While the Green Bay Packers exceeded expectations in 2023, nearly all fans feel as though the team underachieved against the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers led for nearly the entire game until the 49ers took a 24-21 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Kicker Anders Carlson missed a field goal from 41 yards out in the fourth quarter that would have given the Packers a seven point lead. While the Packers certainly have opportunities to put the game out of reach prior to that missed field goal, it was in-fact those three points that were the difference. Today, the Packers announced they have signed some competition for Carlson.
The Green Bay Packers Sign Kicker To Compete With Anders Carlson
According to Bill Huber the Packers have signed Kicker Jack Podlesny:
During his senior season with the Bulldogs, Podlesny was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Year after making 26-of-31 field-goal attempts and 73-of-74 point-after tries; two of the missed field goals came in the playoff victory over Ohio State. About two-thirds of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. It was Podlesny, not Carlson, who was the first-team all-SEC kicker.
In three seasons, he made 82.4 percent of his field goals, though it was only 56.5 percent from 40-plus yards. To cap his freshman year, he booted a 53-yard field goal to beat Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl.
“Trotting out there, I was trying to treat it like any other kick,” Podlesny said of the winning kick. “Honestly, I’m going to give it to you straight, I don’t remember much — I kind of blacked out during that experience.
“I was thinking about it the other day actually, something I’ve always talked with my sports psychologist about is, put yourself in moments that you’ve been in before, and remember that experience because a good experience can lead to another one. Just thinking about looking up after I hit that, and I knew I hit a clean ball, so I was just like, ‘It better go in,’ looking up seeing it split the posts, I was thrilled.”
Podlesny went undrafted and spent the offseason and the first half of training camp with the Minnesota Vikings. He did not attempt any kicks in the preseason, though he made a high-pressure kick to end the offseason program.
What Does This Mean For Anders Carlson?
Green Bay selected Carlson in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL draft. Despite making his first 17 kicks, he fell into a slump from which he was unable to recover. After missing 11 kicks during the regular season, he missed an extra point in the wild-card win at Dallas and a field goal in the divisional round.
The kicker position certainly figures to be one that will be up for grabs come the 2024 season. While many believed it was time to move on from legendary kicker Mason Crosby, fans certainly had higher expectations than what Carlson delivered this season.
It is possible that Podlesny is the first of many candidates who will try out for the Packers’ kicking position until they are confident.
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