28

February

Tim Masthay Green Bay Packers 2013 Evaluation and Report Card

 

Tim Masthay

Tim Masthay

1) Introduction:  Tim Masthay gets the job done. That’s probably the best way to describe him. He doesn’t drastically tilt the field with his powerful punts and pinpoint accuracy, but he does an adequate job. Masthay doesn’t give you much to leap out of your chair and cheer about, but he also doesn’t give you a reason to hurl your TV through the wall after consistently poor punts.

2) Profile:

Timothy James Masthay

  • Age: 26
  • Born: 4/16/1987 in Pittsburgh, Penn.
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 198
  • College: Kentucky
  • Rookie Year: 2010
  • NFL Experience: 4

Career stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season:  Just keep doing what he does. Masthay has a lot of games where he punts in cold weather and his always hold up well.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Masthay’s net average has gotten better every season, topping off at 39.0 yards in 2013. He also notched 17 touchbacks on 34 kickoffs to start the season. If you’re looking for lowlights…well, it’s always a lowlight when Masthay comes on the field because it means the Packers are punting.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success:  Masthay’s consistency was a bright spot on an otherwise shaky special teams unit. If there was a special teams breakdown, it was rarely because of something Masthay screwed up.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Unfortunately, Masthay contributed too much and the Packers didn’t score enough points in their playoff loss.

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season

(B-) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(B) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade:  B

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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9

April

2013 Packers Position Group Analysis: Kickers & Specialists

Overview: To kick off the next series of evaluations on AllGreenBayPackers.com, the ALLGBP staff are going to be analyzing each position group starting off with the specialists.  Overall, the specialists did a pretty good job keeping their names off the papers and blogs, outside of about 6 weeks of utter CROSBPOCALYPSE.

Where We Are Now

Here are the current suspects;

  • LS Brett Goode (Undrafted, 2008)
  • P Tim Masthay aka Ginger Wolverine (Undrafted, 2010)
  • K Mason Crosby (6th round, 2007)

Listen to expanded coverage of this topic using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.

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So that’s where we are.  Not much to report here; specialists are often drafted in the later rounds or not at all, and the Packers are no different, only using a 6th round pick on Crosby and picking up both Goode and Masthay off the free agent street.

  • Goode: Goode again finished the season without a bad snap and even recorded a tackle in week 9 against the Cardinals, a pretty hard feat considering Goode has the least idea of what’s going on on the field since his head is between his legs at the beginning of the play.  Goode was also not responsible for any blocked or batted kicks which overall for a long snapper basically is a job well done
  • Masthay: Tim Masthay ranked in the middle of the pack in terms of punting efficiency on ProFootballFocus, which can mostly be attributed to his lack of power, but Masthay makes up for that and more with his accuracy and hangtime.  Masthay uses his “aussie” style drop kick as well as his good directional skills to pin opponents back and usually never outkicks his coverage.  Outside of one misguided pass play that I wouldn’t really put as Masthay’s fault, Masthay had a consistent yet basically unremarkable season, but for a special teams unit that has been desperate for just an average punter after Jon Ryan’s departure, Masthay was a godsend.

24

February

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

The only thing you need to survive this Sunday without Packers football is Tom Silverstein’s story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on the Packers front office and scouting operation.

Once again, the Packers were shorthanded at the NFL combine thanks to the departure of John Dorsey for Kansas City. In 2011, John Schneider left for Seattle and Reggie McKenzie departed for Oakland in 2012. All three of Ted Thompson’s right-hand men took general manager jobs.

You want your favorite NFL team to have as much talent as possible, both on the field and in the front office. It’s never a good thing to lose a talented player, just like it’s never a good thing to lose a talented executive. Silverstein’s story does a nice job of showing just how much of a team sport scouting, player evaluation and draft day can be.

However, every team has a star. On the field, the Packers have Aaron Rodgers. In the front office, they have Thompson.

As long as Rodgers is playing, the Packers should be good. As long as Thompson is the general manager, the front office should be fine.

I don’t get overly worried when Packers executives start making their annual exit from Green Bay for opportunities elsewhere. As long as Thompson is around, the Packers should remain on the right track. He’s the star. He’s the one that makes everything go.

Yes, Thompson has been fortunate to have talented current and former staff members, but he’s the one who makes the final call on everything personnel related. Thompson is the man who deserves the credit when a personnel move works out. He’s also the one to blame if something backfires. The Packers front office sinks or swims based on Thompson’s decisions.

Every team, and every front office, needs depth. You can never have too much talent. But as long as your main guys are around — Rodgers on the field, Thompson in the front office — things should be OK in Green Bay.

Packers News and Notes

  • $14 million per year for Greg Jennings? All it takes is one team, but I don’t see it happening. Jennings should be happy to get $14-17 million guaranteed over the life of a deal instead of $14 million per season in addition to any type of signing bonus.
29

January

Packers Tim Masthay: 2012 Player Evaluation and Report Card

1) Introduction: After the disasters that were Derrick Frost and Jeremy Kapinos, Tim Masthay was a godsend.  While Masthay will probably never be known for his big leg, Masthay’s forte is his accuracy and his “Aussie style” punts.  Much like long snapper Brett Goode and Mason Crosby, Masthay was also the recipient of a contract extension this year, a 5-year $6.005 million contract, which settles down the kicking unit for the next couple years at least.  Masthay has brought back consistency to punts and in stark contrast to the up and down season that fellow kicker Mason Crosby faced this year, Masthay was good from opening day to the divisional championship.

2) Profile:

Timothy James Masthay

  • Age: 25
  • Born: 03/16/1987, in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 200
  • College: Kentucky
  • Rookie Year: 2009
  • NFL Experience: 3 years

Career Stats and more:

3) Expectations coming into the season: While Masthay’s rookie season had it’s typicaly ups and downs, Masthay really became a reliable weapon on special teams in 2011 and it was expected that Masthay continue to win the field position battle for the Packers

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Masthay punted six times on opening day against the 49ers and pinned them back at their own 20 four times with only one touchback; it could be argued that Masthay was the Packers most consistent weapon that day.  Masthay’s worst game was probably week 15 against the Bears where he punted five times, twice went out of bounds and the other 3 were returned for 42 yards, the highest of the season.  If you want to talk about Masthay as a passer, he did managed to throw a special team touchdown in week 2 against the Bears but also threw a duck against Jacksonville, so the jury is out on that one.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: As much as fans might not realize it, the Ginger Wolverine is a legitimate weapon on punts.  If you don’t believe me, watch some film of Derrick Frost.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Masthay punted 12 times during the playoffs for a average of 40.8 yards; again that probably one of the lowest average yardages posted by a punter, but Masthay’s ability to place his kicks in good positions for fair catches far outweighs bulk yardage.

 

Season Report Card:

(A) Level of expectations met during the season

17

December

Packers Coach Mike McCarthy: What Is He Thinking?

Mike McCarthy

Some of McCarthy’s decisions have led to many questions about whether they will help or hurt the Packers from here on out

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has a track record that speaks for itself:

73 wins

37 losses

.664 winning percentage in regular season

5-3 record in playoffs including a Super Bowl Championship

Two appearances in the NFC Championship game

Three NFC North division titles

Not bad, right?  Even by the sky-high standards of the Green Bay Packers and their fans, those numbers exude success.  But McCarthy has become somewhat of an intrigue lately.  As we know, he calls the offensive plays for the Packers during games.  He has done so since his arrival in Green Bay.

At times, especially this season, he has had fans and analysts alike scratching their heads with some of his decision making.  Now, I realize that he gives quarterback Aaron Rodgers some freedom to alter the play at the line if Rodgers sees something he thinks he can take advantage of.  It’s hard to say exactly whether some of these offensive failures were McCarthy calls or Rodgers check-out’s.  Whichever is the case, McCarthy is responsible for all of it as head coach.

Despite having clinched the NFC North division with today’s win over the Chicago Bears, the Packers still have a chance to improve their playoff seeding over the last two weeks of the season.  They return home to face the Tennessee Titans next week which screams (and I mean a blood-curdling scream) “trap game”.  Any lapse in that game and even worse, a loss, will fall squarely on the shoulders of McCarthy and how he prepares the team this week.  In week 17, they will face the Minnesota Vikings in what will surely be a tough game as the Vikings are now in great position to reach the postseason.

Any Packers player or coach who is asked will tell us:  “We believe in coach McCarthy and what we are trying to accomplish”.  And that’s not a bad thing.  I’d rather have that type of team culture than some others that I see (the Philadelphia Eagles come to mind).  At the same time, I think Packers nation is starting to grow anxious as we watch McCarthy baffle everyone from fans to the TV analysts (even Joe Buck and Troy Aikman) with some of his play calling.  And specifically late in games when the Packers have a decent lead and their destiny is in their own hands.

21

November

Packers’ Victory over Lions had Plenty of Style

Ryan Pickett

Packers DL Ryan Pickett made some stylish plays on Sunday against the Lions.

Kevin Seifert had the following headline on his ESPN NFC North Blog post following the Packers 24-20 win over the Lions on Sunday: “Packers: Substance of 2012 > Style of 2011.”

Kevin went on to write how the Packers grind-it-out victories over the last five weeks might be more impressive and have them better prepared for the postseason than the string of blowout wins they had en route to a 15-1 finish in 2011.

For the record, I agree with Kevin. His post was spot-on. I just didn’t care for the headline.

The Packers had plenty of substance in 2011. You don’t go 15-1 on style alone.

And the Packers have had plenty of style so far in 2012. It’s just a different style than what we saw last season.

To casual football fans, style means long passes, beautiful catches, ankle-breaking runs and exciting punt/kick returns. Those are the plays that make Sports Center and go viral on the Internet.

The more hardcore football fans appreciate those types of plays as well, but also find plenty of style in other areas of the game.

To me, this third-and-goal play from Sunday highlights the type of style that hardcore fans appreciate and the type of stylish play that the Packers have been coming up with over the last five games.

A touchdown there gives the Lions a 7-0 lead and the Packers young and beat-up defense probably hangs its head a bit. Who knows where the game goes from there.

Instead, Ryan Pickett — who is in there in case the Lions run it — busts through the line and chases Matthew Stafford right to Morgan Burnett for the sack.

The defense holds the Lions to a field goal and the defense’s confidence goes way up. That’s style, in my opinion.

Here’s another one:

Tim Masthay is punting from midfield in the first quarter and drops a perfect corner kick that gets downed by Jarrett Bush on the Lions’ 2.

Now, that seems like a simple enough play, right? Three years ago, that ball probably flys into the end zone and the Lions would get the ball at the 20. Not this year.

14

November

Packers Midseason Grades: Special Teams

Tim Masthay

Packers P Tim Masthay has been excellent in special team.

Special teams wraps up our midseason Packers grades report.

I feel like parent-teacher conferences are now over and it’s time for the student (the Packers) to try and find a way to get an ‘A’ on the final report card while the parents (Packers fans) keep nagging the kids to get their homework done and turn off the video games.

If you missed it, here are our grades for the offense and defense.

Kickoffs: A-
When the Packers are kicking off, it’s usually a good time to grab a snack or refill your beverage.

Out of Mason Crosby’s 47 kickoffs, 26 have went for touchbacks, ranking the Packers 10th in touchback percentage. When opponents do return it, they don’t go far, averaging only 24.4 yards with a long of 38.

This unit also forced a fumble that should’ve ended the game against New Orleans, but the refs botched the call.

It appeared that Crosby had at least one angle kickoff against the Cardinals where he tried to use the sideline to pin the returner inside his own 20. It worked and I wonder if we might see more of that down the stretch. You can afford to take some risks like that when you’re coverage has been excellent.

There’s always the chance that Mike McCarthy could call for an onside kick like he did against St. Louis. Crosby is excellent at onside kicks and the Packers recovered his only onside attempt.

On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t leave the couch when the Packers are kicking.

Punts: A-
We’ve see too much of him this season, but it’s nice to know that when Tim Masthay trots on the field, the odds are good that the other team will be stuck with less-than-desireable field position.

Out of 44 Masthay punts, 19 have been fair caught, which is tied for the league lead. When opponents do get a chance to return one, they don’t go far. The Packers only allow 6.3 yards per return, sixth best in the NFL.

Masthay (or, ”Ging,” as Aaron Rodgers calls him), averages 44.5 yards per punt and has dropped 24 punts inside the 20.

Masthay and the punting unit turned things around late in 2010 and were a major reason why the Packers beat the Bears in the NFC championship. They haven’t slowed down since.