Cory’s Corner: Competition will be good for Tim Masthay

Nothing says how much a player will keep his job like a little competition.

That’s exactly what happened when the Packers signed kicker Giorgio Tavecchio in 2013 to put some needed motivation in front of a struggling Mason Crosby.

Last season, punter Tim Masthay had one of his worst seasons as a Packer. Masthay, who’s entering his sixth season, had the highest touchback percentage (8.2) and the lowest number of punts inside the 20 (14) of his career. He also had a couple of punts blocked.

Now the Packers have brought in former Alabama punter Cody Mandell. The 23-year-old has limited NFL experience by only appearing in one preseason game for Dallas. But in his last season in Tuscaloosa in 2013 he averaged a solid 47.1 yards in only 39 punts. The high water mark for the 28-year-old Masthay was 45.6 in 2011.

Obviously Masthay is the favorite in a position like this. It’s going to take a super-human effort from Mandell to outperform Masthay, while giving the coaching staff a reason to think twice.

Masthay becomes a free agent in 2017. But Masthay won’t become a cap casualty because he’s owed the bargain-basement prices of $1.3 million this year and $1.5 million next year.

This is going to come down to what happens on the field, which is how both punters and the coaching staff wants it.

The Packers are a bounce away from capturing another Super Bowl title. The roster is solid on both sides of the ball. This team cannot afford the weak link to be a punter that gets his ball blocked or that cannot pin the offense deep in their own territory in a critical situation.

It’s only May, but decisions that are made now could impact the rest of the season.

Masthay hasn’t been pushed as a Packers punter since 2010. It’s human nature to get comfortable and content. And if he beats Mandell out, that will only skyrocket his confidence.

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Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn

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  • MT

    I don’t know what happened to Masthay last year. The first 8 games of the season was statistically his best stretch of his career with 47.0 yards a punt and was on pace to top his punts inside the 20. Last 8 games of the season he just nosedived. He had a second punt blocked in the Philly game in the 2nd half of the season. Maybe he just lost trust in ST blocking? After all, he had 2 punts blocked and saw a combined 5 FGs+XPs blocked as Crosby’s holder.

    • TedTomsin

      I don’t know what happened either MT. Usually when there’s a sharp drop in performance it’s probably a marital, relationship problem, death in the family etc. Whatever the hell it was I hope Mashtay has it all worked out now and he can get back to being an asset to the special teams. He made Slocum look great many times in years past.
      I do agree with the article. Bringing in competition is a good thing. He’s not worthy of not having any. Ray Guy? yes. Tim Mashtay… no.
      Ted

  • Mojo

    “The competition will be good for Tim Masthay” … unless the other guy takes his job.

  • Big T

    Masthay is a pedestrian punter. I hope he turns it around, but if not, no big woody.

    • Mike Sherman

      Was above pedestrian punter 2 years ago, below pedestrian punter last year. I do agree, not that big of a deal either way.