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Mailbag: McCarthy going for it on fourth down?


The team has expressed confidence in Brandon Aubrey, but given that one of the common "weak" spots discussed has been kicker, and that Mike McCarthy has often defended his decisions to go for it on fourth down in the past by referencing analytics, it feels like we will see him skip field goal attempts more this year and go for it on some questionable fourth downs. How would you guys assess the situation?Marco Aspaas/Vancouver, WA

Nick Harris: I agree with your line of thinking there, Marco. I also think a few things play into the possibility of going for more fourth downs, not just the kicker being unproven. When you have a defense as stout as this one, it allows you to be more aggressive knowing that your defensive unit has a better chance of bailing out a failed fourth down attempt. That being said, if there's an opportunity for Aubrey to show off his leg, I don't think they'll take that away from him if the situation calls for it. At that point, it would come down to the analytics team that will be in the box on Sundays to pitch in their two cents for when those situations arise.

Mickey Spagnola: Well, if that's the case about lack of confidence in the rookie kicker and influences my decisions as a head coach to go-for-it on fourth downs, then I need a new kicker. Can't play the game that way. Mike McCarthy knows that and realizes you can't play this game with a scared stick. That they have decided to go with Brandon Aubrey means to me they have confidence in him to make whatever kick they need to dial up until he proves otherwise, and if that happens, it's time to bring in a new kicker. Let's not make this more complicated than it needs to be.

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