Green Bay Packers offensive line coach James Campen. File/Press-Gazette Media
Green Bay Packers fourth-round pick David Bakhtiari and offensive line coach James Campen discuss Saturday's 4th-round selections:
4th-round pick David Bakhtiari
Disappointment because you dropped?
ďThere was a little disappointment just because the word from around the team and around the league was that I was going to be slotted in a Day 2 kind of guy but thatís the way the draft goes. The one thing you know is that you donít know whatís going to happen, but I couldnít be more happier to be in an amazing organization on a great team and I am more determined that I already was and Iím just excited to get to Green Bay, get the playbook, study it and get ready to work and compete.Ē
Thoughts on going from a one-win team to the Packers:
ďItís going to be awesome, just to know the mere fact that our team has a great chance of going to the Super Bowl. Consecutive years, theyíve been contenders. Such an amazing feeling, but Iíve been through an organization that had itís struggling times so I know how to face adversity and of course thereís going to be adversity no matter what team youíre going to be on. Iím definitely prepared with that but Iím also excited to have the wins keep coming in our direction.Ē
Have you talked to your brother yet?
(Eric Bakhtiari is a linebacker who has been with six NFL teams.)
ďYes, he was with me and here when I got the call and we hugged and literally my eyes got teary-eyed. Weíre just super excited. Heís close to a couple of Green Bay Packers and he couldnít be happier for me because weíve worked so hard. Weíve worked together for so long ever since I was pretty much 17 years old weíve been working together and just training so as much as it is for me and my success, weíve done this together and we will just continue to work harder and for the rest of the years.Ē
Why did you decide to go pro after three years?
ďThere were multiple thing that went through my mind. One of them was my coaching change. That did play a factor but it wasnít a significant factor. I knew no matter what I was going to send in my NFL Draft Evaluation for juniors. I sent it in and I got a good grade back that I felt comfortable with. But at the end of the day, I just felt I was mentally mature enough and I wanted to take the next step, play against the best of the best, the best in the world that play this sport and this game and I feel like I can compete at a high level and I wanted to make that leap because thatís always been a dream of mine and if that doorís open, why not take that route, so that was kind of my thought process. And at the end of the day, my parents gave me approval, because I still am the youngest of four in the family and my parents played a significant role.Ē
Where do you see yourself playing?
ďI feel I can play left tackle. Iíve shown it in college, but wherever the Packers want me to play is what Iím going to play. Theyíre going to give me the playbook, theyíre going to let me know the position, and Iím going to study it and try and become the best position I can..."
Do you know Aaron Rodgers or Clay Matthews?
ďI have met Aaron once or twice. Iím good friends with his younger brother, Jordan. We trained together through this whole process and became good friends. We played a lot (inaudible) together and hung out outside of training. So thatís how I kinda know the Rodgers, but Iíve only hung out with Aaron maybe once. And then Clay is good friends with my older brother and I was training with him for about I think 2 Ĺ weeks before he got his new deal done and went back to Green Bay. So I had a chance to meet him and hang out with him, and heís a great guy. Heís fun, a competitor, and his work ethic is unparalleled. So I mean, itís awesome to be working out with that kind of guy. Iím just excited now to compete against him and learn what he does because, shoot, if I can learn from him and block him, I feel like I can pretty much block anyone, so thatís something Iím really excited to jump in and start working with.
Strengths of your game?
ďThe strong parts of my game I feel is my athleticism, my versatility, my leverage, the good core strength, good positioning. What I can bring to the table is I can help the team out with the versatility and the multiple positions. I know you can only carry 46, I think suit up from the 53 man roster, I think seven offensive linemen they have, so I think itís very comforting that you have a player Ė I consider myself a good player -- who can come in and compete yet you have the comfort in knowing I can play multiple positions and help out because itís a long season and with a team that is an awesome organization and (has made) playoff and after playoffs, thatís a lot of games and injuries do occur. Thatís not something that doesnít happen. So to have the ability that I know that I can jump around from position to position can really help the team in the long run and I think thatís a huge benefit.
What can you work on?
The most I can work on is definitely adjusting to the game, becoming smarter, adding more tools to my tool box of how to block guys, finding angles, little things like not being on my toes as much and just become more stout and more compete as an all-around player and as I grow definitely learn and become more comfortable and confident in multiple position because I know I can play them. Iíve been playing left tackle and right tackle all my college career with a little bit of guard in it, so to get more reps and guard, snap the ball more could definitely improve my game in the versatility factor.
Offensive line coach James Campen
Is Bakhtiari a guard or tackle?
ďI think that David can play multiple positions. He certainly is athletic enough to do so. As you know, he played left tackle. He has good feet. But I think he's very versatile. We'll be excited to get him in here and see where we're going to place him."
Will you start him out on left side?
"I'm not sure about that. We always take our time with that and go in as a staff and with coach McCarthy and figure those things out as we're moving forward into the rookie camp."
What did you see in Tretter?
"Tretter's a very versatile player, a very smart player. He has very good strength. He was was 30-plus in the bench press. A very mature kid that understands the game of football and has a lot of upside."
What positions can he play?
"He's very much like David in the fact that we feel like he can play multiple positions. Again, once we get him here and see how things work out, we'll put him in the place that we feel best that they can help us win games. But certainly both of those kids give you a lot of flexibility."
Can Tretter play center?
"It's hard to say that, Bob, when the guy hasn't done it in a game. But I think both these kids are very good athletes, flexible kids and I think that there's a lot of flexibility and it gives you an opportunity to get better at a lot of positions certainly. But I think we have to wait and to be seen."
Competition in the room for a change?
"I think every year going forward, Jason, that you try to create competition and we have competition already set from the practice squad kids and the players that we currently have. Of the 12 that are in that room, with the addition of Kevin Hughes, we've added him, and I think that adding players, for me, if I'm in that room, let's be honest, you've got two fourth-round picks back-to-back, certainly the competition barometer went up a heck of a lot. So that's a good thing to have. And the men that are already in that room understand that, and they understood that before this draft certainly. Our competition just got better."
Is Bakhtiari a finisher?
Yes, he is. And so is our Cornell tackle, too. They both possess that ability to play through a whistle, up to a whistle, within the rules. But they do finish. They stay engaged with their feet going, with their blocking. They do a very good with their fundamentals, including proper base, width, those types of things, and they're both active hands players. They're going to punch you all the way through the block. They both do a very good job with that."
Where is left tackle at?
"We've obviously had talks about things. But certain today is a day for both of these two young men to embrace the Packer way. I talked to both of them just a couple of minutes ago on the phone and they're excited as heck to be Green Bay Packers. I really think for this purposes, talking about those two kids, give them their due. They've worked extremely hard and they've landed in the best place in the National Football League as Green Bay Packers."
Does Bakhtiari look like a left tackle?
"Yes, he does. Absolutely. He's got very good feet. He's got quickness. Explosive out of his stance. He did a very nice job."
Two new running backs, do your guys like run blocking?
"Yeah, you love to run block and you certainly want to keep your quarterback upright. I'm sure that Alex or somebody else will be down here to speak on the two running backs, but certainly they're fine football players and there's fine football players in that room already. It's always been the thing that it doesn't matter who's carrying the ball or who's throwing the ball, our job is to block and we're going to get better at that. And certainly these two young men will help us get better at that."