By Tori Wittenbrock
ASHWAUBENON – As Packer Training Camp accelerates and fans continue to show their support at Ray Nitschke Field, kicker Anders Carlson said he is anticipating the start of the 2023 season.
The 25-year-old placekicker graduated from Auburn University in 2020 as an All-American athlete and was picked up by the Green Bay Packers as the 207th pick in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Although he originally hails from Colorado Springs, Co., Carlson said he is quickly warming up to the Green Bay area.
“I love it! It’s awesome. It’s a really good place, so far,” said Carlson on Friday, July 28th at training camp.
However, the NFL life is not something that the Carlson family is unfamiliar with. Carlson’s older brother, Daniel, has also had a successful football career as a placekicker at Auburn University, and is now playing for the Las Vegas Raiders.
As the 2023 NFL season quickly approaches, Carlson said that he is more than ready to take the field.
“I’m ready. Just taking it day by day and just enjoying camp and getting ready for pre-season,” said Carlson.
The six-foot-five kicker said although he knows he is ready to fill his role on the team, he acknowledges that he has some big shoes to fill following former placekicker Mason Crosby’s legacy.
Crosby was selected by the Packers in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. During his rookie year with the team, Crosby was named an NFL scoring leader. He was also a part of the team when the Packers triumphed over the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, winning Super Bowl XLV. Crosby had a total field goal percentage of 81.4% and his longest completed field goal was 58 yards.
“For me, it’s my own journey. I’m excited to see my journey and how it goes as I take it day by day. Obviously he’s a legend here and he had an incredible career, but I’m just going to focus on my journey and I just like to think about how I am going to focus on me going forward,” said Carlson.
A phenomenal college career has also prepared Carlson for these next steps as he joins the Green Bay Packers this season.
Some of Carlson’s impressive collegiate highlights include his completion of two 53-yard field goals — the second longest distance in Auburn’s program history to be completed by a kicker in the freshman class — in 2018, a reception of a faked field goal attempt for a three-yard catch in 2019, tying the record — held by both his brother Daniel and Al Del Greco — for Auburn’s longest field goal in the history of the Iron Bowl at 52 yards in 2019 and completing 20 out of 22 field goal attempts in his 2020 season.
Despite suffering a season-ending injury, tearing his ACL in 2021 in a game against Mississippi State, Carlson has taken the necessary steps to prepare himself for a successful NFL career and said that he is ready to see where this season takes him.
At 2023 Packer Training Camp, Carlson began the camp going five-for-six on field goal attempts, but struggled through a recent training session by going one-for-six on field goal attempts.
With 2023 preseason just around the corner, Green Bay Packer fans eagerly anticipate the coming weeks and hopefully await improved performances across the board from the Packers special teams.