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

Knowshon MorenoSep 2 09:33a

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller totaled nearly 20 percent (140 yards) of his season yardage total (709 yards) on his longest four carries of the 2013 season. He had [ More ]

J.J. WattSep 2 04:23a

The Houston Texans signed DL J.J. Watt to a new long-term contract on Monday, Sept. 1. Watt's extension is a six-year deal worth $100 million, of which $51.876 million is guaranteed money.

Kyle Van NoySep 2 04:23a

Detroit Lions LB Kyle Van Noy (core muscle) could miss as many as eight games as he recovers from core muscle surgery. He could be placed on short-term IR as a result.

Josh BoyceSep 2 03:12a

The New England Patriots signed LB Jake Bequette, DL Deontae Skinner, OL Chris Martin, S Kanorris Davis, LS Charley Hughlett, CB Daxton Swanson and WR Josh Boyce to the [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsSep 2 01:02a

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) said he felt fine after practice Monday, Sept. 1, and hopes to be on the field in Week 1.

A.J. EddsSep 2 12:43a

The New York Jets re-signed LB A.J. Edds Monday, Sept. 1.

Kevin DorseySep 2 12:03a

The Green Bay Packers signed WR Kevin Dorsey, C Garth Gerhart, WR Alex Gillett, RB Michael Hill, LB Adrian Hubbard and DE Luther Robinson to the practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Tim BenfordSep 1 11:52p

The Dallas Cowboys signed WR Tim Benford, DE Kenneth Boatright, C Ronald Patrick, CB Micah Pellerin, LB Keith Smith, LB William Smith and FB Nikita Whitlock to the practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Devon StillSep 1 10:42p

The Cincinnati Bengals signed OT Dan France, TE Kevin Greene, WR Cobi Hamilton, DT David King, WR Colin Lockett, CB Onterio McCalebb, DE Sam Montgomery, C Trevor Robinson, DT [ More ]

Isaiah FreySep 1 10:33p

The Chicago Bears signed WR Josh Bellamy, C Taylor Boggs, DT Brandon Dunn, DB Isaiah Frey, OG Ryan Groy, LB DeDe Lattimore, DB Albert Louis-Jean, DB Terrance Mitchell, DE [ More ]

Bryan WaltersSep 1 09:33p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed free-agent WR Bryan Walters (Seahawks) to a contract Monday, Sept. 1. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

J. CunninghamSep 1 09:33p

The St. Louis Rams re-signed TE Justice Cunningham (ankle) and placed him on the season-ending reserve/injured list Monday, Sept. 1.

Quentin GrovesSep 1 09:33p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent LB Quentin Groves (Texans) to an undisclosed contract Monday, Sept. 1.

Charles JohnsonSep 1 09:23p

Free-agent C Josh Allen (Buccaneers), C Thomas Austin (Colts), OG Karim Barton (Browns), CB Akeem Davis (Redskins), LB Larry Dean (Vikings), TE Richard Gordon (Dolphins), TE Marcel Jensen (Vikings), [ More ]

Michael SamSep 1 08:02p

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League owns the rights to free-agent DE Michael Sam (Rams). The team has reached out to him, but there is no word [ More ]

Jeremiah GeorgeSep 1 08:02p

The New York Jets placed LB Jeremiah George on no-recall waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Tim FuggerSep 1 08:02p

The New York Jets placed DE Tim Fugger (ankle) on no-recall waivers from the reserve/injured list Monday, Sept. 1, and he received an injury settlement.

Phil BatesSep 1 08:02p

The Seattle Seahawks placed WR Phil Bates on no-recall waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Don JonesSep 1 08:02p

The New England Patriots claimed CB Don Jones (Dolphins) off waivers Monday, Sept. 1.

Derek CarrSep 1 06:42p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr will be the starting quarterback Week 1.

Charles JohnsonSep 1 05:42p

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agents WR Charles X. Johnson (Browns) and OG Karim Barton (Browns) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Khalid WootenSep 1 05:32p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent CB Khalid Wooten (Titans) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Phillip AdamsSep 1 04:52p

The New York Jets signed free-agents CB Phillip Adams (Seahawks) and released WR Quincy Enunwa Monday, Sept. 1.

Korey ToomerSep 1 04:22p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent LB Korey Toomer (Seahawks) and released CB Jemea Thomas Monday, Sept. 1.

Case KeenumSep 1 04:22p

The St. Louis Rams claimed QB Case Keenum off waivers from the Houston Texans Monday, Sept. 1.

Ryan SuccopSep 1 04:22p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal and released PK Travis Coons Monday, Sept. 1.

James IhedigboSep 1 04:22p

Detroit Lions SS James Ihedigbo (leg), FS Don Carey (undisclosed) and LB Kyle Van Noy (abdomen) did not practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Garrett GilbertSep 1 04:03p

The St. Louis Rams signed free-agents QB Garrett Gilbert (Rams), LB Kevin Reddick (Saints), SS Matt Daniels (Rams), LB Denicos Allen (Panthers) and OT Sean Hooey (Rams) to their practice squad Monday, Sept. 1.

Bruce IrvinSep 1 03:52p

Seattle Seahawks WR Kevin Norwood (foot) and LB Bruce Irvin (hip) may play Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Corey PetersSep 1 03:32p

Atlanta Falcons DT Corey Peters (Achilles') is still iffy for the regular season opener. Head coach Mike Smith said he wants Peters to practice in pads Wednesday, Sept. 3, before making a decision.

Trai TurnerSep 1 03:12p

Carolina Panthers OG Trai Turner (groin) will start at right guard Sunday, Sept. 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to head coach Ron Rivera, though C Fernando Velasco may spot him at times.

Kyle WilliamsSep 1 03:02p

The Kansas City Chiefs released WR Kyle Williams Monday, Sept. 1.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group