GREEN BAY – Mason Crosby made it clear Thursday that it’s not about the money – and the Green Bay Packers kicker came off as believable, which has to be a first among professional athletes.
Rather, for Crosby, making field goals – instead of missing them, which he did entirely too often last season – isn’t about earning back the portions of his contract that were lopped off when he accepted a pay cut that included performance incentives that could get him back the $2.4 million he gave up. It’s simply about being the kicker he knows he can be.
“I don’t think it’s anything based on salary or anything like that. It’s not me trying to prove to people that might have wanted me out of here or anything like that,” Crosby said Thursday after the NFL named him the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October. “I’m trying to be the kicker that I know I am and my teammates and coaches know that I am.
“The reason that I’m here is to make field goals and be successful and that’s what I’m out here doing. My mind-set is all about the positive stuff. I’m not trying to dwell on negatives, (or to) stick it to people who weren’t supportive. That’s not where my mind is. My mind is on being positive, going out there every day and being like, ‘I’m going to get better today and do this for the people who have supported me and been there for me every day: my family, my friends, my teammates, my coaches.’”
After Crosby made only 21 of 33 attempts last season (63.6 percent), the Packers brought in Giorgio Tavecchio and Zach Ramirez to compete with him. Even after fending them off, Crosby still had to accept a pay cut that converted much of his base salary into incentives. If he kicks like he did in 2011, when he made 24 of his 28 regular-season field-goal attempts for a career-best 85.7 conversion percentage, he’ll earn all that money back.
TCrosby led the NFL with 50 points and 13 field goals in the month of October, as the Packers went 4-0. He was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 5 and has now won the monthly award twice (November 2007 being the first time).
On the season, Crosby has made 17 of 19 field-goal attempts (89.5 percent).
“In my view, in my mind, Mason Crosby never left. He went through a tough spot,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy replied when asked how it felt to have the old Crosby back this season. “I believed in the man, I believed in his ability. The guy’s a world champion. We have history. So it was just a matter of him, it was more of a mental tough spot that he was going through. I think what we put him through from a competitive standpoint in training camp I think it’s good for all of us. And he responded. Really, coming out of training camp, I really had no concerns.”
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