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Friday, November 1, 2013
Starter Pack: Doubters don't bother Crosby

By Rob Demovsky

A roundup of what’s happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Those who have followed the Packers for more than a decade may remember the name Frank Novak. The jovial former special-teams coach served under head coach Mike Sherman from 2000 to 2004, and whenever Novak walked by the assembled media at practice, he always had one word.

“Doubters,” Novak would say.

He always had a smile on his face when he said it, but he understood the business well enough to know the role of the media.

Current Packers kicker Mason Crosby, who never worked with Novak, certainly could have wagged his finger and used Novak’s favorite phrase on Thursday, when Crosby was named NFC special teams player of the month for October. Surely, Crosby knows that plenty of those who stood in front of his locker and asked him about his award had their doubts he would ever reach such heights again after last season’s slump.

“My mindset is all about the positive stuff,” Crosby said. “I’m not trying to dwell on the negatives. Don’t stick it to people who weren’t supportive.”

Through all of last season’s struggles, when he had the lowest field-goal percentage (63.6 percent) in the league, Crosby persevered.

And he might be a better kicker – and person – because of it. It’s something he said he and his wife, Molly, talk about often.

“We’re able to look back and just be like, ‘Man, that was such an amazing blessing in our life and it’s something that we can grow on,’ and we became closer as a family,” Crosby said. “We really saw what was important in our life together, with family and friends. My relationships grew stronger. I really saw some good positives.

“I obviously want to be successful every year in my job and what I do on the field, but there were a lot of really good things. I found a lot in myself that I knew I could just work a little bit harder, put a little bit more into it.  The resiliency that I’ve been able to show, I really am happy. Right now, obviously, I’m happy with how this year is going. I wish the numbers weren’t what they were last year, but I’m happy that I went through it and made it through it and can look back and really draw on it to extend my career. That can be something I can really sit on and make sure that I say, ‘This was a defining moment, a moment that I can find a lot of positives in, as well.’”