Yes, we all know about the running back battle that’s being hyped between rookies Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Frankly who fight it out with in-house backs DuJuan Harris, Alex Green and James Starks; and yes, we know about the offensive line battles that are going to shape up, especially at the right tackle position that will feature Don Barclay, Marshall Newhouse and rookies David Bakhtiari and J.C. Tretter.
But those position shakedowns don’t hold a candle to the biggest battle that’s bound to draw eyes, not only among teammates, but especially from the media and the Packers fan base.
Mason Crosby, who was tentative and unsure of himself all of last season will go up against rookie Giorgio Tavecchio, the Italian transplant from Cal who was signed specifically during the offseason to bring in some competition for Crosby. The Packers veteran hasn’t had any competition in camp since he went up agains Dave Rayner way back when. He’s been the guy and the Packers rewarded him a couple of seasons ago with a lucrative contract to kick in Lambeau Field – not always the best place to try to make field goals.
The good news for Crosby is that he closed out the season last year strongly and seemed to have gotten some of his confidence back.
But the Packers’ brass isn’t so sure – thus their decision to bring in Tavecchio.
Born in Milan, Italy, Tavecchio has been living in this country since he was a young boy. The 22-year-old is not a huge guy – in fact he’s a little guy – 5-10, 178 pounds. There isn’t a whole lot of information about the guy, but here is what I found on packers.com:
Tavecchio entered the league as a non-drafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers in May 2012. He played in three preseason games for the 49ers, converting his lone field goal attempt and two extra points. As a collegian, Tavecchio appeared in 46 games during his career for the Golden Bears and finished No. 5 on the school’s all-time scoring list (No. 4 among kickers) with 256 points.
So, forget the running backs and offensive lineman, if you happen to have the chance to attend one of the Packers open OTA practices, look to the end of the field where Crosby and Tavecchio will be working out. How it all turns out will be interesting to watch.