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Re-setting the depth chart: Special teams

7/1/2014

GREEN BAY, Wis. – After looking at how things are shaping up on offense and on defense as the Green Bay Packers head into training camp, it's time to examine the special teams depth chart.

Remember, this is an unofficial assessment, but it is based on observations during organized team activities and minicamp practices combined with interviews with assistant coaches and scouts.

Kicker: Mason Crosby

Notes: Last summer, the Packers conducted a full-scale competition for the job after Crosby's disastrous 2012 season. He not only beat out Giorgio Tavecchio and Zach Ramirez in training camp, but then went on to his best season. A year later, the Packers feel so confident in Crosby that they don't have another kicker on the roster. Crosby closed the offseason by making all seven of his field goals -- including a pair from 50-plus yards -- during his final minicamp practice and appears to have picked up where he left off in 2013.

Punter: Tim Masthay

Notes: Entering his fifth season as the Packers’ punter, Masthay kicked the ball well throughout the offseason. Like Crosby, he's the only specialist at his position on the roster.

Long snapper: Brett Goode

Notes: The Packers remain committed to keeping a roster spot for a specialized long snapper.

Kickoff returner: DuJuan Harris, Micah Hyde, Jared Abbrederis, Jeff Janis, Kevin Dorsey, Randall Cobb.

Notes: Special teams coach Shawn Slocum put Harris in as the number one returner during minicamp last month and wants to explore how the backup running back would fare in that role. Hyde was more effective as a punt returner than as a kickoff returner last season. The Packers are not likely to use Cobb as their primary returner anymore, but young receivers such as Abbrederis, Janis and Dorsey will get shots at it this preseason.

Punt returner: Hyde, Abbrederis, Cobb, Tramon Williams.

Notes: Hyde's sure-handedness and solid decision-making for a great punt-returning combination, but Abbrederis has the kind of speed and elusiveness that made Cobb special.