Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said that they have not made any decisions at the kicker position but thinks K Mason Crosby adjusted well toward the end of last season.
“Obviously, Mason had to adjust to a lot of the things that were happening with our special teams unit and the snappers and the new punter and holder,” Gutekunst said, via Bill Huber of SI.com. “With those moving parts, he had to adjust and I thought he did a really nice job toward the end of the year. We’re in that offseason period where we get a chance to look at a lot of guys.”
Crosby has been identified as a potential cap cut given the potential $2.4 million in savings and Crosby’s 73.5 percent accuracy rate last season. Gutekunst added they intend on bringing in competition for Crosby but reiterated there were “a lot of moving parts” regarding the holder and long snapper that may have impacted Crosby in 2021.
“Mason, where our football team is, having a championship kind of kicker, a guy who can compete at that level is important,” Gutekunst said. “There will always be competition and everybody’s got to hold their own. We’ve got to make kicks but, at the same time, there was a lot of moving parts there.”
As for signing K Dominik Eberle, Gutekunst said he was recommended by new STs coordinator Rich Bisaccia after Eberle spent last season on the Raiders practice squad.
New Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah walk into their new jobs together with some built-in familiarity, as they both worked for a stint with the 49ers earlier in their career and forged a relationship there. Alignment is important for organizational success, and the early indication is that shouldn’t be an issue in Minnesota.
“When we started talking in the interview process — just how similar some of our philosophical beliefs toward a team and how you want to go about building a culture and a roster and an organization were — it just felt like a match to me,” O’Connell said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “And it wasn’t a surprise, knowing his background and some of the great coaches and front office folks he had been collaborating and connected with. It made a ton of sense.”
“There was a lot of times where I wouldn’t go as far to say as we were finishing each other sentences, but there was a real connection there, that we laughed and joked, even with the rest of the interview group,” he added.
New Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell spent a couple of seasons with QB Kirk Cousins in Washington as his position coach. It evidently left a terrific impression, as O’Connell has consistently talked up Cousins as a starter for Minnesota.
“I have a lot of respect for him and the level at which he’s played the position at for a long time now, the consistency, the durability,” he said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “There’s a lot to like about where he’s at in his career and the experiences that he’s had and continued growth. That’s the important thing, is that he continues to chase the growth and try to chase that excellence he’s hunting as a quarterback and as a leader. … But he’s done a lot of good things. You watch the tape, you just purely turn on the tape and you see a guy playing the position at a really high level, in complete control of his game leading the unit. So, I’m excited about getting him going and how we’re going to build it.”