Sunday, November 18, 2012
Sorry, Twitter: Mason Crosby staying put
By Kevin Seifert
DETROIT -- Twitter lit up Sunday afternoon with Green Bay Packers fans turning on place-kicker Mason Crosby. Apparently, your hashtag of choice was "CutCrosby" but there might have been others.
I get it. Crosby missed two more field goals Sunday in the Packers' 24-20 victory over the Detroit Lions, giving him seven misses in his last 13 attempts this season. Coach Mike McCarthy opted against a 49-yard attempt on fourth-and-4 in the first quarter, and the Packers also tried a unique fake field goal on what would have been a 58-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Mason Crosby is in a slump, but coach Mike McCarthy is remaining behind his kicker.
But you might as well retire those hashtags, at least this week. McCarthy made clear Sunday that he has no plans to replace Crosby and expressed extreme confidence that Crosby will regain consistency during the Packers' stretch run.
"Mason has got to put the ball through the uprights," McCarthy said. "That's something we've got to do a better job of. I thought Mason had a very good week of work. Didn't hit it today the way he needs to hit it. We will continue with Mason. We will not blink as far as our commitment to him."
Crosby endured a similar slump during the 2009 season, and McCarthy said: "The best part about that dip was that we supported him."
He added: "Just like anything in life, professionally, you have the opportunity to work with people. … You see what they're about, their mentality and their preparation. I have no reason not to believe in Mason. I understand he's missing kicks in games and this is about performance on Sundays, but I have all the confidence that Mason is going to get that [success] back."
Crosby missed from 50 and 38 yards but converted from 39 with 19 seconds left to give the Packers some breathing room. He appeared at ease after the game, thanking teammates because they "picked me up" after his misses, and wasn't up for much introspection.
"I put good strikes on them," Crosby said. "Just didn't put the line on them. … There's a lot of things that go into it. Just got to kind of work through it here. It's something I've never dealt with a ton, missing these types of kicks. I'm just going to put my nose down and work on it and make sure our operations are in sync."
Replacing a kicker, especially this late in the season, is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Unless you can find a unique situation -- say, pulling a still-young and always-accurate veteran out of semi-retirement -- you've got a good chance of inviting further anxiety and a more unsettled situation. Unless Crosby needs to be put out of his misery for his own sake -- and he is nowhere close to that yet -- it makes sense to ride out this slump for another week or two at least.