Green Bay Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby is in the midst of a terrible season and a downward spiral that began last season, but the team is standing behind him.
Why? They don’t really have a choice.
Crosby is 24-of-32 on field goals this season. He’s hit 75 percent of his kicks, which ranks him 26th in the league. He’s missed a kick in his past three games and six of the past eight. Those aren’t very good numbers, to say the least.
Still, the Packers are standing by Crosby.
“We’re not going to overreact as an organization, I’m not going to do it as a coach and Mason’s not going to do it as a player,” special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum said. “I think it’s very important to objectively look at all your situations, and this is one of those. I don’t see a need to make any change at this point. I equate it to looking at another position. If you have an offensive tackle that’s a very good player and he gives up a sack and he gives up another sack, you don’t start thinking about getting rid of him and bringing in another guy off the street. You have to look at the entire big picture.
“I think we’ve got a good kicker. And all players have to deal with adversity, and they have to rise above it. Missing that kick, he’s getting some attention for it, and I fully expect him to move forward with this. If there was a really outstanding kicker that was out there available, I would imagine he’d be on somebody’s roster because I think there are other kickers in this league that are missing field goals. There’s not going to be a guy that’s 1,000 percent out there.”
Slocum is right about one thing. The reason the Packers aren’t looking to make a change right now is because there isn’t anyone on the free agent market worth bringing in.
Changing kickers at this point in the season is something a team like the Washington Redskins do. The Redskins aren’t playing for anything and when they released Shaun Suisham after he missed a 23-yarder that would have beat the New Orleans Saints, it was simply to give new kicker Graham Gano an extended look for next season. The Redskins don’t have to worry about counting on Gano during the playoffs because they’re not going to be anywhere near the playoffs.
If you recall the last time the Packers went the to playoffs, you may remember that Crosby was actually pretty solid, hitting his only two playoff attempts in the tense 2007 NFC Championship loss to the New York Giants.
I’m not suggesting the Packers shouldn’t look at replacing Crosby, because he seems to have gotten progressively worse since his rookie season, but they certainly shouldn’t do it until after the season.
Crosby’s main problem has been gaining any consistency on field goals over 40 yards. He’s 4-of-7 between 40 and 49 yards, and 1-of-5 from 50 and beyond.
Despite that, he’s the best option the Packers have right now.