Three’s Company in Packers’ Kicking Competition

The Green Bay Packers have three kickers on their roster with OTAs on the horizon. “It might be six” for the start of training camp, Rich Bisaccia said.
Packers kicker Anders Carlson
Packers kicker Anders Carlson / Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers have three kickers on their roster. Generally, three’s a crowd. But, when it comes to determining who will be the team’s kicker for the 2024 season, three might only be a starting point.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia said on Thursday when asked if the team will take three kickers into training camp. “It might be those three. It might be three other ones. I don’t know. It might be six.”

The current kicker depth chart, which consists of incumbent Anders Carlson, veteran addition Greg Joseph and rookie Jack Podlesny, stands in stark contrast to last year, when the Packers drafted Carlson in the sixth round and never brought in a challenger through good times or bad.

Carlson never broke through last season’s funk, when he missed a kick in 10 of his final 12 games, including a critical field goal in the playoff loss at San Francisco. So, general manager Brian Gutekunst has doubled- and tripled-down on getting the position solved.

“We’re appreciative of Brian getting it to the point where it’s at right now, having a three-man competition,” Bisaccia continued. “We’ll see how long we can keep that going. There’s some things going on in a bunch of different leagues, so we’re going to keep investigating to try to end up with the best player we possibly can.”

Through his first five games, Carlson was 7-of-7 on field goals and 10-of-10 on extra points. However, starting with a missed field goal in the Week 7 loss at Denver, Carlson missed a kick in 10 of his final 12 games, including a critical field goal in the playoff loss at San Francisco.

By season’s end, nobody missed more kicks than Carlson, and he ranked toward the bottom of the league in extra-point and field-goal percentage.

“I just think his response has been (to) work,” Bisaccia said. “It was that way during the year last year. He went through some of the ebbs and flows of kicks. And I think he’s really been the same way. He’s come back a little bit stronger in the offseason than I think he was a year ago. At this point, it’s been a good competition. They’ve kicked really well, all of them.

“I think the reaction is probably more of a competitive mindset, an improvement mindset. That’s kind of what’s been showing on the field.”

Joseph’s resume reads like a rollercoaster. He made five game-winning kicks in 2022, including a 61-yarder, as the Viking set an NFL record with 11 one-score victories. However, in five NFL seasons, Joseph has made only 82.5 percent of his field-goal attempts. That includes 82.2 percent in three seasons for the Vikings, who play their games indoors.

“He’s been an indoor kicker now for a while, so being here is a little bit interesting,” Bisaccia said. “In our conversation with him, he hasn’t played well here the two years I’ve been here. We blocked one, he missed one. So, him playing in these conditions is a little bit different for him, as well. He’s got a tremendous leg. He’s got a great mindset. So, it’s been a good competition to this point. We expect it to stay that way for as long as Brian keeps three.”

Podlesny is the interesting underdog in the battle. The Packers have released four players over the last handful of days but Podlesny must be kicking well enough to merit an extended look.

Three weeks of organized team activities begin on May 20, with the mandatory minicamp to follow. At that point, Gutekunst could cut the group to two. Or, he could take a look at the UFL, where Michigan’s Jake Bates has made three kicks of 60-plus yards in six weeks.

“Body language is a big deal, and how you do react to certain situations. I think the reactions have been good,” Bisaccia said. “It’s all on film. It’s all being graded. They know they’re in a competition. I think they can feel that amongst themselves every day in practice.”

More Green Bay Packers News

Navy SEALs | Josh Myers | “Night and day” on offense | Jones and Jacobs

College coaches: Edgerrin Cooper | Javon Bullard | Ty’Ron Hopper

All-Star Scouts: Jordan Morgan | Edgerrin Cooper | Javon Bullard | MarShawn Lloyd | Ty’Ron Hopper | Evan Williams, Kitan Oladapo | Travis Glover | Michael Pratt | Kalen King

Bill Huber


Bill Huber, who has covered the Green Bay Packers since 2008, is the publisher of Packer Central, a Sports Illustrated channel. E-mail: History: Huber took over Packer Central in August 2019. Twitter: Background: Huber graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he played on the football team, in 1995. He worked in newspapers in Reedsburg, Wisconsin Dells and Shawano before working at The Green Bay News-Chronicle and Green Bay Press-Gazette from 1998 through 2008. With The News-Chronicle, he won several awards for his commentaries and page design. In 2008, he took over as editor of Packer Report Magazine, which was founded by Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke, and In 2019, he took over the new Sports Illustrated site Packer Central, which he has grown into one of the largest sites in the Sports Illustrated Media Group.