How Crosby got his groove back

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Almost exactly a year ago, Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby was kicking for his career.

He had come off a disastrous performance in the Family Night scrimmage, missing five of his eight field goals. He had a day off to fret over it and then came back to practice and missed another kick. At the time, he was 15-of-23 for camp and at 65.2 percent, he was only slightly better than his career-low of 63.6 percent from the previous season.

A year later?

"My day off was a lot nicer," Crosby said Monday.

It should have been. Crosby nailed all six of his Family Night field goals on Saturday and when the Packers returned to practice on Monday night, he nailed all eight of his kicks -- including field goals of 53 and 55 yards. For all of camp, he has made 28-of-30 kicks (93.3 percent).

After making a career-best 89.2 percent of his field goals last season, the eighth-year veteran has not cooled off one bit.

"Last year, he was under a pretty intense competition," Packers special teams coach Shawn Slocum said. "He did well towards the end of it and had a good season. He's come back this year, and I really like where he's at in terms of his kicking. He's got a good mindset, and I think he's in a good place."

It turned out, Family Night of 2013 was a turning point for Crosby. He steadied himself and held off competition from two different kickers -- Giorgio Tavecchio and Zach Ramirez -- and has not looked back.

"I think I learned a lot from that as well and made sure I moved on on that day off," Crosby recalled. "Came back out Monday and tried to detail my work and be better than I was that night."

The only time he ever dwells on Family Night of 2013 -- or any other missed kick -- is when someone asks him about it.

"I don't feel like I was holding on too much a couple years ago but definitely when it starts compounding, it doesn't make it any easier," Crosby said. "I feel like I've done a good job of just being consistent and going out and making sure that I don't let those things hang on. I feel like all my work, before I even hit the ball, is very detailed. That obviously helps to be consistent and make those kicks."