Not surprisingly, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson was coy about his kicking battle on Tuesday.
After Giorgio Tavecchio surged ahead during the first week of training camp, Mason Crosby evened the gap and likely has pulled ahead. On Saturday night at St. Louis, Crosby went 3-for-3 on field goals compared to 1-of-2 for Tavecchio, and Crosby went 9-for-10 at Monday’s practice while Tavecchio went 8-for-10.
“I think they’ve both done a good job,” Thompson said at his weekly news conference. “And I think they’ve even improved over the course of the last. I think the competition has made it better. It looks like they’re representative kickers.”
Asked point-blank whether the Packers’ Week 1 kicker is on the roster today, Thompson said, “We’ll see. Never stop looking.”
At practices and the scrimmage, Tavecchio is 45-of-51 on field goals while Crosby is 41-of-51, though the games are the ultimate test. Tavecchio missed from 49 yards at St. Louis. Crosby’s performance last season and his meltdown on Family Night, when he missed five of his eight attempts, has to be of some concern, though.
Crosby and Tavecchio will get another shot on Friday night against Seattle. Might that be the last kicking battle? In 2006, when Thompson went with Dave Rayner, he released Billy Cundiff halfway through training camp. (Thompson did claim E.J. Cochrane off waivers for the final week of camp but he did not kick in the preseason finale.) In 2007, the Packers chose Crosby over Rayner after the final preseason game.
So, would Thompson make the decision a week early to let the kicker and holder Tim Masthay focus for the final week of camp? Or Will Thompson let the competition unfold to the bitter end? Rosters must be trimmed to 75 on Tuesday and 53 next Saturday.
“It’s just when you get comfortable with the decision,” Thompson said.
Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.
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.