GREEN BAY, Wis. – As a senior at Georgetown (Texas) High School, Mason Crosby was a first-team all-district selection as a kicker, punter and safety.
Crosby, of course, went on to find fame at kicker. At Colorado, he had as many 60-yard field goals (one as a sophomore) as punts (one as a senior). In 14 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, he’s made 345 field goals, collected 26 tackles and never punted.
That changed – sort of – in Saturday’s preseason game at Buffalo. With punter JK Scott dealing with cramps, Crosby punted in a game for the first time since his college days.
“It’s always been in my back pocket,” Crosby told Packers.com’s Larry McCarren after the game. “I’ve always been the backup. What better time than in Year 15 to get my first rep in a game?”
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Crosby’s punt went 41 yards. Unofficially, he had 4.03 seconds of hang time. That allowed decent coverage and produced a net punt of 34 yards.
“When I caught it, laces were straight down so I was focused on the ball, turning it and trying to make good contact,” Crosby said. “I think officially I got over 4-second hang, so that’s a win. Coverage was awesome (and) I think we had great protection, so that’s all I can ask for. It’s a different vantage point back there. It was kind of fun in a preseason game to get out and be able to do something outside the normal job and, honestly, go out there and have a little fun.”
While Crosby might remember his first NFL punt forever, he’ll quickly forget about the 28-yard field goal he missed just before halftime. He called it a “little glitch in the system” after making all 20 field-goal attempts (including playoffs) last season. Inside of 30 yards, he’s 103-for-105 in regular-season play. His last miss from that distance came in 2011. Since then, he’s a perfect 63-for-63.
“It’s been a while since I’ve seen one not go through in a game,” he said. “I can’t remember one that close that I missed in a long time. Getting that out of the system in the preseason, in my mind, I’ll spin it in a good way and make sure that we lock in and get prepared for New Orleans.”