Packers' Mason Crosby likely to face competition at kicker

Andy Lyons

Green Bay's kicking game was a struggle in 2012, and the Packers may be looking for a change.

The Packers will be bringing in some competition to challenge incumbent kicker Mason Crosby this offseason, and Michael Barnard will be getting a shot, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

Crosby started and finished strong last season, making his first five attempts then hitting his last four. He had plenty of difficulty in between, and routinely missed relatively easy field goals on the way to a 50 percent stretch. In the end, Crosby finished with a league-worst 63.6 percent on field goals. That's well below Crosby's career mark of 76.8 percent, and well under his 85.7 percent from 2011.

Barnard played his college ball at Division III Fairleigh Dickinson. He has not spent time on an NFL roster before. Barnard kicked three of the longest field goals in FDU history, according to the school. Unfortunately, those were of just 47, 45 and 43 yards. NFL kickers are generally asked to make field goals from farther out.

The Packers have employed Crosby as their primary placekicker for the past six years. It doesn't seem likely Barnard will outplay him in camp, but Green Bay may just be looking for a way to motivate their kicker to do better.

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