Giorgio Tavecchio laughed it off but it probably wasn't a good sign for the young Green Bay Packers kicker that coach Mike McCarthy didn't know his name. Sergio. That's what McCarthy called Tavecchio after Thursday's practice. Sergio is close to Giorgio sure but McCarthy would likely prefer that his bosses not refer to him as Mark in a public setting. "It's not the first time a coach has I guess misspoken my name" Tavecchio said with a smile in the locker room. "Sergio is a beautiful name. I don't mind it either. It's only a little bit off. It's not too bad." Tavecchio's attitude has not changed since the Packers signed him in March to compete with incumbent kicker Mason Crosby. The 23-year-old Italian-born former soccer player has the type of bubbly personality not typically seen in NFL locker rooms. Nothing seems to faze him and so far through training camp Tavecchio has held his own with Crosby. In the two live field-goal competitions over the past week it's been even. On Day 1 of training camp Tavecchio got the better of the veteran. Crosby was perfect in Thursday's practice however while Tavecchio clanked a 51-yard attempt off the left post. "I thought they both kicked a lot better today" McCarthy said. "Obviously Mason kicked with excellent accuracy; the height of the football is where it needs to be. I thought Sergio made his kicks but he doesn't have quite the lift that Mason has. It's going to be a good battle." Crosby's league-worst field-goal success rate last season led to this competition. Crosby made only 63.6 percent of his kicks in 2012 so the Packers weren't going to give him the job like they have every year since 2008. "It's a little different and it's motivating and I'm enjoying the competition" Crosby said. "I'm enjoying being able to get out every day and get better and get some good balls." Crosby had been Green Bay's only kicker the past five years even in training camps. As a rookie in 2007 Crosby outperformed Dave Rayner and had been left alone. Until now. "When you have competition in your face at a position it probably allows for you to have heightened awareness of the situation you're in" special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum said. During the team's upcoming Family Night scrimmage McCarthy plans to feature both Crosby and Tavecchio who will be kicking at Lambeau Field for the first time this year. Green Bay isn't really expecting Tavecchio to beat out Crosby. Tavecchio was undrafted in 2012 and has a non-guaranteed deal with the Packers. Crosby on the other hand has three years and $7.85 million remaining on his contract. Aside from the money it's certainly possible that Crosby just had a poor 2012 season and will bounce back just fine. The way Crosby was kicking the ball Thursday would suggest he's already put his past struggles behind him.
Sergio? Packers kicker hoping coach learns name soon
Fox Sports Wisconsin | Aug 2