Category Archives: Mason Crosby

30

August

Packers News: Kickalicious works out for Green Bay

Havard Rugland was in Green Bay for a workout on Friday morning, according to his Twitter account.

Havard Rugland was in Green Bay for a workout on Friday morning, according to his Twitter account.

According to Havard Rugland’s official Twitter account, the Green Bay Packers worked out the YouTube sensation known as “Kickalicious” on Friday morning.

Rugland spent the summer as a member of the Detroit Lions, but he was cut after being beaten out by established veteran David Akers. Akers, 38, will fill in for 43-year-old Jason Hanson who recently retired after 21 seasons in the NFL.

The workout seems surprising, considering the team just restructured kicker Mason Crosby’s contract this week. After bringing in Giorgio Tavecchio and Zach Ramirez to challenge Crosby for the job, the Packers turned to financial motivation for their placekicker.

The team bringing Rugland in for a workout could mean trouble for Crosby, especially if the Packers ever have an opportunity to punt the ball through the uprights from 90 yards away. Or kick a ball to a dude standing in a boat on the Fox River.

In all likelihood, the Packers are likely seeing what else is on the free-agent market in case Crosby struggles to start the 2013 season. It’s highly unlikely that the team would replace Crosby after restructuring to an incentive-based deal Thursday.

Through four preseason games, Crosby was a perfect 6-for-6, including a long of 48 yards. After a thoroughly unimpressive Family Night scrimmage, Crosby separated himself from Tavecchio and Ramirez late in training camp.

For now, it would be a surprise if anyone not named Crosby was the kicker to start the season. But again, the Packers appear to be preparing themselves for a backup plan should Crosby falter early in the season.

In three preseason games with the Lions, Kickalicious was three-for-three on field goals with a long of 50 yards. He also converted both of his extra point attempts.

One additional interesting fact: Every NFL team is allowed to add one international player to their practice squad, as a ninth member. However, that international player can not be signed to an NFL contract with any team while on a practice squad. here are the full rules:

Section 1. Practice Squads:

  • (a) The League may elect in any League Year in accordance with this Article to establish Practice Squads not to exceed eight (8) players per Club. The League’s election in any one season shall not determine or affect its election in any subsequent season.
29

August

Talking to Tavecchio: Interview with Giorgio on Being Cut by the Packers

Giorgio Tavecchio talks about being cut by the Packers

Giorgio Tavecchio talks about being cut by the Packers

Giorgio Tavecchio speaks to Italian reporter Giovanni Marino, writer/blogger at Republicca.it about being cut by the Packers and what the future holds for him. Once again, only at ALLGBP.com, we translate this for you into English (free of charge, of course). You can find the original interview in Italian here.

The Interview:

NFL, Giorgio Tavecchio and hope for the Packers still burns.

It’s over. Indeed. Maybe. But not quite. You are cut, you’re out. But they may call you. AT any moment. Or never.

It would surely drive you mad, if you were directly involved in listening to the chaotic swirl of words and ability related to making an NFL roster. It touches all who engage in the quest to be part of the select group  of super athletes who will compete in the National football league.

And that is exactly what Giorgio Tavecchio, the man from Milan, is experiencing is experiencing after five months of genuine competition with the incumbent kicker kicker of the Green Bay Packers, Mason Crosby. The Italian American did pretty well by showing a better overall percentage over Crosby, but in the end, the coaching staff chose the veteran.

Technically, Giorgio, was cut. But never like this with so many perplexities. And not just from the Packer fans, which Tavecchio conquered with his dedication, his respect for others, his skills and his desire to always improve, but also of the coach, which, in essence hinted not to exclude the possibility of Tavecchio returning. It depends at this point, only on the performance of Crosby. If Crosby’s play does not instill confidence in the coaching staff, Tavecchio could return to the team.

These are complicated  days for Tavecchio, it would be for anyone who pursues a dream destination, and sees the finish line without being able to cut through it. Giorgio, however, once again, does not hide, and as he had previously promised (“I will always be ready to share with my Italian supporters every step of my experience in this world”) he speaks to  ”Playbook” with his usual clarity and authenticity.

Giovanni:  Georgio, compared to your experience with the San Francisco 49ers, you did much better. In kicking percentages, you actually beat Crosby. Still you didn’t get it done. Make a self-criticism: where do you think you went wrong?

26

August

Packers News: Tavecchio released, team down to two kickers

Ciao, Giorgio. The Packers have cut ties with Tavecchio.

Ciao, Giorgio. The Packers have cut ties with Tavecchio.

Just one day after signing street free agent Zach Ramirez, the Green Bay Packers have released kicker Giorgio Tavecchio.

Incumbent kicker Mason Crosby has, again, had an up-and-down, left-and-right summer, and it seems the Packers are determined to provide some competition for Crosby all the way up to the regular season. Still, despite his inconsistency, it looks like the job is Crosby’s to lose.

Crosby certainly had a rough season in 2012, missing 12 of 33 regular-season field goal attempts. But believe it or not, his challenger this summer, Tavecchio, has missed kicks in his life, as well. As a senior at California, Tavecchio failed to connect on six extra points.

Now, it’s down to Crosby and Ramirez–another Internet-sensation-turned-NFL-kicker-hopeful. The Detroit Lions signed Havard “Kickalicious” Rugland to compete with David Akers this summer, and the Packers turn to Ramirez–a young kicker with some pretty impressive YouTube highlights.

Obviously, kicking field goals with the wind at your back in an empty stadium in front of one person holding a camera is much different than kicking in front of 80,000 in a packed NFL stadium. But we’ll see how this kicking competition shakes itself out.

During the Family Night Scrimmage, Tavecchio got the better of Crosby, connecting on five of six field goal attempts. Crosby, on the other hand, had an awful night, missing four of six.

At that point, just a week into training camp, Twitter exploded with fans calling for Crosby’s release. However, due to the Tavecchio’s limitations in terms of leg strength, the concept of Crosby being cut in favor of Tavecchio seemed farfetched–at least to me.

I’m not saying Crosby is God’s gift to kicking field goals, but if he’s going to be beaten out for the job, it wasn’t going to be by Tavecchio. You can’t make fun of me for that prediction; however, feel free to point and laugh at my suggestion that Graham Harrell would be a “pleasant surprise” this summer.

In my opinion, Crosby will win the job. He’ll be the Week 1 kicker, although it wouldn’t at all be surprising if the Packers made a change in the regular season, should Crosby’s struggles continue.

17

August

Packers vs. Rams – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 19 STL 7

Packers - Rams

Green Bay Packers vs. St. Louis Rams:  2013 Preseason game 2

Unfiltered game day blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

Inactives for today:

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
16 WR Kevin Dorsey
17 WR Charles Johnson
18 WR Randall Cobb
26 RB DuJuan Harris
28 S Sean Richardson
29 CB Casey Hayward
38 CB Tramon Williams
73 T JC Tretter
75 T Bryan Bulaga
78 T Derek Sherrod
81 TE Andrew Quarless
82 TE Ryan Taylor
87 WR Jordy Nelson
95 DE Datone Jones
99 DE Jerel Worthy

St. Louis Rams
27 S Matt Giordano
30 RB Zac Stacy
54 LB Jabara Williams
57 LB Sammy Brown
64o OL Sean Hooey
76 T Rodger Saffold
97 DE Eugene Sims

 

 GAME NOTES:

All eyes will be on the Packers offense. Mike McCarthy earlier in the week said he’s looking for a much better performance from them in this game. Since Aaron Rodgers will still get limited snaps, that means one of their backup quarterbacks will actually have to look like, you know, a quarterback.

My eyes will be looking for Eddie Lacy. Want to see if he’s as good against real competition as he looked on family night…

 

 

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Keys to 2nd preseson game:  Develop team personality.  See guys step into leadership roles.  Have a lot of guys who need to play better and need to take advantage of opportunities with guys out injured

Eddie Lacy:  Biggest thing is how he responds.  Hasn’t played since Family Night so will play rep count by ear

Kick Returner:  Big week for Jeremy Ross.  Needs to play well at both receiver and in return game.  Micah Hyde going to get a chance to return kicks in second half as well

Mike Neal at OLB:  Mike will play in some rush situations

Quarterback situation:  Vince Young’s playlist has increased and will have more opportunities than last week.  Plan is to give Rodgers twice as many snaps as last week

Preseason play calling:  Not a big believer of calling “gadget” plays in preseason.  Save those for regular season.

Adversity defense:  How the defense prepares for the game and responds after other team makes a big play.  This is a focus this season

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4

August

It’s Time For The Packers To Part Ways With Mason Crosby

Mason Crosby may have just kicked himself out the door at 1265 Lombardi Avenue.

When the Green Bay Packers signed Giorgio Tavecchio to “compete” with Mason Crosby for the starting kicker job, Packers fans everywhere chuckled.

There was no way Tavecchio, an undrafted free agent in 2012 cut by the 49ers, would unseat Green Bay’s long-time incumbent kicker right? This was just a move by general manager Ted Thompson to appease those calling for Crosby’s head after a poor 2012. It had to be.

Well, that very well may have been Thompson’s mindset in March when Tavecchio was brought on board but it’s not anymore.  Thanks to a poor showing by Crosby in the team’s annual Family Night scrimmage (3-8 overall) and a solid night by Tavecchio (6-7 overall), the kicking competition is serious, and don’t call it Shirley.

Everyone hoped Crosby’s 2012 struggles were behind him and the early news from training camp looked promising.  Things went right back downhill during Family Night however and the frustrated look on Crosby’s face Saturday night didn’t exactly inspire confidence in the veteran.  It is clear Crosby’s confidence has been on thin ice since last season ended and it’s beginning to break before the first preseason game.

Further proof that the vultures may be circling over Crosby was the comment coach Mike McCarthy made about his kicker after the scrimmage. In short, he wasn’t pleased.  McCarthy said that Crosby “definitely didn’t take a step in the right direction” and that “he’s definitely got to do better than that because that’s not going to cut it.”

That’s quite the change from the defiant McCarthy who stood firmly behind his kicker last season despite some serious accuracy problems.

What did Crosby think of his performance? Well, he said he was “way past” his issues from last year and that he’s “just working on things.”  Not exactly a ringing self-endorsement. In Crosby’s defense, he did say he knows his performance in the scrimmage was “unacceptable and I have to do better.”

So where do (or should) the Packers go from here?

It’s time to cut the cord with Crosby.  With as much time between the end of last season and training camp, Crosby should have had enough time to exorcise the mental demons that were plaguing him in 2012 and come back strong in 2013.

3

August

Family Night First Impressions: Mama Mia Mason Crosby

Green Bay Packers Family Night Scrimmage 2013

Green Bay Packers Family Night Scrimmage 2013

Mason Crosby sure knows how to leave a bad taste in your mouth, doesn’t he? After a fun Family Night Scrimmage for both the fans and players, one that should have left everyone feeling good, instead, there are worries.

Overall on the night, Crosby missed five of eight field goal attempts. Two of his makes weren’t by much, either. Oy vay…

Giorgio Tavecchio made six of seven attempts. I wouldn’t exactly say he was impressive, but tonight he was better and he did make a 51 yard attempt. It’s good to know he’s capable of that distance, anyway.

Eddie Lacy looked like the real deal – he can make yardage when there’s little there to be made. And when he gets in the clear – he’s faster than you’d expect.

Johnathan Franklin seems to prefer (or need) open space to operate in. Looked best catching the ball out of the backfield. Did not show much running between the tackles.

The team’s best kickoff kicker could very well be Tim Masthay. This would help Tavecchio immensely if the Packers would seriously consider keeping him but concerned about kickoffs.

AJ Hawk – who is that skinny guy? Hawk has obviously slimmed down (or did some serious fat to lean muscle conversion) and appeared much more mobile. He was very active .

Davis Baktiari got a lot of looks at right tackle. Had my eye on him. Mostly went up against Nick Perry and I’d say Baktiari did his job. No real pressure from Perry.

Johnny Jolly was in on a few stops and seemed to be moving well (although he seemed a bit out of breath towards the end).  Thought he had a good night.

Jeremy Ross is my return guy (especially kickoffs). I’ve liked him from the first time he returned a kick last year. He has the right mentality; makes a quick decision, picks a seam and just goes.  I like him better than Cobb, actually.

BJ Coleman still has issues with touch. His strong arm is a detriment at times- hasn’t learned when a pass needs more loft than force.

The stadium addition looks awesome, as does the scoreboard atop. Noise level seemed louder. I think the plan to build a wall of sound will prove to have worked.

 

1

August

Puttin’ on the Pads: Packers Training Camp 2013 Day 7 Roundup

Today was the third straight day the Packers have practiced in pads, part of a runup that will total five straight days, culminating in the Family Night Scrimmage on Saturday. I’ve culled through the hundreds of tweets by Packers beat writers (so you don’t have to) to bring you what I consider the most important happenings and observations of the day: Enjoy!

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

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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.