Inside this cafe off North Broadway, nobody recognizes Giorgio Tavecchio. At Green Bay's Kavarna Coffeehouse, he sips coffee, reads books on faith, on psychology and relaxes between practices.

As the visits mounted and Tavecchio became a regular, two employees began to wonder. The tan skin. The hidden accent. They could tell this new face wasn't from Green Bay. So one day, folks behind the counter asked where Tavecchio was from, and the California kid with strong Italian roots explained that he played for the Green Bay Packers.

Skeptical eyes stared back at the 5-foot-10, 182-pounder. They didn't believe him. Not a chance.

For Tavecchio, nothing new.

"It was the same in college," the kicker said. "There were people I knew for awhile that didn't believe I played on the team. I find it comical more than anything because I don't fit the stereotype. But I like it. It kind of adds another mysterious dimension to who I am as a person."

The mystery begins with spirituality.

Tavecchio, born in Milan, Italy, brings up that word throughout a half-hour conversation. As a kicker, it's what consumes him. You have to "let go," he says. The job is psychological. As the hours, weeks, months and years worth of kicks accumulate, sweat equity feeds pressure. And this year's challenger to Mason Crosby believes he's found the elusive state of total tranquility needed to succeed as a kicker in the NFL.

Through his 2012 funk, Crosby couldn't find this happy place. If he does this summer, chances are he'll keep his job. But expect a push for the guy nobody recognizes yet.

"If you think — even for a second — how much you've worked, it puts that expectation on yourself of 'I've worked so hard, therefore I deserve this,'" Tavecchio said. "When you get in the moment, you have to let go. That's the difficult part — letting go. How do I tell myself, after working so hard and putting in so much time, to not care?

"That's when it became a spiritual thing. You have to let go of the results and trust the process. It became a faith journey."

The process, the journey for Tavecchio is rooted in one colossal disappointment.

His junior year at California, on Nov. 13, 2010, Tavecchio's 5-4 Cal team had a chance to stun No. 1 Oregon. When the third quarter dripped into the fourth, a monumental win in reach, Cal trailed, 15-13. Tavecchio lined up for a chip-shot 24-yard field goal, drilled it and a flag was thrown. Tavecchio drew a false start penalty for a brief stutter step before the snap.