Mason Crosby became the third-highest-paid kicker in the NFL this week. That would have been unthinkable following the 2012 season.
Crosby had just completed a season in which he was 21-of-33 on field goals. That 63.6 percent represented a career low.
Crosby had never hit below 75 percent of his field goals in any season prior (or since). It was so bad, the Green Bay Packers brought competition in for their kicker during training camp in 2013.
But Crosby pulled out of it, connecting on a career-high 89.2 percent of his field goals in 2013. He credited some advice he received from then-Packers cornerback Charles Woodson for the turnaround on Green and Gold Today, Thursday morning.
“Charles Woodson said something to me like, ‘Are you trying to make field goals?’ I don’t go out there and try to be a defensive back. I’m not trying to do all of these things. I just go out there and I do it. I do it because I’ve trained it and I’ve played it… It was the simplest concept and idea, but I always remember him saying that. That’s when I came out of it,” Crosby told Jason Wilde.
Crosby has hit above 80 percent of his kicks in every season since. That earned him an average salary of more than $4 million per season.
All thanks to Charles Woodson.
Letting Chuck walk was a bad idea.
If this isn’t a ringing endorsement to bring the man back as a coach then I don’t know what is. Shawn Slocum and a whole team of coaches and analysts couldn’t fix a problem that Woodson, who knows nothing about kicking, did with words.
At the time I agreed with cutting ties with Wood, but we’ll never truly know if it was a good move or not because of stories like this, how often they occurred and how you measure them against other measurable factors.
Kind of like when Reggie white was the boss and it was his team. We weren’t the same after he left as well. Leadership is huge and an underrated skill.
Charles Woodson was a Man among boys. Leadership can NEVER be over estimated. There is zero doubt our defense struggled more than it needed to with Woodsons loss.
We absolutely should bring Wood back as a coach. He had to sit out the Super Bowl early due to his injury, but his speech is credited with motivating our team to victory. What a great day it would be to see Wood on the sideline in coach drab celebrating the final moments of another SB victory. That would be a fucking great day indeed.
Little known fact Woodson is a better kicker than Crosby.
But not quite as good as Jeff Janis.
If the quote attributed to Woodson by Crosby is correct, ” I don’t go out there and try to be a defensive back. I’m not trying to do all of these things. I just go out there and I do it.” then it may indicate one of the reasons Woodson was released. I read Woodsons comments as Don’t let those coaches make you overthink all the unimportant details, block out most of their bullshit, and go do what you do best kick the damn ball through the goal posts.
Woodson probably wasn’t into small steps ( see Janis article), rigid game plans, the small details, or classroom tests. That probably irritated the hell out of some coaches. Sure all players need coaching and training, but they also don’t want to have to overthink every small detail. They want to go out and do it, to allow their strength, speed, and football instincts to take over.
I interpret what he said differently. I read it like he was telling Crosby he doesn’t TRY to be defensive back, he goes out there and IS a defensive back. The mindset of do it, not settle for trying/attempting.
Interesting take though about whether he meant he wasn’t going to do all the subtle extra things they coached and wanted the players to do. I could certainly see where that makes sense. I didn’t read it in that context though.
I have another take on it. In sports you prepare and practice and go through countless repetitions to create the muscle memory, instincts and reactions to execute in the game. When you are in the game you then do not ‘think’ about all the parts and steps in the process of executing, you do them automatically, without thinking about them. That seems much more consistent with Charles ‘mutha-fuckin’ Woodson’s professional approach to the game.