8

August

Debunking the Myths About Green Bay Packers Kicker Mason Crosby

Green Bay Packers Kicker Mason CrosbyMason Crosby is a below-average NFL kicker. If you disagree, please allow me to prove it to you.

I really didn’t want to write about Mason Crosby again. Most of you know how I feel and I’ve handled the topic before. I’ve railed on the Packers coddling of Crosby. I’ve presented some stats that questioned Crosby being rewarded with a 100% raise in 201o.

Yet, some of you still believe (or have convinced yourselves) that the Packers are lucky to have Crosby. You have a ready set of excuses.

  • He kicks in the cold weather.
  • He’s has to kick a lot of long field goals.
  • He went five for six during the Packers playoff run.
  • He does a great job with kickoffs.
  • He’s not great, but he’s an above-average NFL kicker.
  • There is nobody available that would be any better.

The first three of those statements are true but are not valid excuses, as I will show. The last three items are just outright untrue. If you believe them, you also believe in unicorns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows. I am going to dispel all of these myths with something that can not be disputed – cold hard facts.

I don’t dislike Mason Crosby – really, I don’t. I even gave him a “B” in our end-of-year player evaluations for 2010 (mostly because of his performance during the playoff run). But what I do dislike is the plethora of fans who pay no attention to the facts. They create their own reality and support their stance with throw-away one liners that have little substance.

So, consider this my “Mason Manifesto.” I am going to present to you the real facts and debunk each of those myths mentioned above.

First, some background facts:

Crosby’s overall field goal percentages from High School to the NFL:

HS Y4       63.6%
COL Y1    77.8%
COL Y2    82.6%
COL Y3    75.0%
COL Y4    67.9%
NFL Y1    79.5%
NFL Y2    79.4%
NFL Y3    75.0%
NFL Y4    78.6%

In the last four years, here’s how many NFL kickers (with 20 or more attempts) had a FG% of 80% or higher and where Crosby ranked overall.

2007    23   –  Crosby ranked 23rd of 28 kickers with 20 or more attempts (lower 19th percentile)
2008    25   -  Crosby ranked 26th of 29 kickers with 20 or more attempts (lower 11th percentile)
2009    18   - Crosby ranked 23rd of 28 kickers with 20 or more attempts (lower 17th percentile)
2010    17   –   Crosby ranked 19th of 25 kickers with 20 or more attempts (lower 24th percentile)

 

1. Mason Crosby Has to Kick in Cold Weather

Yes, he does. But so do other kickers. The argument goes that Crosby’s FG percentage would be higher if this weren’t the case. Well, of course, but is he the only kicker this applies to? Of course not. For a dose of reality, one would have to look at how he compares to other kickers that kick in cold weather. Well, allow me:

I chose teams from 9 other cold weather cities with dome-less stadiums (PHIL, NYJ, NYG, CHI, CLE, BUF, CIN, PIT, NE). Where did Crosby’s FG % rank when compared to these kickers?

2007: 9th out of 10
2008: 9th out of 10
2009: Tied for 9th/10th
2010: 6th out of 10

So, when compared to other kickers playing in cold weather, he still comes out near the bottom. We can now say, whatever the typical weather conditions, Crosby is ALWAYS near the bottom in FG %.

Bonus Fact: Last season, 4 of these cold-weather kickers had as many or more attempts from 50+ yards as Mason Crosby.

Another thing to consider: In how many games did Crosby really have to kick in cold weather? I went back and looked at the Packers schedule the last four years and games from mid-November on. Taking into account road games in domes and warm weather cities, Crosby did not have to kick in very many cold weather games at all:

2007 – 1
2008 – 2
2009 – 2
2010 – 3

So lets just put the whole cold weather theory where it belongs – buried under a big snowdrift.

 

Mason Crosby has to kick a lot of long field goals.

In the last four years, Crosby has taken 21 attempts from 50+ yards and made 10 of them. A respectable average from that distance, I would guess at first. Lets look at his numbers each season:

2007  - 3 of 5     7 other kickers with at least 5 attempts from 50+ yds    - Crosby tied tied for 3-4 position out of 8.
2008  - 3 of 6     6 other kickers with at least 6 attempts from 50+ yds    - Crosby tied for 5-6 position out of 7.
2009  - 2 of 6     4 other kickers with at least 6 attempts from 50+ yds    - Crosby was last out of 5.
2010  - 2 of 4     12 other kickers with at least 6 attempts from 50+ yds  - Crosby tied tied for 8-9-10 position out of 13.

So it seems that while Crosby does take a good number of attempts from 50+ yards, his success rate is not up to par compared to his peers. Sorry, but you can’t use this as an excuse when other players are doing the same thing Crosby is, but are just being more successful at it. Taking long kicks influences Crosby’s average not because he has to take them, but because he’s not that successful at it. The blame falls squarely on Crosby’s shoulders.

 

Mason Crosby does a very good job with kickoffs.

Lets look right at Crosby’s numbers and where he ranked: (Among kickers with at least 30 kickoff attempts)

2007 – 63.0 avg. Ranked 14th,   82.8% returned, Ranked 7th.
2008 – 63.7 avg. Ranked 21st,   78.3% returned, Ranked 8th.
2009 – 63.0 avg. Ranked 27th   81.9% returned, Ranked 16th.
2010 – 61.6 avg. Ranked 32nd   90.5% returned, Ranked 29th.

See a pattern here? Crosby has dropped in the rankings every season as compared to other NFL kickers.

Oh, you want to use the cold weather excuse here too? Let’s compare his kickoffs to other cold weather kickers:

2007 – 63.0 avg. Ranked 3rd of 10,   82.8% returned, Ranked 1st of 10.
2008 – 63.7 avg. Ranked 4th of 10,   78.3% returned, Ranked 1st of 10.
2009 – 63.0 avg. Ranked 9th of 10,   81.9% returned, Ranked 5th of 10.
2010 – 61.6 avg. Ranked 9th of 10,   90.5% returned, Ranked 9th of 10.

Same trend.

The only excuse Crosby apologists could try to use with regards to kickoffs is this one: In 2010, Crosby was asked to use more positional kicking techniques in certain games to help shrink the field against dangerous returners. Certainly, this affected his overall average. But even if we raise Crosby to a 63.0 average (same as in 2009), he would still rank in the 20s. Not the desired location for a “great”, “very good” or even “above average” kicker.

 

He’s not great, but he’s an above-average NFL kicker.

Well this one’s easy. If you’ve been following along, the numbers above are all you need to see. Crosby has never ranked in the upper half of field goal kickers. Never. In fact, he’s never been ranked higher than the lower 25%.

 

There is nobody available that would be any better than Mason Crosby.

I’ll tackle this one from two separate angles.

1) How do you know if you don’t look? The biggest problem I’ve had with the Packers’ handling of Mason Crosby is the coddling he has received. For the last three seasons, Crosby has had no competition in camp. It was his job. There were no other kickers brought in to give Crosby a little extra incentive. While I’m not saying that he did, Crosby could have just coasted through camp, without having to work extra hard to ensure his job.

Plenty of NFL kickers have beat out the incumbents to win a job in training camp. The example most of you will know is Ryan Longwell. He was brought in as a training camp leg despite the Packers having used a 3rd round draft pick on Penn State’s Brett Conway. When Conway struggled, Longwell stole the job away.

The NFL is all about competition for jobs. Every player knows that. Why should kicker be any different? And what exactly about the stats above would make you want to hand Crosby the job and not have a fall-back option? This might be the only thing about Ted Thompson’s regime that I just don’t understand.

2) When your kicker is always ranked in the bottom 25% of the league, there are ALWAYS better options. Looking at the last two seasons, there were two free agents that would have been a certain upgrade over Crosby:

2010,  Jay Feely, 82.3% lifetime average, kicked 88.9% in 2010 season
2010, Shayne Graham, 86% lifetime average, kicked 100% in 2010 season (12 for 12 in 8 games)
2009, Rob Bironis, 85.6% lifetime average, kicked 84.4% in 2009
2009, Shayne Graham, 86% lifetime average, kicked 82.1% in 2009 season

At the time, I rationalized Thompson’s lack of interest to his not wanting to spend much money at the kicker position (I guess that’s out the window now). He was certainly looking to save that money to help re-sign some of the Packers’ own players. And I didn’t have a problem with that. I never really expected Thompson to sign a free agent kicker. But don’t say there were no better options -there were.

 

Crosby went five for six during the Packers playoff run.

Yes he sure did.  First of all, does six games a career make? Do we throw out his past history and base everything on his last six games? No you don’t, although I know some of you are. So lets take this a step further. Let’s take a closer look at those six attempts:

vs. NY Giants: Crosby make a 31-yarder in the third quarter with the Packers ahead by a touchdown.
vs. Chicago: Crosby makes a 23 yd. chip shot to tie the game at 3 in the third quarter.
vs. Philly: no attempts.
vs. Atlanta: Hits a 32-yarder, a 43-yarder and bonks the upright on a 50 yarder. All come in the meaningless 4th quarter after the Packers are already ahead 42-14.
vs. Chicago: no attempts.
vs. Pitt: Hits a 23 yd. chip shot to put the Packers up by 6.

Crosby took one field goal attempt in the playoffs that actually meant something. The longest kick he made during the final six games was 43 yards, and it was meaningless. The five field goals he made were from 23yds, 23yds, 32yds, 32yds and 43 yds. Three of those five were taken in a dome.

Does anyone find this impressive? He didn’t blow easy field goals, which is certainly a positive, but is this enough to hang your “Crosby is a good kicker” hat on? Hardly…

 

So, what is the end result of this analysis? Simple…

Mason Crosby has been a below-average NFL kicker for the last four seasons.

I don’t come to bury Mason Crosby, I merely would like to put an end to the polluted mindset that praises him without a real reason to do so.  If you like Crosby because he’s a good guy, that’s fine. If you like Crosby because he signed your favorite jersey (cough… Alex…cough…), well that’s fine also. But just don’t gloss over the truth and make up excuses for his performance. They don’t wash. The numbers above don’t lie.

The End.

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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.

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78 Responses to “Debunking the Myths About Green Bay Packers Kicker Mason Crosby”

  1. PackersRS says:

    Fantastic article. The only thing I don’t think tells the whole truth is to use kickoff average to determine he’s not a good kickoff kicker. Because those numbers also take into account the awful, awful ST unit we’ve had. So it would be better to look at it through touchback percentage. Which don’t help Crosby all that much. His better season was in 2008, when he was 8th in the league with 18.5%.

    Also, there’s another area which makes Crosby more valuable, his onside kick. In the last 2 seasons, 2 of his 4 attempts were recovered, 3 of 5 counting playoffs. Which is a great number.

    But I agree with the article. Crosby is not a good kicker. Management thinks he has the potential to be very good, and I’ve come to terms that he will be the Packers kicker for a while, but I don’t buy it anymore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      That’s why I gave you the % returned number. I would argue that Crosby’s tackling is a bigger plus than his onsides kick ability. Every kicker can do that. Not every kicker is a former safety in HS that can actually make a tackle.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      • PackersRS says:

        Didn’t notice it, my bad. Though, the focus on the paragraph was more about kickoff average.

        But, as I said, nitpicking on an overall solid, conclusive argument.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Adam Czech says:

    Preach Al, preach. I’ve always contended that FG% is random from year to to year. But Crosby seems to have been consistent throughout his career, consistently below average.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Give me an “Amen” and lets close the cover on this book…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • Arlan Beckman says:

      I read it Al and agree on some points but we could really start disecting all kinds of things. But go into history on yearly FG pct’s of Packer kickers. Using Crosbys lowest of 75.0 in 09/10 season. Since 1965 (random date I used)We have never had exceptional kicking. There has been only 16 seasons from 65-2010 of over that 75.0%. So again Crosby isn’t a big change for Packer kickers. We were spoiled during the Longwell era but even his last year at GB he was only 74.1%

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Zaphod Beeblebrox says:

    Let me ask this question… since the Packers are pretty much married to Crosby for at least the next 3 years (contractually), do you think there is room for improvement, or “he is what he is”? Remember how the Packers made a fundamental mistake in 2008, cutting Jon Ryan at the end of training camp? Seems that Ryan had a so-so 2008 for Seattle but improved significantly in 2009, after visiting a “kick doctor”. Wonder if Crosby spent some time in the offseason with one (with Slocum/McCarthy’s blessing – yeah, I know, fantasy time), if he wouldn’t see some improvement, particularly in the “left hash” issues. Otherwise, I guess we’re stuck with “Mason Crossbar”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      As I wrote in one of my previous articles, “And yet, Crosby has his defenders. Mason Crosby will be fine, I hear over and over. He just has to work on the mental side, just has to straighten out the hashmark issue, just needs a better holder, etc. My question for those people is, what evidence do you have that Mason Crosby is capable of being better than he has been? When has he shown that he can be an 85% kicker? NEVER, is the answer.”

      Throw in the fact that Slocum said last year he thinks it’s not necessary for Crosby to work with a kicking specialist, and you have little reason for optimism. Of course, that doesn’t mean Crosby couldn’t suddenly “find himself” in 2011…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. BC_Cab says:

    I have to argue with the premise of this article. I really don’t know anybody who thinks he’s a good kicker (other than Ted, I suppose). So, what myth are you proving wrong?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  5. BC_Cab says:

    I do all of the above and the general concessions I saw was: “I can’t believe the contract they gave Crosby! He’s a mediocre kicker at best!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Well then kudos to the fans you’re talking to. Through this blog and other outlets I’m involved with, I get exposed to a wide variety of fans. For every one that follows your “consensus”, there is one that blindly thinks the Packers couldn’t do better. This article is for them.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. BC_Cab says:

    “consensus” that is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. FireMMNow says:

    if you are not a career 80% kicker you are not good enough to kick in the NFL. I provided some of the statistics when the packers gave him an extension and it did seem to fall on deaf ears. maybe he will make a turnaround with a consistent holder in mashtay but we will see. once again, i cannot imagine that crosby is the only kicker who has switched holders. (another crosby apologist excuse)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  8. [...] relative worth of kicker Mason Crosby is examined in-depth by Al Bracco of AllGreenBayPackers.com. "I don’t come to bury Mason Crosby, [...]

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  9. Mojo says:

    Great work Al. I feel the same way you do about Crosby and now I have some numbers to work with to back it up. One thing you could have compared is how he fared against opposing kickers in the same game. After 4 NFL seasons that should have given you enough data. That way you can take the weather excuse out of the equation.

    I don’t think his leg strength is all that great either. I swear there were times he was blasting away (not trying strategic placement stuff) and could barely get it to the 10 while the Packer opponents were getting it 5 yards further.

    Also, I dread the thought of him having to kick anything more than 35 yards with the game on the line. He doesn’t kick the ball end over end well, more of a screwball kicker. I just get the feeling we’ll need him in a playoff game to come through. Imagine the whole season depending on his accuracy. Yikes!

    His greatest strength is his onside kicks. If we keep him on the team for that alone…now that would truly be a specialist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Thanks Mojo. I only have so much time I can devote to the analysis of Mason Crosby. Frankly, I’ve done enough!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • PackersRS says:

        It’s a good life when the worst situations on the team are an overpaid kicker or lack of ILB depth, isn’t it?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. Jerry says:

    Ted’s paying this supposed below-average kicker $3 million a season, so he obviously disagrees with this premise. Maybe he was unaware of all these numbers when he made the contract offer to Crosby.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • PackersRS says:

      They’re plenty aware, and more. But there’re reasons he was re-signed. Not saying they are right, but there are.

      We’ve won a SB with him. He didn’t play a big role, but he didn’t play a big role negatively either. He didn’t cost us the SB. A different kicker, with close to no offseason, might’ve.

      There’s the age and big leg potential, that management believes is there.

      So there are reasons. I don’t see the potential, not with this coaching staff, and I do think there were better options in the market, even if for a stop-gap option.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Ron LC says:

    You’ve given us the “bible” on Crosby, Al. Thanks! One trend that maybe impossible to document is the number of kicks he misses when a successful kick would give the Packers a two score lead late in the game. I suspect he’s not very good at that either.

    KO returns rule committee has given him new life with KO moved up 5 yards.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  12. C.D. Angeli says:

    Al, nicely (and completely) done, but I am going to have to take you to task on one incredibly important missing link…and actually, you tagged it in the article, but never brought it up.

    Shawn Slocum. The very words ooze off my tongue and onto my keyboard. We have discussed and I have documented instance after instance where Slocum has played the protector of Crosby instead of fixing the problems over the years. Personally, I think Crosby is doomed to mediocrity as long as Slocum is his coach, and words so hard to protect his below-average performances. The contract doesn’t do a lot to put any urgency in Slocum or Crosby’s approach.

    On the other hand, Crosby will be under the microscope now. He’s no longer the high-potential draft pick coming along, he’s the well-heeled veteran who is going to be expected to kick like a top-flight kicker.

    Incidentally, if you don’t think I’m worried about Randall Cobb’s return career under Slocum’s guidance, you’re mistaken.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      I don’t disagree. I’ve written plenty about Slocum in the past, but that’s an intangible you can’t really quantify. This article was specifically targeting the excuses people use to defend their support of Crosby. I wanted to stick solely to numbers and facts in this post, just so there could be no disputing it. Slocum is a whole other topic.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Lucas says:

        I generally agree with everything you say, Al, and I’m not a Crosby apologist. However, I do have a math degree and the comparing is not as apples to apples as some would believe. A better analysis would go game by game comparing him with the other kicker. Roughly half of the other teams you compared him to do not have grass fields, though Lambeau is usually awesome.
        Also, Slocum is a major issue. It is statistically significant that Slocum’s (not so) special teams have been poor and Mason has been as well.
        My analysis…Crosby has a lot of potential (an ugly word to be sure) retarded by Slowcum. Check special teams ratings…Slocum’s impact is easy to quantify. His teams suck. It has to start with the coach.
        The frustration with Mason is the potential. TT must have paid him for that, because his numbers (standing alone) do not show him to be worth that kind of money.
        By the by…what would happen if we took out his 40 yd from the right hashmark misses? Wasn’t that a crazy string he put together?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

          two problems with going game by game comparing him to the other kicker:

          1) I spent too much time on this as it is.
          2) How do you compare them with different numbers of attempts? For example, if Crosby goes 1 for 1 and the other kicker goes 4 for 5, how do we compare that? Technically, Crosby comes out on top with a 100% average. What would have happened if Crosby had 5 attempts? Who knows? I don’t see how that would help.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Mojo says:

            Al just thought I’d clarify how in-game comparisons of Crosby vs opponents would be appropriate. I agree in a single game scenario it doesn’t mean much, but if you accumulated how he did against opponents over his 4 year NFL career then the percentage of his kicks vs the combined rivals percentage becomes one of the most meaningful stats you could cull.(Exp.: Crosby hits 131 of 168 attempts or 78% vs opponents hitting 139 of 172 attempts or 81% would indicated Crosby has below average field goal percentage over career). With such a large sample you could assume the the opponent kickers represented “the average NFL kicker”. It would take out much of the weather and field condition arguments. With such a large sample I would expect the average distance and amount of attempts of Crosby v. opponents would be fairly close.

            Obviously no expects you to get into all that detail, but if in the future, by some act of lunacy, you found a need to revisit this subject that is one set of data points that would be highly relevant.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

            • Lucas says:

              Exactly right, Mojo. Yes, labor intensive, but more accurate. I would venture a guess that it would show Mason to be a below average kicker. It sure seemed that every game he would “place” (coach-speak for “I’m covering for him-he should have put it in the endzone 3 yards deep but missed”) the ball to the 5-while we would receive the ball in the endzone. How many games did Mason miss a kick and the other team kicked a game winner?
              Still, in the end, I trust TT in his evaluation of players and what they are worth to the team. Apparently below average kickers are worth top echelon $. I’m obviously perplexed.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. Jimmy Gunn says:

    Why is Chris Jacke considered so good, then? His career field goal % is 76.2, yet everyone moaned about how foolish it was to let him go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Jacke was far from great, but he had some great moments that people remember. Twice went 5-5 in a game, had a good number of game-winning kicks. Hit a lot of 50+ yard kicks, etc. Last season was the Super Bowl year…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

      • FireMMNow says:

        it seems to me that at the time jacke was a decent kicker. i have not and will not do the research but i would assume 76% was a decent percentage in the mid 80s and 90s. also, jacke was a relatively consistent performer on teams with terrible talent otherwise. that is my opinion anyways.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. Steve says:

    This is a fantastic article. I has really changed my perception of the Packers kicking game. While the info does not automatically say cut Crosby, Ted really should open the door for some of competition. It is a true point of concern.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • FireMMNow says:

      kai forbath was available as a udfa. he may not want to come to GB because of Crosby, but there are always legs out there. bring someone in and push crosby a little bit. but crosby gives me the feeling that he may be a little bit of a head case, so maybe they do not want to crush his confidence.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  15. Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

    I guess I will add my two cents: he has the potential to get better. While you can’t really say that about the vast majority of players once they become veterans (the only exception I can think of with the Packers is Charles Woodson), kickers can have productive careers until they are like 300 years old. The act of kicking a ball is such a refined motion, I think of it kinda like a golf swing, and plenty of golfers get better as they get older. Crosby definitely has a good enough leg that he has the potential to be a really good kicker, and I’m guessing that’s why Thompson paid Crosby the amount that he did. Will he get better? No idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Chazman says:

    Al – Loved the Julius Caesar reference. Is not bringing in someone to push Crosby solely a matter of not wanting to waste roster room on competition when they see other areas they would rather bring someone in?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. PackersThad says:

    Unless I have it wrong, Crosby is only guaranteed $3 million on this deal. So technically, the Packers can cut him next year if things don’t work out or go south this year. I don’t think it’s the end of the world that he was re-signed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • FireMMNow says:

      i think everyone was “okay” with re-signing crosby, but i was atleast upset that the packers gave him top five money for a kicker and he is not even average.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      this is not about re-signing, not about money – it’s about perception vs. reality. Just wanted to present the reality.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. gary says:

    thanks very much for the great and thorough article and discussion. so imagine that the packers have exactly every bit of statistics, analysis, circumstances, history, available options, and factors that you have, plus nine more layers of it because they have to. given that, and turning this discussion on its head, why then, in your opinion, did they re-sin and continue to treat crosby and the kicking position as they are?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Familiarity. The devil you know is better than the one you don’t. They won a Super Bowl with him and they expect their offense to score TDs a lot more often than field goals.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. Aaron says:

    I suspect the new KO rule resulted in a better contract than he would have got. The coverage hasn’t been strong for a while. He will have touchbacks half the time now. He was asked to hang the ball this year to protect coverage. A point you’ve understated. He’ll give us a decent field position advantage. I always thought they never brought in competition because MM thought it better to show confidance in him than give him competition. Kicker is not a spot where you can improve by getting fired up to play harder or motivated to watch film. He is below average on FGs. Clearly the staff think he will eventually be above average. One stat you should look at is the age of the best kickers. I reckon it’s gona be 30+. Looks like TT thinks time invested in a big leg kicker now will pay off long term. Not to say they thought he wouldn’t be better each year til now anyway.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Some decent points, but I have a hard time believing an extra 5 yards on kickoffs would warrant that much of a higher salary for a kicker. I thought I addressed the positional kickoffs adequately. He has under-performed every year since HS. I don’t see what indication there is that he will magically get that much better. Of course, it could happen, but there’s nothing pointing to that.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Aaron says:

        Granted I don’t follow the college game closely but it was my impression that even the best kicker’s FG% don’t compare to NFL vets. But thats beside the point.

        You know how quickly they go to squibing when we get a lead so it’s not neccessarily the extra yards, even though I think it could put us at the top of the rankings, but more the ability to take the best returners, and huge momentum swings, out of the game.

        Also consider that while $3m is top 5 money today it will without doubt be average in two years time. So over the life of the deal it’s average money for a below average FG kicker but way above average KO guy, who should improve if only because almost all kickers do as they get older.

        I have to commend you on the article though, any serious argument be presented like this.

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        • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

          If you look at his senior year in college, among 12 kickers with at least 25 attempted field goals, Crosby was 11th out of 12 in FG% made.

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  20. Ron LC says:

    via Demovsky – 1st practice 4 for 8. Sprained ankle and has not kicked again.

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  21. Josh says:

    If you take away his blocked kicks, hes 85% last year. Missed no extra points. Plays for a mentally handicapped crab in Slocum. Food for thought.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Take every kicker’s blocked kicks away and their average goes up too. Still leaves Crosby lagging behind. Hmm, that may have been an excuse I forgot about…

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  22. wgbeethree says:

    A little late to the party. I like Mason and love argueing ;-) so I’m going to stick up for him using, the you guessed it, the “He Has to Kick in Cold Weather” and “has to kick a lot of long field goals” defenses.

    You can use either stat to make them say what you want but when you combine them they speak highly for Mason.

    Mason made ten 40 plus yard field goals last year. In the last two seasons five kickers made more than ten 40 plus yard feild goals in a season. Janakowski OAK (twice), Kasay CAR, Akers PHI, Baronis TEN, Feely ATL. Notice that’s three warm weather kickers and one indoor kicker. 4 of 5 “better” than him didn’t kick on a cold weather team.

    Last year Mason made 2 50+ yard feild goals. Eight kickers made more than 2. Carpenter MIA, Janakowski OAK, Buelher DAL, Brown STL, Gould CHI, Hanson DET, Kasay CAR, and Rackers HOU. Notice thats three warm weather kickers and four indoor kickers. 7 of 8 “better than him didn’t have to kick on a cold weather team.

    Virtually no kickers make more long field goals on a “bad weather” team. The “facts” back that up.

    Numbers aren’t “facts” though because while they don’t lie you can make them say whatever you want.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Well, that’s what you’ve just done. You’re labeling all of Crosby’s kicks “cold weather” and the other kickers “warm weather.”. How many actually fit the label? You would have to go game by game, kicker by kicker for all four years. None of us have that kind of time. I’ve already shown that Crosby hasn’t really kicked in that many cold weather games. But you are making general statements without the real data to support them.

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  23. Ruppert says:

    You’re right. The Packers know you’re right, too. So the real question is, why did the Packers extend him? It’s gotta be for the sake of continuity, or more to the point, the fear that they will replace him as quickly as they replaced Jon Ryan (or Josh Bidwell, frankly). And it’s only now that we THINK we might have replaced Ryan (Bidwell).

    The good news is that kickers still don’t make much money compared to QBs and pass rushers, so they can ditch him after this year if they really wan to and not be in salary cap hell because of it.

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  24. James Rarick says:

    Actually, I think your statistics are flawed. For example, comparing him only to those who kicked several 50+ attempts means nothing. The fact that 20 other kickers were not even allowed to attempt that many kicks for whatever reason, means he was at least viewed to be better than those 20. Or at least we cannot know for sure.

    Also, regarding kickoffs, this completely disregards the plan of the special team’s coordinator. Is it possible he had Crosby kick it around the goal line to have a chance at stopping the run before the 20. What was the kickoff scheme? Is it ideal to always get a touchback? How many of those run backs were the result of other factors?

    Statistics often prove what we want them to prove. That’s all I’m saying.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Maybe you missed this part – I specifically compared him to other kickers that had as many or more 50+ attempts. He was again near the bottom when compared just to that group.

      As for the kickoffs, I did address the situational kicking. I even gave him the benefit of the doubt and increased his average to match the previous season’s and then comparewd. Still below average.

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  25. GalaxyM81 says:

    Heaven help the Packers if it is up to Crosby to kick a long field goal to be a game winner/loser. I know he has missed at least two long game winners. Last year at Redskins and one at the vikes. The best thing that happened in last year’s playoff run is that no game came down to counting on Crosby, short or long. I cannot believe he has kept his job this long and I agree that he should be made to compete every year for it! Not bringing in another kicker just for a look does not make sense.

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