Thursday, October 31, 2013
Remarkable turnaround for Mason Crosby
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Mason Crosby has come a long way since Aug. 3.
That’s when the Green Bay Packers kicker missed five of eight field goals during the team’s annual Family Night scrimmage at Lambeau Field.
It looked like the slump he went through last season, when he made an NFL-low 63.6 percent of his field goals and at one point missed 12 out of 24 kicks, had ruined him.
That almost all seems forgotten now. Crosby has made 17 of his 19 field goal attempts this season, including 13 of 15 during the month of October. For that, he was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month on Thursday.
Crosby tied the team record with five field goals in the Oct. 6 win against the Detroit Lions and followed with a 4-of-5 performance the next week at the Baltimore Ravens.
“I like exactly where he is now,” Packers special teams coach Shawn Slocum said recently. “He’s really striking the ball well. I think he’s got a lot of confidence. His volume of work has been really good.”
Crosby had to fight off challenges from two kickers in training camp just to keep the job he has held since 2007. He also renegotiated his contract in late August, accepting a $1.6 million pay cut, but with the opportunity to earn all of it back through incentives. With an 89.5 percent conversion rate on field goals so far, he’s on pace to earn back every dollar.