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Countdown to Camp: Veterans Mason Crosby, Pat O'Donnell set to lead Packers' revamped special teams 

Rookie Jack Coco eager to compete with Steven Wirtel at long snapper

P Pat O'Donnell & K Mason Crosby
P Pat O'Donnell & K Mason Crosby

"Countdown to Camp" is a daily look at the Packers' roster, position by position, leading up to the start of training camp. The series concludes with the specialists.

GREEN BAY – The Packers enter 2022 with a renewed sense of purpose on special teams after the hiring of Rich Bisaccia as coordinator and several key personnel changes.

Following a disappointing NFC Divisional round exit, Head Coach Matt LaFleur and General Manager Brian Gutekunst centered their offseason attention on what can be done to improve Green Bay's special teams.

Enter Rich Bisaccia, one of the NFL's most respected special-teams minds who led Las Vegas to the playoffs last season during an eight-game stint as the Raiders' interim head coach.

With Bisaccia setting the vision for the unit, the Packers signed veteran punter Pat O'Donnell and fourth-year cornerback Keisean Nixon, who played three seasons for Bisaccia with the Raiders.

A 2014 fifth-round pick by Chicago, O'Donnell not only has seven years of experience punting in cold weather but also is held in high regard for his consistency as a holder.

That's one area the Packers were looking to improve after longtime kicker Mason Crosby went 25-of-34 (73.5%) on field-goal attempts last year with two blocked kicks.

Crosby and O'Donnell hit it off from the start, with O'Donnell and his family even living in the Crosby family basement for a short time while house-hunting in the Green Bay area.

The following is the eighth installment in a series of photos examining the Packers' roster position by position. This installment examines the specialists.

Now in Year 16, Crosby stands on the precipice of history. Already the team's all-time leading scorer, Crosby is just 13 games away from surpassing Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre's team record of 253 consecutive games played.

The 37-year-old veteran will face some competition for the kicking job after the Packers claimed rookie Gabe Brkic off waivers from Minnesota on June 14.

The 6-foot-3, 201-pound kicker made 57-of-69 (82.6%) field-goal attempts in 38 games over four seasons at Oklahoma. A finalist for the Lou Groza Award (given to the nation's top kicker), Brkic made 20-of-26 field goals, including a career-long 56-yarder, to earn second-team All-Big 12 honors this past year.

The Packers' long snapper job also will be up for grabs this summer, with rookie Jack Coco challenging incumbent Steven Wirtel.

Wirtel signed to Green Bay's practice squad on Sept. 2 and was elevated to the active roster exactly two months later following the release of Hunter Bradley.

The 6-foot-4, 228-pound Wirtel served as the Packers' primary long snapper for the final 10 games, including playoffs.

While Coco concentrated on tight end during his final season at Georgia Tech, he previously served as the Yellow Jackets' snapper on field goals for three seasons.

During the pre-draft process, Coco worked out at both tight end and long snapper. Ultimately, Packers assistant special teams coach Byron Storer saw tape of Coco's long-snapping at Georgia Tech's pro day and wanted to take a closer look.

Originally invited to rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, Coco eventually signed with the Packers on May 18.

Countdown to Camp series

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