Friendly competition for Packers kickers - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Friendly competition for Packers kickers

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GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- Special teams proved a sore spot for the Packers in 2012. Recall Mason Crosby made just 16 of 28 field goals over 30 yards. Enter Giorgio Tavecchio, a free agent out of California, to kick-off a preseason competition.

On Thursday, Crosby felt he had a good handle to his approach in 2013.

"This year, my main focus is just sticking a good plant and hitting, you know, picking a good line," Crosby said. "Just picking a line, hitting that line and making sure I have a consistent target-line on that, so I'm swinging down that path. I felt good with that today. For me it's just sticking a good plant and hitting to that target every time."

Tavecchio said he's trying to learn as much as he can from the now seven-year veteran. He added that Crosby's been very forthcoming with instruction.

"He's been great to me when he doesn't have to be friendly, doesn't have to be, you know? He can be cordial, but he's friendly, outgoing and kind of engages with the stuff that I bring up, so it's been good so far," Tavecchio said. "I hope that my presence here hasn't messed his preparation up or anybody else's in the specialist group because I'm here to serve. Obviously, I'll do my best and try to do my best on the field and hopefully something happens, but at the same time, we're all just trying to give our best on the field."

While head coach Mike McCarthy realizes it's too early to make any sort of call at kicker, he did already note the stylistic differences between the two--as did Tavecchio.

"He's a very smooth kicker, so when you watch it and when something is done right, you just really appreciate it. There are some days when he's just so smooth, so fluid. It's like, 'Wow, that's poetry in motion,'" said Tavecchio.

McCarthy said, "I thought they both kicked a lot better [Thursday]. I thought Mason obviously kicked with excellent accuracy. The height of the football was where it needs to be. I thought [Giorgio] made his kicks. He doesn't have quite the lift that Mason has."

McCarthy added that he expects Saturday's Family Night scrimmage to be the first real showdown between these two, and that the battle for kicker should be a battle to watch throughout the preseason.

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