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Cory's Corner: Mason Crosby feels QB pressure

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Cory's Corner: Mason Crosby feels QB pressure

Usually the player that gets the bulk of the criticism falls at the lap of Aaron Rodgers.

Mason Crosby is experiencing what Rodgers goes through when everything appears to be on point, but it turns out that a receiver ran the wrong route or a blitzing linebacker wasn’t accounted for — causing the whole play to disintegrate.

“It takes some work. It takes some time,” said Crosby, who owns an 86 percent field goal percentage over the last two seasons. “Justin (Vogel) and Derek (Hart) have to get in synch with their stuff. Then I just have to trust and go.”

The reason why this is an issue is because Crosby missed six of 11 field goals to close the annual Family Night on Saturday. It left Lambeau Field wondering what was wrong when Crosby had a lot of play on his ball from over 30 yards.

“That’s the great thing about having a deal like Family Night,” said Packers special teams coach Ron Zook. “You’re out there in front of 80,000 people. Believe it or not, everybody’s kind of amped up a little bit, things change. One of the things Derek said was, ‘I wish we could do this more often.’ I said, well you’ll get your chance Thursday. We’ll do it again.  And I think that’s probably why other teams practice against each other during camp.”

The rub in this equation is that the holder and long-snapper are rookies. Crosby had long-snapper Brett Goode for the last nine years. You cannot put a value on what Frank Winters meant to Brett Favre, not because of his blocking ability, but because of what he meant to his quarterback. For 11 years, Favre always knew where the ball was going to be. That’s so incredibly huge in a sport that values each second. If Favre had to reach or pick up the ball off the ground a couple times a game, his career arc may have been altered.

Obviously Crosby is a pro’s pro. He turns 33 a week before the season opener vs. Seattle. He’s not going to throw anyone under the bus, but it has to bother him mainly because he knows that people will be quick to blame him for the result rather than looking at the entire operation.

“We all have to better than that, regardless of where the laces are, what not,” Crosby said, who was six-for-eight from 40-plus yards last year. Got to try to knock it through.”

Goode is still available for the Packers to sign, but I don’t see the Packers bringing him into the fold unless this inconsistency continues two or three games into the preseason. And if that happens, you can bet that Zook’s seat will become awfully warm given the high expectations the Packers will have to navigate through. They are tied with Pittsburgh and Atlanta for fifth to win Super Bowl LII behind New England, Dallas, Seattle and Oakland according to Westgate Las Vegas Super Book.

“It’s a consistency thing on all of them,” Zook said, who is entering his third season as the lead man of the Packers’ special teams.



Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

carusotrap's picture

Well, the good news is, if we're spending this much time and effort going bat-crap crazy obsessive over one bad night by our veteran kicker, there must not be much else to worry about.

I know the media has to provide 24/7 content, but seriously. This is nothing. You want it to become something? You want to see Crosby really get into his own head? Keep doing stories and interviews and analysis.

marpag1's picture

I think you're missing the point that Corey is making right in the first sentence: "The player that gets the bulk of the criticism falls at the lap of Aaron Rodgers." So in other words, if Crosby starts getting criticized, he's gonna fall straight outta the sky and into ARod's crotch. A) AWKWARD!!!! and B) You don't think that's gonna hurt??

This is serious, dammit!

The TKstinator's picture

I hate it when plays disintegrate.

dobber's picture

I love it when a plan comes together.

Mojo's picture

"He’s not going to throw anyone under the bus, ..."

Uhmm ... stating; “Justin (Vogel) and Derek (Hart) have to get in synch with their stuff. Then I just have to trust and go.” is exactly throwing someone under the bus.

As I said yesterday there's precedence with this and Crosby. In 2012 he hit below 64% of his attempts with some incredibly bad looking knuckleballs and shanks. And who were his cohorts? None other than Goode and Masthay who were already in their third season working together. Somehow, even with Crosby's preferred LS and holder he put together one of the single worst seasons in recent memory.

We see it all the time in golf, a player laces drives down the middle of the fairway for months at a time, then some minor thing changes in their approach and the next thing you know they're in the thick stuff. There's a fine line to hitting the sweet spot combined with the right swing plane.

Unlike golf where the player has only himself to blame, NFL kickers have easy foils in the other two components.

I don't know if Hart and Vogel stink at what they do, but I get the feeling the kicker needs to take some culpability in the process too.

Finwiz's picture

Well I don't understand how he was 22 out of 23 to that point in practice, then all of a sudden misses 6 of 11 in a scrimmage. Don't they practice with line pressure and all, during the week? Perhaps the field was slippery due to rain? If he was missing in practice prior to family night, then I'd buy the "laces" theory, but this is looking like some sort of bad night on the part of the kicker, for whatever reason.

RCPackerFan's picture

Perhaps the Rookie snapper and holder were feeling the pressure of performing in front of 60,000 + people? I think Thursday night will be the big test. if they fail I think we will see some changes made.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I had copied that same line, Mojo, so I could paste it in the comments below. Heck, since I did it, here again is Crosby tossing teammates under the bus: “Justin (Vogel) and Derek (Hart) have to get in synch with their stuff. Then I just have to trust and go.”

LayingTheLawe's picture

I thought it was sort of throwing them under a minivan at least myself. It is only a practice after all and that's what practice is for - to get your stuff together.

But Crosbys misses on Family Night were not the duck hooks he snapped so regularly a few years back so I am willing to accept it is the placement that needs work and not his head. And I was one of the folks who didn't want hum cut a few years back - I wanted him boiled in oil and served as an hors d'oeuvres. So if he's won my trust back we can give a bit of time to see who's the problem here Or if there's even a problem.

cheesehead1's picture

It's only one poor kicking performance. Let's see how Crosby performs Thursday night. I'm still more concerned with our D.

Finwiz's picture

Yes, I agree with this. I'm really concerned we will see a repeat of prior years with this D. Preseason will tell if teams are rolling through us for big yardage, I think you can safely predict not much has changed. I mean where's the dominating pass rush going to come from? Without pass rush forget it with our DB's. Hopefully they can generate something with this hybrid concept, but I fear the great QB's will just find the hole in the seams of the zone that were vacated by the blitz pressure.

Finwiz's picture


Duke Divine's picture

Makin Crosby or Missin Crosby. Time will tell.

flackcatcher's picture

Rookies, only good thing about them is they become second year players.(Or get cut. whatever comes first)

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