Over the next few weeks, we will break down each position on the Green Bay Packers' 2015 roster in detail, discussing each player and making our predictions for the final 53-man roster.
Today we complete our breakdown of the players on the Green Bay Packers' 90-man roster. To start that off, we will examine the three returning specialists from the 2014 squad.
2014 was an abysmal year for the Packers' special teams, and was bed enough to get coordinator Shawn Slocum fired. Seven blocked kicks, including five place-kicks and two punts, were bad enough, but the gaffe by Brandon Bostick against the Seahawks put the finishing touch on a tragic season for those units. The Packers responded by shaking up the personnel in addition to the coaching staff.
However, one area that did not see significant changes were the specialists themselves. For the sixth straight year, this trio will enter training camp together.
Mason Crosby, K
H/W: 6'1", 207
NFL Seasons: 8
2014 Stats: 27-33 FGs, three blocked (81.8%); 53-55 PATs, two blocked (96.4%)
Contract status: Signed through 2015; cap hit of $3.55 million
If you remove the three blocked field goals, Crosby would have hit 90% of his attempts for the first time in his career. Instead, his 82% looks much less impressive. Still, he has come a long, long way since his abysmal 2012 season, and is 9 of 14 from 50 yards and longer in the past two years after hitting just 2 of 9 that season.
To exemplify how far he has come, Crosby also hit a 48-yarder right down the middle at the end of regulation in the NFC Championship Game that tied the contest and sent it into overtime. His job is safe barring some kind of 2012-like implosion.
Tim Masthay, P
H/W: 6'1", 200
NFL Seasons: 5
2014 Stats: 49 punts, 2,159 yards (44.1 gross average), two blocked; long of 63
Contract status: Signed through 2016; cap hit of $1.34 million
Unlike Crosby, the Ginger Wolverine had a poor season in 2014, regardless of the abysmal blocking in front of him. His 44.1 average was not abysmal - in fact it was pretty darn close to his career average of 44.3 - but the second half of the season showed a massive dropoff. After averaging over 47 yards per punt during the first half of the season, he barely cracked 40 after the bye week.
This performance actually prompted the Packers to bring in competition for Masthay this offseason (more on him shortly), even though he is still expected to keep the job in training camp.
Brett Goode, LS
Age: 30 (turns 31 in November)
H/W: 6'1", 255
NFL Seasons: 7
2014 Stats: 16 games played, no stats
Contract status: Signed through 2015; cap hit of $976,250
Once again, Goode was the invisible man on the Packers' roster. He didn't make a bad snap all season, but didn't make a tackle on kick coverage either. He'll show up, snap the ball accurately, and collect close to a million bucks this year. Not a bad gig, if you can get it.