“Mason Crosby is competing for a job on our football team, like everyone else. He definitely didn’t take a step in the right direction with his performance. That’s what Family Night’s for. He’ll be evaluated. He’s definitely got to do better than that because that’s not going to cut it.” Mike McCarthy
If you’re name is Mason Crosby, you just got put on notice by your boss.
Following a 3/8 performance during the Packers annual Family Night Scrimmage, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy came perhaps the closest he has ever come to calling out a player for poor performance. And for good reason.
Crosby’s 2012 season was one to forget. A 63.6% success rate for the season does not begin to tell the story about how bad Crosby was in 2012.
He went through a stretch where he went 7/15 during the middle of the season.
He was passed over for field goal attempts on multiple occasions.
Granted, he seemed to have straightened his act out by the end of the season, going 6/6 over the final two regular season games and two playoff games, but the Crosby who kicked at an 85.7 clip in 2011 was gone.
Something got to Crosby during 2012. Perhaps it was living up to the five year contract Crosby signed in the 2011 off season and the pressure that goes along with being one of the highest paid kickers in the NFL. Or maybe he just forgot how to kick in high pressure situations-like NFL games.
Whatever the case, the Packers could not just sit around and hope that the 2011 version showed up again. By signing former 49ers camp leg Giorgio Tavecchio and keeping him around for the entire off season, the brass of the Packers was sending Crosby a message-he has to earn his job this year.
So how does Crosby respond to this pressure? By going 3/8 during his first performance under the lights at Lambeau Field during 2013.
Think about that for a minute: Crosby went 3/8 facing minimal pressure during a scrimmage in front of nothing but Packer fans.
If ever there was a time for Crosby to regain confidence from his coaches and the fans, Family Night was it. And he turned in a pathetic excuse of a performance for a professional kicker.
McCarthy’s comments about Crosby not cutting it were an understatement. If it was in McCarthy’s make up, he might have said Crosby absolutely sucked during Family Night.
Whatever was floating around inside Crosby’s head during 2012 is clearly still there. He simply cannot kick with any sort of confidence any more. His leg may be strong, but being able to kick a ball 70 yards with no certainty where it will go is not acceptable.
Any advantage Crosby might have had as the incumbent evaporated in a span of 10 minutes last night. He is in serious trouble, and his time with the Packers is ticking away with every second.
Mason Crosby will not be cut today. Probably not tomorrow either. He has at least another six days of his career with the Packers, right up through the first preseason game against the Cardinals this Friday. But if Crosby has another performance like he did during Family Night, Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy should not think twice about handing the kicking duties to Tavecchio, at least for the time being.
It can’t get much worse than 63.6%, can it?
John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio. ---------------------
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.