The Green Bay Packers signed kicker Giorgio Tavecchio in late March to provide some competition for Mason Crosby during training camp. There is no question Crosby needs to feel the heat after his dismal performance last season. Considering Green Bay’s kicker has never faced true competition in camp, it will be interesting to see how well he handles it.
Tavecchio was with the San Francisco 49ers in training camp last year, and he even suited up for three games in preseason. However, the 49ers cut him in favor of veteran kicker David Akers. Tavecchio did have a very successful collegiate career with the California Golden Bears in which he recorded 256 points.
Crosby converted a career-low 63.6 percent (21-for-33) of his field goal attempts last season. He did manage to make a career-high nine field goals from 50 yards or longer, but it was the closer attempts that needed to be converted that he failed to do so on a consistent basis. In fact, during a critical 10-game stretch last season, Crosby missed 12 field goals out of a possible 24 attempts. The media in Green Bay went crazy as fans called for the Packers to immediately bring in a replacement. Obviously, Green Bay stuck with Crosby in the hopes that he put the poor performance behind him.
It is a well-known fact that every kicker has at least one season where he is unable to play at a high level. Hopefully, Crosby has got the bad season out of his system and it will be easy sailing for the next several years.
The good news is the 28-year-old has shown much improvement in the offseason, something that has the Packers optimistic about the 2013 NFL season.
“He had some technical issues that he worked through,” Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum said, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette. “I thought he started to improve at the end of the season. He’s had a good offseason to this point. We want to get to the production we had at the end of 2010 through 2011. That’s what’s important for us to get to.”