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Hargrove prefers to focus on football, not suspension

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Packers defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove faces an eight-game NFL suspension due to his involvement in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal. †But following todayís organized team activity practice, Hargrove didnít sound like a man burdened by the prospect of missing half a season. Hargrove said he doesnít feel betrayed. ďI feel very blessed to be in the situation Iím in right now, being a Green Bay Packer, a chance to compete for another Super Bowl, so Iím blessed,Ē Hargrove said in the Packers locker room. ďNothing negative at all. Iím just happy to be here to be a Packer. As you saw today, itís going to be fun.Ē Hargrove was at times boisterous on Ray Nitschke Field during the Packersí practice and looked like he was enjoying his new surroundings. He didnít want to dwell on the league-imposed suspension afterward. When asked if he was confident he would win his appeal of the penalty, Hargrove said: ďIím confident that I can win on third downs if anybody lines up across from me. So we talk on the field, thatís all I want to talk about is the way I play the game, so I feel like I can beat a guy one on one. If you put two on me weíll see what happens.Ē Hargrove played with veteran Packers defensive lineman Ryan Pickett in St. Louis so thereís some familiarity in the locker room. ďBeing able to come here to Green Bay and focus on that and being with great players, thatís been my entire focus since Iíve been here,Ē he said. Other highlights from Hargroveís session with the media: On if he is frustrated about the steady stream of Saints bounty stories coming out: ďNot really at all† because Iíve been so focused on trying to learn this new playbook. The playbookís huge, playing the 4-3 defense most of my career, now playing some 3-4, Iíve had a lot of time to learn and adjust and learn how to play in this defense.Ē On if the suspension has taken an emotional toll on him: ďIíve been very joyous. Iíve been at peace through this entire process. Itís a great opportunity to be a Green Bay Packer. Youíve got to understand, how many times do you get to come play for a franchise and organization like this, late in my career? Iím just excited to get a chance to be on the field and compete for another Super Bowl.Ē On whether he is professing his innocence: ďIím not really professing anything. Iím professing that Iím a Green Bay Packer and that Iím going to do everything I can Ö to get this locker room the way they want it and be happy every day.Ē On whether he was surprised by the eight-game suspension: ďI guess no more surprised than I was when the Green Bay Packers signed me. Itís just one of those things youíve got to handle.Ē On his statements conflicting with what Saints coaches have said about the bounty scandal: ďIn this business, youíre always supposed to do what your coaches tell you to do. My response was what it was. Everything I gave in that declaration outlines exactly what happened there. My coaches asked me to do something, Iíll do it. And the same way Iím going to do here. Coach Dom (Capers) goes out and asks me to get the quarterback, Iím going to get the quarterback. Thatís just my responsibility as a player.Ē

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