2015 DRAFT GUIDE
DL Pickett the strongman on Packers' line

By TODD McMAHON - Associated Press
    2013-08-16 03:19

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The departures of receiver Donald Driver and defensive back Charles Woodson in the offseason gave Ryan Pickett a new title with the Green Bay Packers.

While B.J. Raji gets the headlines when it comes to the Packers' defensive line, alongside him is the durable Pickett, who goes into his 13th NFL season as the oldest player on the roster at the age of 33.

With the Packers playing their second preseason game at St. Louis on Saturday night, Pickett returns to where his lengthy career started when he was one of the Rams' first-round draft picks in 2001. Pickett isn't getting sentimental about playing his former team in the Edward Jones Dome, something he's done a few times since leaving St. Louis and signing as a free agent with the Packers in 2006.

``I've been here so long I'd forgotten about (playing for) St. Louis, really,'' Pickett said Thursday. ``It's just another game for me.''

Having played more than 200 games as a pro - from preseason to the regular season to the playoffs - Pickett is looking forward to many more. He wants to keep playing past this season after his four-year contract with the Packers runs out.

``This won't be my last year playing,'' Pickett said.

And Pickett isn't ready to leave Green Bay, where he's been a run-stuffing mainstay in the starting lineup and has a home with his wife and their six young children.

``I'd love to stay here, absolutely,'' Pickett said.

The Green Bay coaches are happy to have Pickett back for another season as a dependable anchor on the defensive line.

``Ryan's a rock, and Ryan knows his role on this defense and he takes great pride in it,'' defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said.

With no more than 1 1/2 sacks in any of the previous seven seasons with the Packers and none the last two years, Pickett has left the splash plays on defense to the likes of linebacker Clay Matthews and Raji. But Pickett has been productive in his own right by splitting double teams in the trenches and wrapping up the ball carrier.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers singled out Pickett's efforts in a run-oriented drill at practice Wednesday.

``He was in the backfield two or three times and being disruptive, which is what `Pick' can do,'' Capers said.

Pickett led Green Bay's defensive linemen last season with 75 tackles, his highest total since Capers was hired to run the defense in 2009 and implemented a 3-4 scheme.

``Since I've been here, I thought that was his best year,'' said Trgovac, who also joined the Green Bay staff in 2009. ``Even when he's tired, you put him in the game, he hustles to the ball, he does what you tell him to do. It's naturally in his DNA.''

Pickett's workmanlike contributions and his longevity in the NFL are testaments to his generally good health and a determination to play every week. Pickett has missed only 14 games in his career. He started every game in 2012, the first time he played an entire season since 2008.

``You play this game, you get nicks and bruises and stuff like that,'' Pickett said. ``(But) I didn't even think about it that I played every game last year. That's what I normally did throughout the years - I don't miss too many games.''

Raji, who has been a running mate of Pickett on the D-line since 2009, isn't surprised by Pickett's staying power.

``Pick takes good care of his body,'' Raji said. ``He's obviously a tough guy to play nose (tackle) for 13 years. You have to be tough mentally and tough physically.''

For the 6-foot-2, 338-pound Pickett, managing his weight has helped him play at a high level. And being the oldest Packer in the locker room is a distinction Pickett embraces.

``I get all of the `old' jokes now,'' a smiling Pickett said. ``I catch them pretty much every day. But it doesn't bother me. I love it. I tell 'em (his teammates) I've been around long enough to have these old jokes cracked at me, so I'm doing something right.''

Also Thursday, coach Mike McCarthy defended Aaron Rodgers after Driver made critical remarks about the quarterback during an ESPN radio interview.

Driver, who retired in February as the Packers' all-time leading receiver, was asked whether Rodgers is a ``me'' guy following similar comments by ex-Packers receiver Greg Jennings, now with Minnesota.

``We've always been in the room and we've always said that the quarterback is the one who needs to take the pressure off of everyone else,'' Driver said. ``If a guy runs the wrong route, it's easy for the quarterback to say, `Hey, I told him to run that route,' than the guy to say, `Hey, I ran the wrong route.' Sometimes you ask Aaron to take the pressure off those guys so we don't look bad. He didn't want to do that. He felt like if you did something bad, you do it. That's the difference. You want that leadership. I think sometimes you may not feel like you got it.''

McCarthy said he was aware of Driver's interview and some of the comments that were made.

``Frankly, I think Aaron manages his job responsibility very well,'' McCarthy said. ``I'm very fond of Donald. I know he's going through a tough period right now with his loss (his father's death), and my thoughts and prayers are out to him and his family. But I don't know what to really say about the comments.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tyler EifertJul 30 03:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said he is 100% healthy for the first time since the beginning of last offseason.

LeGarrette BlountJul 30 01:22p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was placed on the Non-Football Injury list because he was not able to complete the conditioning test at the start of training camp. [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 30 01:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) said his hamstrings are fine and that he is 100% healthy entering training camp.

Terrance WestJul 30 12:52p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West worked with the first-team offense during team drills Thursday, July 30. Head coach Mike Pettine said several running backs will see time with the starters during training camp.

Trent RichardsonJul 30 10:22a

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson is rumored to being unimpressive with his new team.

Tom BradyJul 30 10:12a

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's lawsuit was transferred to Manhattan, N.Y., by a Minnesota judge Friday, July 30.

Tom BradyJul 30 09:52a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has filed a lawsuit against the NFL asking a Minnesota federal court for penalties against Brady to be vacated. The suit alleges that [ More ]

Jake LongJul 30 09:42a

Free-agent OT Jake Long (Rams) left his visit with the New York Giants Wednesday, July 29, without a deal. It was his second visit with the team without a [ More ]

Joseph RandleJul 29 08:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle received strong praise from team owner and general manager Jerry Jones Wednesday July 29. 'We have a player (in Randle) that has the potential [ More ]

Joique BellJul 29 07:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (undisclosed) was placed on the physically unable to perform list Wednesday, July 29, as he recovers from offseason surgery. It is unclear what the [ More ]

James WrightJul 29 06:43p

Free-agent WR James Wright (Bengals) was placed on Reserve/Injured Wednesday, July 29.

Jordan ReedJul 29 05:43p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (knee) has been cleared for full participation in training camp, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Chase CoffmanJul 29 04:53p

Free-agent TE Chase Coffman (Titans) re-signed with the Tennessee Titans Wednesday, July 29, according to a source.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:33p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) can be placed on the Non-Football Injury list if/when he signs his franchise tender. Owner John Mara said the team would like [ More ]

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:23p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) is receiving his own medical treatment and rehabilitation at his home. There is currently no timetable for his return. Pierre-Paul, however, could [ More ]

Roddy WhiteJul 29 03:43p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White (knee) had his left knee drained before minicamp, and he could have it drained again before the season ends. White isn't concerned about it, [ More ]

Ryan KerriganJul 29 01:43p

Washington Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan signed a five-year contract extension Wednesday, July 29, worth $11.5 million per season, according to a source. The deal includes a $16 million signing bonus.

Cyrus GrayJul 29 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Cyrus Gray was released Wednesday, July 29.

Carlos HydeJul 29 11:13a

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde is not believed to be injured and shouldn't be on the non-football injury list for long. Hyde suffered a calf injury during spring [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 09:23a

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady posted on Facebook that he replaced his broken phone with a new one after his attorneys told the NFL 'my [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 01:53a

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady could have had his suspended reduced based on a series of conditions. According to a source with knowledge of [ More ]

Eric BerryJul 29 01:43a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) has been cleared to take the practice field with the team Wednesday, July 29. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December [ More ]

Geno SmithJul 28 08:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith could be benched if he struggles early in the season, according to head coach Todd Bowles Tuesday, July 28. 'If you feel that [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, July 28.

Brodrick BunkleyJul 28 05:43p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (undisclosed) was released with a failed physical designation Tuesday, July 28.

James WrightJul 28 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR James Wright (knee) was waived with an injured designation Tuesday, July 28.

Darrin ReavesJul 28 05:33p

Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves was waived Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 05:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is facing a four-game suspension, but the Patriots have done fairly well without him. In games Brady has missed since he became a [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 28 04:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has given permission to the NFL Players Association to appeal his case in federal court, according to a source. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell [ More ]

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:43p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller may see an increase in carries in 2015, according to head coach Joe Philbin. 'If he's cranking and he got it 24 times a [ More ]

Le'Veon BellJul 28 03:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell's original three-game suspension has been reduced to a two-game suspension Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 02:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension has been upheld by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, July 28.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group