Anders Carlson Thriving In Green Bay Packers Kicking Competition

Anders Carlson, Green Bay Packers
Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Green Bay Packers underwent some major changes during the 2023 offseason. While many people focused on Jordan Love taking over for Aaron Rodgers, he wasn’t the only long-time starter who was replaced. The team was also turning over kicking duties to rookie Anders Carlson from Mason Crosby.

Crosby had been the team’s kicker since 2007 when he was selected in the sixth round out of Colorado. After 16 seasons, the franchise decided it was time to move on. Anders Carlson, a sixth-round pick out of Auburn, was tabbed as the starter.

Like many rookies, his first season as a pro was a turbulent one. The Green Bay Packers loved the leg strength that he brought to the table, but there were inconsistencies with his accuracy as the season moved along.

Despite some of the issues, the Green Bay Packers stuck with Anders Carlson, as he didn’t face any competition. That changed this offseason, as the team has carried two other kickers, Greg Joseph and Jack Podlesny to compete with him this offseason.

To this point, it sounds as if the competition has lit a fire under the Auburn product. Last week, the Green Bay Packers did their best to simulate the pressure of a game, allowing players on the team to distract the kickers.

Players waved their arms and some sprayed water at the kickers, making for some tough conditions. All three players attempted kicks from 53 yards away. Joseph and Podlesny both missed their attempts, but Anders Carlson drilled his. 

“Just make it as difficult as possible on the kickers,” Matt LaFleur said of their unique approach to raising the stakes for kickers at practice. “We want to put them in situations that are pretty uncomfortable. I would say that’s a pretty uncomfortable situation. Nowhere in ball are you going to have an entire team lined up around you, but just to try to amplify that level of pressure. It was good to see the last one go through the uprights.”

The consistency the Green Bay Packers have been looking for is there. Anders Carlson was 3-for-3 during that session from 50+ yards away. The previous week, he was 6-of-7 on 41-50 yard field goal attempts.

That is exactly what the team is looking for. Matt LaFleur and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia have to have confidence in whoever is kicking that they can perform when their number is called. To this point, it looks as if Anders Carlson is doing everything he can to lock down the kicking job for a second season.

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