Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio kicked to a draw in the latest phase of their competition.
Both kickers hit on all eight field-goal attempts toward the end of the Green Bay Packers’ training camp practice on Tuesday. With the No. 1 unit, they connected from 33 yards (right hash), 43 (left), 48 (right) and 50 (left). With the No. 2 unit, they converted from 34 (left hash), 39 (right), 45 (left) and 54 (right). They had a strong wind to their backs.
“Today was a little windier than it has been. It was a good day to get some work in,” Crosby said.
Crosby and Tavecchio have kicked the last two days after a punchless offense kept both kickers on the sideline for Friday’s preseason game. On Monday, Tavecchio went 8-for-8 while Crosby hit on 7-of-8 attempts.
It was a big bounce-back performance from Crosby, who made just 3-of-8 attempts during the Family Night Scrimmage. In their last three performances since the scrimmage, Tavecchio is 19-of-20 and Crosby 18-of-20.
“You know, right now, I’m just really working on the things that I need to work on,” Crosby said. “Right now, I’m hitting the ball really well, striking it solid. I put a few good days together here and that’s positive. Giorgio’s hitting great balls. It’s motivating for me, and I’m focused in and making sure I take care of my business. For me, that’s all I can control. I can only control what I do and how I go about my business. I love being here every day and coming in and working. These last two days were good. It was good to test our bodies and test our minds a little bit, and hit two really long sets. I think hitting that many balls really kind of pushed me and got me into a rhythm and into a good spot. I feel really good with that process.”
Including Family Night, Tavecchio is 35-of-39 for camp and Crosby is 30-of-39.
Before Tuesday’s battle, both kickers talked on the practice field with franchise scoring leader Ryan Longwell, who announced his retirement as a member of the Packers earlier in the day. Longwell and Crosby are friends, and Longwell and Tavecchio kicked at Cal.
“I’ve kept in touch with Mason. I think the world of him,” Longwell said. “I’ve gone to bat for him a ton even when I was with the Vikings. He is much, much better than his stats show because of the length of the field goals he attempts. I think the world of the guy. I think he’s a tremendous talent. It will work out like it’s supposed to work out. I think as long as his rhythm is fine, he’s one of the best in the league. I think Giorgio has had an unbelievable camp and his mind-set is so refreshing that you don’t see how the guy could ever fail. I think it will work out. I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out. I think they need live kicks in a live situation.”
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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.