On his third attempt of Wednesday’s practice, Crosby missed the camera tower. The crowd groaned. After all, the poor guy filming practice served as target practice on Crosby’s first two attempts.
In 2012, Crosby somehow managed to keep his job despite a worst-in-the-league success rate of 63.6 percent. In 2013, the Packers forced Crosby to trade his base salary for an incentive-laden contract and brought in two challengers. Crosby responded with career-best 89.2 percent accuracy.
In 2014, there was no torn-up contract, and no challengers were brought in. Apparently, Crosby didn’t need any external “motivation” this summer. He enters Saturday’s preseason opener at Tennessee having made 34-of-36 field-goal attempts in training camp (94.4 percent), including a streak of 24 in a row. Among those two-dozen consecutive successful field goals are five attempts from 50-plus yards.
Crosby said the key has been to focus on the next kick, rather than let any memories — good or bad — linger.
“Whatever the kick is, I’m moving onto that next one and am really focused on being successful on every attempt that I go out there to kick,” Crosby said. “I think that mind-set, that focus is something that I really learned over these last couple years is just to make sure that I’m in that moment, I’m embracing it and every time I go out on that field I take advantage of it. I don’t hold onto misses or makes or anything too long. I’m locked in for every opportunity that I have.”
Crosby’s career in Green Bay appeared to be hanging by a thread after last year’s Family Night. He made 3-of-8 field-goal attempts, including 2-of-6 in a scrimmage-ending, head-to-head matchup against Giorgio Tavecchio. Crosby bounced back from that dismal performance and hasn’t stumbled badly since.
“In reality, that was kind of a turning-point moment, where I was like, ‘I just have to move on and get ready for the next day,’” Crosby said. “I think I learned a lot from that as well and made sure I moved on on that day off and came back out Monday and tried to detail my work and be better than I was that night.”
In this year’s Family Night, Crosby went 6-for-6.
“Was anybody holding their breath out there on that field-goal set? I know I wasn’t,” he said after Family Night. “I felt good about it. I feel good with how I’m approaching every day. Every day, I come into work, in meetings, on the practice field, I’m taking every opportunity very seriously and making sure I take advantage of them. Whether it’s in a game, practice rep, they all matter and they all need to be crisp and good. I’ve been really happy. I’ve had two misses in the live sessions that we’ve had in practice and I’ve moved on from those really well. They kind of came in the middle and then I kind of regrouped and made my last three or four kicks every day. Those are the types of things that I draw on and make sure that I continue 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.