Crosby's Clank Magnifies His Clunker Start

K Mason Crosby (Benny Sieu/USP)

After not missing a field-goal attempt until Nov. 20 last season, Mason Crosby has missed four times. The latest came when he drilled the right upright from just 32 yards on Sunday. Technique, not psychology, will the focus this week.

Shawn Slocum will stick with his duties as Green Bay Packers special teams coordinator and not play the role of a shrink with slumping kicker Mason Crosby.

"Technician, all the way," Slocum said on Monday, a day after Crosby clanked a 32-yard field-goal attempt off the right upright against Jacksonville. "Mason's strong-minded. He missed the 32-yard field goal yesterday. It was a lack of good technique. He's got to clean that up."

On the heels of a career-best season in which Crosby made 85.7 percent of his field goals (24-of-28), he ranks next-to-last in the league with 69.2 percent accuracy (9-of-13). He's missed as many field goals in eight games as he missed all of last season.

After starting the year 5-for-5, Crosby is just 4-of-8. That includes a bad misfire from 51 yards that would have forced overtime at Indianapolis.

"I think it could be," Slocum said when asked if that miss has put Crosby into a funk. "Keep in mind of how many balls he hits and how many times he's done that procedure and it's really gets down to, let's keep it simple. It's about having good balance, good technique, good weight distribution, good job going into the plant and all the things that he does time and time again. It's very easy in that operation to get out of balance, and when you do, you have a chance to mishit the ball. And he's done that a couple times. He and I talked. ‘Let's not put more into it than there is. Let's make sure that you go back and you detail your work and just let it go, and be smooth in the operation.'"

Last year, Crosby didn't miss his first field-goal attempt until plunking the right upright from 29 yards against Tampa Bay on Nov. 20, a miss that snapped his franchise-record streak of 23 consecutive successful field goals. On Sunday, Crosby hit the same upright. It was a costly miss. The Packers, nursing their 14-12 halftime lead, dominated the third quarter with 101 yards and six first downs compared to minus-1 yard and no first downs. Crosby's miss, however, meant the Packers had nothing to show for their efforts.

"When I raised my head up after the strike, the strike felt all right," Crosby said on Sunday. "It looked like it was on a good path, and it just moved to the right and moved pretty hard drastically."

Slocum, Crosby, holder Tim Masthay and snapper Brett Goode will get back to work this week. Sunday's game against Arizona is the last before the bye, and Crosby no doubt would feel much better about things with a strong performance against the Cardinals.

"He expects to make every kick," Slocum said. "And when he misses one, he's the first one to be the toughest critic on himself and I'm sure it does (bother him). But at the same time, I think he does a good job of regaining his focus and moving forward."


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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 packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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