How Long Can Packers Give Anders Carlson To Figure It Out?

Anders Carlson, Packers
Packers Coverage, NFL Analysis Network

A lot of attention has been given to the Green Bay Packers’ decision to move on from Aaron Rodgers this offseason and rightfully so. Any time you hand the keys of the team over to an inexperienced player such as Jordan Love from a future Hall of Famer, people are going to talk about it.

However, Rodgers wasn’t the only long-time Packers starter that was on the move this offseason. The team also opted to move on from kicker, Mason Crosby. Crosby had been kicking for the Packers since he was selected in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

His time with the franchise came to an end this offseason when the Packers used a sixth-round pick on Anders Carlson out of Auburn. Carlson has a huge leg, something that Crosby was lacking in the last few seasons he was with the team. Special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia also coached Carlson’s brother, Daniel, while with the Las Vegas Raiders and helped turn his career around.

The Packers were hoping he would be able to work the same magic on Anders, but thus far, his performance has been up and down. Outside of the Packers Family Night Practice, Carlson has found no consistency when it comes to accuracy.

It is nice having a strong leg and the ability to kick the ball for days. However, if you are unable to kick it accurately, you won’t be helping the team. In his first NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals in preseason Week 1, Carlson’s performance was a mixed bag.

He did make his only field goal attempt, nailing a 45-yard attempt right down Broadway, he went only 3-for-5 on extra points. In the joint practice against the New England Patriots, Carlson did get off to a hot start.

He made his first five attempts of the afternoon, making an extra point and four field goals between 40-50 yards away. It was nice to see him handle the wind on the field successfully, but things quickly unraveled during the two-minute drill competition.

Jordan Love drove the Packers’ offense down the field, hitting Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs with two passes each. The team was in a position to score before Carlson missed a 40-yard attempt wide right.

He received another chance during the two-minute drill and this time, his attempt was an even more embarrassing miss. Carlson and the kicking unit had to rush onto the field with the clock running, which could have messed up their timing. He missed a 43-yard attempt short, as ESPN’s Rob Demovsky said Carlson basically popped the kick up in the air.

That is certainly not going to help Carlson’s cause when it comes to earning the kicker’s job. He remains the only kicker on the roster right now, but it is fair to ask how long that is going to remain the case.

Green Bay cannot go into the regular season with a kicker who has been as erratic as Carlson has been. You don’t want to give up on a rookie so early, but Carlson has yet to show that he can handle this job on a consistent basis.

At the very least, it would not be a surprise to see the Packers bring in some experienced competition to work against Carlson in training camp. Maybe that would light a fire under him and get him playing at the level at which the team needs him to perform.