Ex-Division III kicker tries to get foot in door with Packers
The Green Bay Packers, for the first time in five years, have at least begun examining their options at kicker. On Monday, the Packers will try out Michael Barnard, a 27-year-old free agent from New Jersey who is being eyed as training-camp competition for Mason Crosby. Even when Crosby was missing 12 of 24 field-goal attempts over a 10-game stretch last season, coach Mike McCarthy supported him. Not only didn't the Packers sign another kicker, they never even tried another one out. In fact, Crosby has been the Packers' only kicker under contract since the conclusion of his first training camp in 2007 when he won the job over incumbent Dave Rayner. For five straight off-seasons and five straight training camps, it has been all Crosby. Crosby, 28, is coming off his worst season, ranking last in field-goal percentage (63.6%). With training-camp rosters again expanded to 90 players, the Packers could be interested in adding a veteran, draft choice or free agent to challenge him. Barnard, 6 feet 1½ inches and 216 pounds, is the unlikeliest of candidates. From 2006-'08, Barnard kicked at Division III Fairleigh Dickinson, where he made a paltry 59.3% (16 of 27) and missed five of 54 extra points for teams that finished 7-23. His long was 47 yards, and he had three blocked.
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