Packers Will Remain Patient With Rookie Anders Carlson

Anders Carlson, Packers
Packers Coverage, NFL Analysis Network

One of the biggest storylines to come out of Green Bay Packers’ training camp has been the performance of rookie kicker, Anders Carlson. The Packers used a sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on the Auburn product, handpicking him as their replacement for long-time kicker, Mason Crosby.

Green Bay elected not to bring Crosby back for a 17th season with the franchise. He had been the team’s primary kicker since being selected in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Colorado.

The decision to move on from Crosby is certainly a risky one. While he didn’t have the leg strength that he once possessed, he was extremely reliable. When his number was called, the Packers knew what they were going to get.

Carlson has not provided that level of comfort yet. His performance has been up and down throughout the offseason, which the team’s brain trust has chalked up to as typical for life as a rookie in the NFL.

Unless something drastic occurs between now and Week 1 of the regular season, such as an injury or a true implosion with his on-field performance, Carlson will be the team’s kicker in 2023 and beyond.

“We believe in him, we think he has a lot of talent, he’s done some really good things since he’s been here. You guys have seen his leg strength, his power. I really like the way the ball elevates off his foot,” Gutekunst said Friday. “But you have to find a way to get to a more consistent level. One thing…there’s not a lot of patience sometimes when there needs to be. Mason had some multiple times while he was here where he was in some really bad spots, some struggles, and I always thought Ted gave him a pretty long leash and he always came out of it. I think that’s important, especially for young players to get that patience, that leash to get there. But at some point, when this stuff becomes real, it becomes different.”

It has been a roller coaster ride for Carlson this offseason, featuring plenty of ups and downs. Through two preseason games, he is 5-for-7 on extra points and 2-for-2 on field goal attempts.

It was nice to see him bounce back in this weekend’s game against the New England Patriots. His performance in the joint practices was one of the lowlights for the team as he missed two kicks during the two-minute competition portion of practice.

“You see that, it’s pretty typical, you see it around the league right now. It’s gotta get fixed, and we have to get to a point where we can produce when it matters, but yeah, I think that’s pretty typical,” Gutekunst said.

The Packers are seemingly committed to Carlson, as they don’t even have another kicker in camp competing with him. Right now, this is his job. The coaches are going to continue working with him to hopefully get him on track to find consistency when it counts in the regular season.