64 field goals (75%) and also missed 9 extra points (six in his Senior year).
According to the article (I can read Italian, but you can use google translate), Giorgo got a call from the Packers a week ago and went to Lambeau Field for a workout. He impressed there and then participated in what was described as a “Pro day” in Boca Raton (could have been the FAU Pro Day on March 19th?). He said he didn’t have his best day there, but still received positive comments from NFL coaches and scouts in attendance.
Tavecchio, born in Milan, Italy, claims to have signed a three-year contract, but tells his interviewer how there are no guarantees and he could easily be cut. He vows to give his all and ends the interview with a “Go Packers!”
My Reaction: In a word, disappointment. I’ve been waiting (and screaming) the last five years for the Packers to bring in some competition for Mason Crosby. Now that they finally bite the bullet and do so, it’s not exactly what I had in mind.
The overly cynical part of me wonders if this move is just a thinly veiled attempt to make Crosby look better in camp by comparison. My hope this year was that they would bring in a kicker with a real chance of winning the job, perhaps someone like Phil Dawson, who the 49ers just signed to replace David Akers. Dawson made the Pro Bowl in 2012 after hitting on 93.5% of his field goal attempts, including 7 of 7 from 50+ yards (7 of 8 the year before). Dawson signed a one-year contract for less than what Crosby makes.
But I digress. We all know that wasn’t going to happen. Still, Tavecchio was the best Ted Thompson could find? Hopefully, my pessimism is mis-placed and since being cut last year in the 49ers camp, he’s worked on his game and ironed out his past issues. He does look decent in the video below, taken back in January.
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.