Packers coach sends a bold message to under-pressure Anders Carlson

Green Bay Packers, Anders Carlson
Green Bay Packers, Anders Carlson / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

The Green Bay Packers learned the hard way that they needed to create a serious kicking competition.

That didn't exist last summer, with sixth-round draft pick Anders Carlson having a direct line to the 53-man roster. Carlson missed 13 kicks, including two in the playoffs. His final miss from 41 yards gave the San Francisco 49ers a chance to score a game-winning touchdown, which they did.

No kicker missed more extra-point tries in the regular season than Carlson's five. He missed another in the playoffs.

"You've got to be consistent to last in this league," coach Matt LaFleur said about the kicking competition following the Packers' playoff exit.

Green Bay responded by signing Jack Podlesny almost immediately after the season ended. The team added veteran Greg Joseph in free agency to provide even more competition.

The Packers might not be done, either.

Rich Bisaccia reveals details about Packers' kicking competition

Speaking to reporters this week, special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia made it perfectly clear that this is a real competition for the job, adding that the Packers may even keep adding talent.

"They know they're in a competition. I think they can feel that," said Bisaccia.

He was then asked whether the Packers will enter training camp with the current room of Carlson, Joseph, and Podlesny.

"Might be those three, might be three other ones. It might be six," said Bisaccia. "We're appreciative of Brian [Gutekunst] getting it to the point that it's at right now with a three-man competition. We'll see how long we can keep that going."

Bisaccia added that "there's some things going on in other leagues that everyone is talking about." That's a potentially notable comment, with Michigan Panthers kicker Jake Bates receiving attention in the UFL.

With expectations rising in Green Bay, the team understands the need for consistency at kicker. After years of reliable play from Mason Crosby, the Packers are discovering how the rest of the league feels. Finding a quality kicker isn't easy.

The Packers certainly haven't given up on Carlson, but unlike last year, he will have to win the job this summer. He struggled for consistency throughout training camp last year, but it ultimately didn't impact his chances of making the roster. It's different this time. Carlson will need to make kicks day in and day out on the practice field and outperform the other kickers to hold on to the job.

Competition is a good thing, and it should bring the best out of all three players.

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