Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby’s delicate psyche must be so fragile
that Mike McCarthy didn’t want to take any chances with him on Sunday. Why else would the coach pass on a field goal opportunity on 4th and 2 from the Titan 24 yard line with 8:49 left to play. Surely, up 49-0, they didn’t need the touchdown.
“We were in the four-minute offense,” said McCarthy. “We were running out the clock. I thought about it but I was more concerned with running out the clock.”
Earlier, Crosby hit a 26 yard field goal and a 48 yard field goal that hit the right upright and bounced in.
The fans sarcastically cheered Crosby’s good fortune on this day. Sarcastic? That’s what I suggested to the coach after the game on Sunday and he laughed. He said he couldn’t tell the difference between sarcastic cheering and regular cheering.
I didn’t offer up an explanation, but clearly all you have to do is bring the circumstances into play and you would know the cheer was mostly based on sarcasm. It’s not that the fans weren’t happy and excited for Crosby, but they know that he entered the game making 17 of 29 field goals. Many of them would have parted company with Crosby weeks ago and can’t understand why the head coach is protecting the worst percentage kicker in the league.
At this morning’s day after press conference, McCarthy was asked if he’d consider removing Randall Cobb from his return duties after Cobb suffered an ankle injury on a punt return Sunday. McCarthy seemed upset at the questioning and asked reporters if he should coach scared. Isn’t that what he’s been doing with Mason Crosby for the last 4 to 6 weeks?
I certainly hope McCarthy’s patience with Crosby pays off, without costing the Packers in the playoffs. If the plan backfires, the coach could lose his players.
McCarthy has already removed Jeff Saturday from the starting lineup at Center and given the job to Evan Dietrich-Smith. In effect, with two weeks left in the regular season because he wanted the best man on the job.
Can you imagine what his players will think if they get into the playoffs and Crosby misses a potential game winner that brings close to the Packers season? It’s no doubt, a big gamble on McCarthy’s part.