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?

6

August

Packers’ Tavecchio a Class Act, Says to fans: Respect Crosby

Mason Crosby & Giorgio Tavecchio

Mason Crosby & Giorgio Tavecchio

Giorgio Tavecchio speaks with Italian writer Giovanni (John) Marino of the LaRepubblica.It  ”Playbook” blog, where he talks about his Family Night performance and his outlook on competing with Mason Crosby.

Evidently, he’s a real class act.

Here’s the interview, translated from Italian by yours truly because, as I’ve discovered, most online translators just do a bad job. If you can read Italian and wish to see the original (and test my translation abilities), you can find it here.

NFL, Green Bay, crazy about Tavecchio but he shows class and asks fans to “Respect Crosby”

In this summer where Italy and Italians look more foolish than usual (see the chronicles of the pseudo political happenings in Italy) you can find in Wisconsin a pure breath of fresh air and Italian pride. A boy from Milan, regardless of how the story finishes, is conquering the skeptical (to say the least…) great American football audience with some NFL-level performances. But, above all, and this really makes us proud, with an attitude and sportsmanship that are difficult to find.

We’re talking about Giorgio Tavecchio who in his first experience at Lambeau Field, the Temple of american football, has done well, very well. And better, much better than his direct rival for a place in the NFL: Mason Crosby. His performance triggered, on the one hand, the enthusiasm of the people of Green Bay for him and, on the other hand, fierce criticism of Packers fans against the veteran.

The Interview:

Giovanni: Hi George, you won the challenge with Crosby in the family night event that saw about 65 thousand spectators, yes,  I said 65 thousand at Lambeau Field.

Giorgio: “It was the first time I played a match in that field and I have enjoyed every single moment. The crowd. The extraordinary cheering. The atmosphere. I’m a lucky guy to be able to experience those sensations. Thank you all, of course. ”

Giovanni: Explain what this match was.

Giorgio: “Basically a friendly competition between all players currently on the roster of the Packers. It works like this: the offense plays against the second team of defense and vice versa, so that everyone has an opportunity to play. ”

Giovanni: And for the kickers?  ”

Giorgio: We were divided into two teams but they have planned some kick offs and field goals during the game, allowing us kickers to alternate.

26

March

Mama Mia, Packers Signing an Italian Kicker?

Packers Giorgio Tavecchio

Forza Tavecchio?

According to an Italian Web site and a tweet from current Packer Jeremy Ross, the Packers have signed former Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio. The left-footed Tavecchio was in camp with the 49ers last year, but was cut in favor of David Akers. Additional sources have reported the same news.

As a California Golden Bear, Tavechhio made 48 of 64 field goals (75%) and also missed 9 extra points (six in his Senior year).

According to the article (I can read Italian, but you can use google translate), Giorgo got a call from the Packers a week ago and went to Lambeau Field for a workout. He impressed there and then participated in what was described as a “Pro day” in Boca Raton (could have been the FAU Pro Day on March 19th?). He said he didn’t have his best day there, but still received positive comments from NFL coaches and scouts in attendance.

Tavecchio, born in Milan, Italy, claims to have signed a three-year contract, but tells his interviewer how there are no guarantees and he could easily be cut. He vows to give his all and ends the interview with a “Go Packers!”

My Reaction: In a word, disappointment. I’ve been waiting (and screaming) the last five years for the Packers to bring in some competition for Mason Crosby. Now that they finally bite the bullet and do so, it’s not exactly what I had in mind.

The overly cynical part of me wonders if this move is just a thinly veiled attempt to make Crosby look better in camp by comparison. My hope this year was that they would bring in a kicker with a real chance of winning the job, perhaps someone like Phil Dawson, who the 49ers just signed to replace David Akers. Dawson made the Pro Bowl in 2012 after hitting on 93.5% of his field goal attempts, including 7 of 7 from 50+ yards (7 of 8 the year before). Dawson signed a one-year contract for less than what Crosby makes.

But I digress. We all know that wasn’t going to happen. Still, Tavecchio was the best Ted Thompson could find? Hopefully, my pessimism is mis-placed and  since being cut last year in the 49ers camp, he’s worked on his game and ironed out his past issues. He does look decent in the video below, taken back in January.

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.