Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard on Clubhouse Live: Davante Adams 'the best of the best'
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly football show. Packers offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins was Lazard's guest.
Among the topics they touched on were injuries, stepping in and up when needed, the excellence of Davante Adams, on-field growth and versatility. The show can be seen live on any of our USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Facebook pages or websites, including clubhouselive.com. It can also be seen on our YouTube channel.
Here are select and edited answers from the interview:
Q: Give us an injury update. How is the core muscle situation progressing, and how are you feeling? Are you ready to go?
Lazard: I'm not ready to go, but I'm feeling great, though. I've been making a lot of progress, and slowly - day by day - getting there. The end to this is in the near future.
Q: There's a process that has to take place before you can just step on the field and simply play football again, correct? Certain boxes have to be checked in your recovery before you'll be given the green light to return?
Lazard: Yeah, absolutely. You've got to get checked up by the trainers and doctors. I just want to get my feet wet and just be able to go out there and play again just because I haven't really been practicing those skills - being able to run routes, receive the ball, getting hit and tackled. So I just want to ease into it, and I'm sure the coaches and trainers will do it the best way possible.
Q: You were shorthanded on offense and defense during Sunday's contest against the Texans, but Malik Taylor and Jace Sternberger registered the first regular-season touchdown catches of their careers, while others like Darrius Shepherd, Henry Black and Vernon Scott stepped up to fill some of the voids. What does it say about the mindset of those guys - players who might have more limited roles - in that they stayed ready and contributed when called upon?
Lazard: Those guys have stepped up tremendously. For fans, they don't really see that as much as the growth that I've been able to see every single day. Going back from last year, a guy like (Shepherd) - who didn't get as much of a big role as he did last year - but now he's stepping into a bigger role, and he has done a tremendous job of picking up and filling that void. And Jace, who has just been developing a bunch since last year, and being able to get comfortable with the offense and being able to develop some chemistry with Aaron (Rodgers) this year I think has been huge. And for Malik to step up and being able to get his first touchdown. I think the first one's the hardest one to get. Just to be able to get that weight off your shoulder and be able to go out there and play comfortable and be able to play relaxed will just be huge. Be able to have someone like that to spell me or Davante (Adams), when we're healthy and need a breather, and still be able to have a threat vertically and also to be an asset in the run game, as well, will be a huge part of our offense.
Q: Speaking of Davante, he finished with 13 catches for a career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans on 16 targets. How is he able to be so productive and make so many plays even though he's such a focus of every defense?
Lazard: Yeah, that's what really makes Davante the best of the best. And ultimately, I think (he's) the best at the position right now in the game. It doesn't matter what coverage he gets. We were watching film (Monday), and you could even see a couple times they really had two guys over him ... which is pretty incredible. For one single player to attract two guys shows the respect that the defense has for him. You know, I've been able to see the hard work that he has put in over the past few years and the detail that he has. He holds himself to such a high standard. And the relationship that he has with Aaron (Rodgers), and the chemistry that they have on the field, is one of the best I've ever seen. And it's truly something special to watch.
Q: Where do you think you've made your biggest gain from your rookie season to Year 2?
Jenkins: I feel like in the run game I've grown most. Just doing the dirty work, trying to be more physical, be more downhill on runs and things like that. Last year, I was good in the pass, and I was OK in the run. I feel like I made a better jump this year in being more dominant in the run.
Q: You played right tackle in Week 1 and then left guard since. Billy Turner played left tackle on Sunday after playing right tackle the previous three games. Lucas Patrick has played both guard spots this season. How difficult is it to move from one position to another along the line?
Jenkins: We've got a lot of versatile guys in our room, and (offensive line) coach (Adam Stenavich) and (assistant offensive line) coach (Luke) Butkus get us ready each and every week with technique and things that we most likely are going to see on game day. So big ups to those guys for helping us out and getting our technique right for that particular game that we're playing. And guys just being versatile and knowing the playbook and knowing the next level of the playbook to do a good job on Sunday.