Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
APC’s initial evaluation of the Packers’ roster concludes with a look at the three specialists, kicker, punter, and long snapper. Normally this post is a quick “yup they’re good” and then call it a day. This article can’t do that this year……sigh.
We wrap up our look at the Packers roster going into 2013 with the often overlooked specialists. These posts are always the nicest to write when there is not much to write at all…..basically the article says that the punter did his job, the kicker did not screw up, and there were no mistakes from the long snapper. Do a quick look over, have a beer and call it a day.
Yup, this article can’t do that this year. Sigh.
Players signed for 2013
Let’s start with the bad news. Mason Crosby was awful this year. He had the lowest field goal percentage of any kicker in the league (not counting Nate Kaeding who only had three attempts for the year in Miami) and struggled with the yips for most of the season. While this is the first year Crosby has out right failed in his field goal percentage stat, he has often disappointed in this area and has only gone over the 80% mark once in his six year career. To say that the Packers could find an upgrade at this position is an understatement.
The good news is that Tim Masthay had a pretty solid season. Masthay’s net average per punt is not impressive (38.9 yards good for 22nd in the league), but his punts inside the 20 was pretty good (30 tied for 7th in the league). He also had only five touchbacks all year long. Expect the Ginger Wolverine to be back next year and continuing his steady performance.
There is not much that can be said about a long snapper, and so there isn’t much to say about Goode. He’s good. There were not any miscues or bad snaps this year. He even logged a tackle on special teams.
Position Grade: C-
As it stands right now I would give Masthay somewhere between a high B / low A range for an individual grade, Crosby either a D- or F depending on how generous I was feeling that day (he did get over the yips for the playoffs), and Goode would get a pass. As a result that all averages out in my mind as a grade in the mid to low C range.
Need Grade: 4 (out of 10)
The only real need here is kicker, but upgrading a kicker can be tricky. Kickers are a dime a dozen but finding that right one is very tough. It’s not a position that demands a high priority to upgrade because a low round pick can typically solve the problem and even that is not typically necessary. The main key for securing the long range kicker position is to bring in competition for Crosby in camp and force him to win the job. If he can, great…and if he can’t then hopefully the guy who beats him is better.