GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers won’t go out of his way to say anything to struggling kicker Mason Crosby this week, for two reasons: The Green Bay Packers quarterback believes Crosby knows he has the full support of all of his teammates, and he wouldn’t want to be treated any differently than normal if he were in Crosby’s shoes.
Crosby, who has made just 6 of his last 13 kicks and missed a pair of field-goal attempts in last Sunday’s 24-20 victory at Detroit, has been mired in a slump since starting the season 5 for 5. Crosby did make the decisive extra point after Randall Cobb’s 22-yard touchdown catch and tacked on a 39-yard field goal – after misses from 38 and 50 yards – to make it a four-point game.
“I think, in general, the kickers and punters are kind of like those bullpen guys – they come in late in the game. They all got their own shtick, their own personality, and they all need to be able to do their own thing,” Rodgers said on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com Tuesday. “Nothing is going to come out of me (saying), ‘C’mon man, you got to make that kick.’ It’s not like he’s going out there trying to miss kicks.
“For whatever reason he’s missed a couple lately, and he made one late in the game so hopefully he’s going to be able to build some confidence off of that. Kickers and punters – that’s a tough job. They come in a few times a game and they’re expected to be perfect in their job. A lot of pressure; the great ones are able to handle it and the ones that aren’t kind of bounce around from time to time. We’ve been fortunate enough to have two guys that do it really, really well (in Crosby and punter Tim Masthay) and a long snapper (in Brett Goode) who’s always keeping his name out of the paper. We have a lot of confidence in those guys.”
At one point on the sideline Sunday, FOX Sports cameras caught wide receiver Greg Jennings trying to cheer Crosby up by joking around with him. Rodgers said that while he doesn’t necessarily need solitude after a mistake, he doesn’t need any help being motivated to do better, either.
“I don’t think I need to be left alone,” Rodgers said. “I’ve enjoyed even more lately kind of finding B.J. Raji when he comes off because B.J. and I … I think he’s really done a good job of increasing his leadership role on the team. And when he kind of gives you that look and says, ‘C’mon man, let’s go, we need some points.’ It’s kind of like ‘OK, I don’t want to make B.J. mad, he’s a big angry guy.’ But I do appreciate the urgency that he plays with, and as a leader that he tries to encourage guys with.
“I appreciate words like that. I don’t need somebody in my face or somebody trying to mess around with me. I have a lot of confidence; I try not to get too high or too low during the game. When I throw an interception it’s frustrating as heck, but I don’t need anybody telling me to keep my head up or whatever. It’s not like that head is ever going down.”
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