2014 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

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

Ray McDonaldMar 24 02:02p

Free-agent DE Ray McDonald (49ers) is signing an undisclosed deal with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24.

Stephen BowenMar 24 01:32p

Free-agent DE Stephen Bowen (Redskins) is signing an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, March 24.

Geno SmithMar 24 01:22p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback ahead of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entering training camp this summer, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. 'You [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerMar 24 01:12p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is a realistic option for the Tennessee Titans with the second overall selection in this year's NFL Draft, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt is impressed [ More ]

Jarvis JenkinsMar 24 10:42a

Free-agent DE Jarvis Jenkins (Redskins) agreed with the Chicago Bears Tuesday, March 24, on a one-year deal.

Johnny ManzielMar 24 08:52a

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is expected back with the team for offseason workouts April 20 after completing more than two months of treatment.

Adrian PetersonMar 23 07:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, said Monday, March 23, that he doesn't think 'it's in Adrian's best interest to play in Minnesota' in 2015 and beyond. [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is expected to be part of the Vikings next season, according to general manager Rick Spielman. 'Adrian's a member of our football team,' Spielman [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 23 01:22p

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees will not be traded, according to general manager Mickey Loomis. Recent speculation said that Brees may be on the trade block after his [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 23 12:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's preference is to play elsewhere than with the Vikings in 2015, according to a league source. He is under contract through the 2017 season [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 22 08:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's future remains unclear, but head coach Mike Zimmer recently said that the Vikings are 'excited' to have him back. Zimmer had previously said that [ More ]

James HarrisonMar 22 12:42p

Free-agent LB James Harrison (Steelers) signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, March 22. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Branden OliverMar 21 03:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Branden Oliver is penciled in as the starting running back at this point.

EJ ManuelMar 21 12:52a

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel is not locked in as the starting quarterback. Head coach Rex Ryan said Friday, March 20, that the quarterback competition will be open. 'It's [ More ]

Kevin VickersonMar 20 05:52p

Free-agent DT Kevin Vickerson (Chiefs) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Friday, March 20.

Matt MooreMar 20 04:32p

Free-agent QB Matt Moore (Dolphins) re-signed with the Miami Dolphins Friday, March 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonMar 20 02:42p

Updating an ongoing story, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is clearly wanted back by the organization, and general manager Rick Spielman once again stressed that they will make every [ More ]

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