After almost a one-week break, the Green Bay Packers renewed their kicking competition on a sunny Thursday at Ray Nitschke Field.
While Giorgio Tavecchio took Round 1 on Friday, Crosby got the better of Round 2. Mason Crosby went 5-for-5, with conversions from 33 yards (right hash), 37 yards (left hash), 43 yards (right hash), 47 yards (left hash) and 51 yards (right hash).
"I felt great today," Crosby said. "I felt like I had a really good day. I had a good session on Tuesday building off what I did on Sunday. So I felt good on Tuesday, had a great session there and just carried that over. That was a very positive thing with today. I hit five really good balls there."
Kicking from the same spots as Crosby, Tavecchio went 5-of-6. His miss was off the left upright from 51 yards. Special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum appeared to give Tavecchio a mulligan, though, because of a protection breakdown. On his second try from 51, Tavecchio connected.
“I thought they both kicked a lot better today,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I thought Mason kicked with excellent accuracy and the height of the football is where it needs to be. (Tavecchio) made his kicks but he doesn’t have quite the lift that Mason has.”
When the kickers competed on the first day of training camp, Tavecchio went 5-of-6 (miss from 53) and Crosby went 4-of-6 (misses from 50 and 53).
The next phase of the battle will be under the lights of Saturday’s Family Night Scrimmage. It will be the first kicking battle at the scrimmage since Crosby was a sixth-round pick in 2007 and challenging incumbent Dave Rayner.
“It’s going to be a good battle. We’re going to feature those guys on (Saturday) night like we did years ago with Mason and Dave.”
New injuries: None.
Old injuries: WR Sederrik Cunningham (disclocated wrist), WR Kevin Dorsey (hamstring), WR Charles Johnson (knee), RB DuJuan Harris (knee), S Sean Richardson (neck), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring), CB Tramon Williams (knee), OLB Nate Palmer (shoulder), LB Dezman Moses (toe), OL J.C. Tretter (broken ankle), OT Derek Sherrod (leg), DE Mike Neal (abdominal), DE Jerel Worthy (ACL).
McCarthy couldn’t or wouldn’t confirm a report that Williams was seeking a second opinion on his knee. “Players are encouraged to get second opinions if they feel it’s necessary. I think it’s like anything: more information is probably good,” McCarthy said, adding that he felt good with the original diagnosis that Williams would be out a couple weeks ago.
Returning from injuries: S David Fulton (knee), Johnny Jolly (ankle).
“Johnny’s always been a tough guy, always practiced hurt. It’s no surprise to anybody,” McCarthy said. “That’s part of what makes him unique as a football player. Obviously with the opportunity he has, I’m sure he wants to take full advantage of it.”
-- McCarthy kept the players on the field for extra ball-security work. McCarthy counted the ball on the ground four times. Andrew Quarless fumbled once, there were two botched shotgun snaps and a pitch from B.J. Coleman to James Starks wound up being recovered by Starks about 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage. “The pitch between B.J. and James Starks, I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like it,” McCarthy said. “I think it’s careless, sloppy, and it overshadows all the good work that went on out there.”
-- Marshall Newhouse continues taking the bulk of the No. 1 snaps at right tackle, though Don Barclay continues to get some work and rookie David Bakhtiari has impressed. “Marshall needs to earn it and the other players, David and Don, need to earn it,” McCarthy said. “It’s going to take some time. We’re just getting started.”
-- The No. 1 offensive line of Bryan Bulaga, Josh Sitton, Evan Dietrich-Smith, T.J. Lang and Newhouse have gone 15-0 in the one-on-one pass-blocking drill the last two days.
-- Punting with the line of scrimmage being the defense’s 45-yard line, Tim Masthay pinned the “opponent” at the 14, 13, 15, 6, 7, 5, 10, 7, 2 and 16. In between, he had one touchback, with Jarrett Bush being unable to keep the ball out of the end zone.
-- Friday’s practice is at 7 p.m., with Family Night festivities starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. There is no practice on Sunday, and Monday’s practice will be closed to the public.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.