Skip to content

Packers staying patient through ‘typical’ ups and downs with rookie kicker Anders Carlson

Don’t expect Brian Gutekunst, Rich Bisaccia and the Green Bay Packers to act impulsively when it comes to rookie kicker Anders Carlson, who the team believes is going through the “typical” ups and downs of a first-year specialist but has a bright future ahead.

Put another way: Barring an unforeseen implosion, Carlson is going to be the Packers kicker come Week 1 and will be the team’s kicker long-term.

Both Gutekunst and Bisaccia preached patience for Carlson, a sixth-round pick who showcased a powerful kicking leg but also on-going inconsistency throughout training camp, joint practices and the preseason.

“We believe in him, we think he has a lot of talent, he’s done some really good things since he’s been here. You guys have seen his leg strength, his power. I really like the way the ball elevates off his foot,” Gutekunst said Friday. “But you have to find a way to get to a more consistent level. One thing…there’s not a lot of patience sometimes when there needs to be. Mason had some multiple times while he was here where he was in some really bad spots, some struggles, and I always thought Ted gave him a pretty long leash and he always came out of it. I think that’s important, espescially for young players to get that patience, that leash to get there. But at some point, when this stuff becomes real, it becomes different.”

Carlson made his first four kicks, including a 45-yard field goal, during the preseason opener in Cincinnati, but he then missed back-to-back extra points to end the contest and had misses during practice on Monday and Wednesday, including two in two-minute situations.

The Packers see typical struggles of a young kicker.

“You see that, it’s pretty typical, you see it around the league right now. It’s gotta get fixed, and we have to get to a point where we can produce when it matters, but yeah, I think that’s pretty typical.

Gutekunst said he wasn’t considering bringing in competition for Carlson at this point in camp. Bisaccia said he and the general manager are “on the same page” when it comes to patience with Carlson.

“Age and wisdom allow you to have patience, especially with this position,” Bisaccia said. “He’s exhibited a lot of the things we thought he was in a lot of positive ways. There’s always going to be things to clean up. We’re excited what tomorrow can bring and hopefully we can play well in the game and evaluate the things that are good and keep getting better and evaluate the things that need to work on and hopefully get better in that direction.”

The Packers host the Patriots at Lambeau Field on Saturday night, giving Carlson another opportunity to bounce back in a live game situation.

Bisaccia noted he went through similar ups and downs with young kickers such as Martin Gramatica, Dan Bailey, Nate Kaeding, Nick Novak and Daniel Carlson at previous NFL stops, and he believes the character and mental makeup of Carlson give him an opportunity to rebound from early issues and become a capable NFL kicker.

“I’ll go back to his mental makeup has a lot to do with why we drafted him, why we like him and why we think his future is going to be bright for him,” Bisaccia said.

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *