GREEN BAY (WITI) — In most of the past off-seasons, Mason Crosby was the only kicker on the Packers roster — his job basically assured. Things are different this summer.
In the past five seasons of his NFL career, Crosby’s field goal percentage was 79.5%.
Last season, his percentage was 63.5% — and that was with a late rally.
Thus, it cannot be terribly surprising that there is another kicker on the roaster this summer: 22-year-old Giorgio Tavecchio out of California. Because he is a left-footed kicker, it is a challenge for holder Tim Masthay to work from side to side.
“Absolutely, and Tim will get quicker with it. It’s not like it’s the first time it’s ever happened, but yes, it’s part of training. That group is very diligent, so I don’t think it will be an issue at all,” Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy aid.
If Crosby regains his previous form, he retains the job — but Tavecchio is hardly adopting the posture of a hopeless camp leg.
“I feel my purpose here. I feel connected to a spiritual purpose, and that’s just give every day my best — whether that’s on the field, in the weight room, in the community, in everyday interactions. Just be in the moment and appreciate the experiences, because you never know how long it’s going to be — so that’s kinda the mindset I have,” Tavecchio said.
Tavecchio was brought up Catholic, and lived in Italy before eventually becoming a soccer standout in his high school days in California.
“Football — especially kicking is a very interesting role, so it really presents an opportunity for me to kind of be in that spiritual walk with God in that moment, because there is a lot going on,” Tavecchio said.
Like any player, Tavecchio hopes to use training camp as a springboard to a roster spot in the NFL — if not in Green Bay, then somewhere else. His approach is consistent with his beliefs.
“I like to quote St. Thomas Aquinas or Mother Theresa. I’ve heard it quoted both ways. I pray like it depends on him, but I work like it depends on me. That’s kind of the good go-between that I’ve embraced,” Tavecchio said.
If Crosby is the Packers kicker this fall, it seems as though Tavecchio will be able to deal with that development.
There are no official Packers activities until Training Camp begins on July 25th.