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Brett Goode's return gives Packers kicker Mason Crosby stability

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Two-thirds of the Green Bay Packers' field-goal operation is back together.

Kicker Mason Crosby now has his long-snapper back. The Packers re-signed veteran Brett Goode on Saturday after a rocky couple of weeks for the field-goal unit that had a rookie snapper, Derek Hart, and a rookie holder, punter Justin Vogel.

The Packers are keeping Hart -- for now -- but as long as there is no dropoff in Goode's performance, it's likely he will be the opening-day snapper for the 10th straight season. They did not have to release Hart or anyone else to make room for Goode because they had been one short of the 90-man training camp roster limit since they released defensive tackle Letroy Guion last week.

The move came two days after Hart and the field-goal operation bounced back with a solid showing in the preseason opener; they had a disastrous performance last Saturday in the Packers' Family Night practice at Lambeau Field. Crosby made a 39-yard field goal and all three of his extra points Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

However, the rookie long-snapper was a big reason for Crosby's disastrous field-goal session -- in which he missed six of 11 kicks during Family Night.

It was puzzling why Packers general manager Ted Thompson didn't bring back the 32-year-old Goode to start with after his contract expired in March. Goode played last season on a one-year, $885,000 deal that counted only $600,000 against the salary cap.

Goode had a workout last week with the New York Jets, which perhaps prompted Thompson to make the move he did Saturday.

Crosby made 86.7 percent of his field goals last season (the second-highest mark of his 10-year career) not including the playoffs, when he nailed the game-winning 51-yard field goal at Dallas to send the Packers into the NFC Championship Game.

"Everybody was excited about the kick –- and I was and he was -- but the first guy I went to was Brett," Packers special teams coach Ron Zook said this week. "I mean because you know this: You know they're coming. And then the protection, it's a team game, 11 guys have to do their job. If one guy doesn't do their job, if the snap's not on, if the hold's not down, if the kick is not right, if the linemen don't block ... ."

Crosby and Goode worked together on every field goal in 142 of the last 144 regular-season games dating to 2008. Last year's holder, punter Jacob Schum, was released in the spring after he sustained a back injury.

It should take some degree of stress of Crosby, who admitted he had to stop worrying about the snap and hold and just try to do his job.

"That's their job, that's their operation," Crosby said after Thursday's preseason opener. "The snap, the hold, we work in sync. But I think I was worrying about all that a little too much. I just made sure that I slowed myself down and looked into what I could control and make sure that I'm sound with everything I'm doing every time I go to the ball."