Rookie long snapper, holder feeling some special teams growing pains

Solenn Plantier
Août 8, 2017

Mason Crosby is coming off a successful 2016 season in which he made almost 87% of his field goal attempts.

The upcoming 2017 season could be just as good, but it won't be without its growing pains. Crosby is working with a new long snapper in Derek Hart, along with a new holder in punter Justin Vogel.

Despite faring relatively well at camp-Crosby and his young field goal unit went 22-of-23 prior to Family Night-things unraveled pretty quickly on Saturday when Crosby made just 5-of-11 field attempts in front of 63,000 fans.

"It's kind of tough, being a veteran guy, and some new guys in and seeing some things we need to work on. I mean, he on the fly was asking for some stuff, certain things because he's experienced and [knew] what he thought needed to be done and so we made some adjustments on the fly and obviously it didn't go the way he wanted it to".

Hitting field goals in the National Football League comes down to more than just making a strong, accurate kick. "So it's something that we evaluated a lot today and we'll have another session of field goal [Tuesday] making sure we put the work in to get it fixed".

It's Hart's job to make sure the laces are positioned correctly so that Vogel doesn't have to spend critical milliseconds adjusting the ball on Crosby's approach. "That's what you want".

Crosby did not kick on Monday but worked with Hart and Vogel off to the side during practice. "Sometimes [Hart] was a little bit off, sometimes I was a little bit off, sometimes Mason was a little bit off. We will get better". Special teams coach Ron Zook said they won't let that happen, but he's not concerned right now. "But he is a pro and he knows how to fix what he needs to fix, and I think it's not only him it's everybody".

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