Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard on Clubhouse Live: Preparing, attacking 'as if I were to play' against Jacksonville
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly football show. Packers cornerback Chandon Sullivan was Lazard’s guest.
Among the topics they touched on were getting back on the field, staying focused during a pandemic, preparing for the second half of the season and creating more turnovers. 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:
WATCH: Clubhouse Live with Allen Lazard and Chandon Sullivan
Q: You're back at practice as you continue to recover from core muscle surgery. Will we see you on the field for Sunday's game against Jacksonville?
Lazard: I can't predict the future - never claimed to - but I will say that I'm feeling great right now, and I'm preparing to go out there and attack this week just like as if I were to play. Just like any other week, at the end of the day, "Gutey" (Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst) gets to decide the lineup that goes out there. We'll see come Sunday, but I'm definitely preparing to go out there and be back out with my boys and have fun at Lambeau.
Q: What's the final hurdle that needs to be cleared for you to be given the green light to return to the field?
Lazard: I think it's just an agreeance from "Gutey," the coaches, the training staff and myself with being comfortable where I am with my recovery and everything. Making sure that I go out there, and if I do go out there, I'm able to be healthy and I'm able to contribute the best way I can. As long as those boxes are checked off, we should be good.
Q: Adaptability is always a key to success for a team. But it's even more imperative for teams to adjust and adapt this season because of COVID-19. What has Matt LaFleur's messaging been when it comes to the added pressure and stress of playing through a pandemic that has touched your team recently and likely will affect every team in the league at some point? What has he said to keep you guys focused and on the right path?
Lazard: I think just being in the NFL, you have to be ready for your opportunity to be called at any moment. With the COVID stuff, you really have to be even more prepared, whether you're a practice squad guy, starter, whatever it is. So I think what Coach LaFleur preaches a lot is just making sure that we're all preparing the same amount. Even if you're a starter or a practice squad guy, you never know when the opportunity is going to come. And when it does come, you know we're going to need you as a team to be able to step in those moments. We hold the same standards and expectations for everyone.
Q: You're 6-2 at the halfway mark of the season. What has to happen - or what do you want to see happen - that will lift the team to an even higher level as you prepare for the second half and a playoff push?
Lazard: We've just got to be able to get into a rhythm on both sides of the ball. Offense has played very well. Defense has played very well some games. And conversely, as well. So, I think just getting back healthy. Obviously, me being back out there will be exciting for me, but I think it will be a huge help to the team, as well. Some other guys have been out for a little bit. Getting Aaron Jones back out there (Thursday against the 49ers) was huge for our team. You see the second play of the game, and he just makes an unbelievable run. Getting a healthy team and being able to make this playoff push, I think will be huge for us.
Q: The defense has just six total takeaways so far - three interceptions and three fumble recoveries. How do you go about creating more turnovers?
Sullivan: You just have to emphasize it and practice it. In practice, we have tackling circuits. We have turnover circuits. Doing it in practice so when you get into a game, you're doing the same thing. We've been trying. We haven't had as many as we did last year, but they will come. Turnovers come in bunches. Interceptions come in bunches. It just goes back to trusting our technique, trusting our scheme and not getting too impatient.
Contact Brett Christopherson at (920) 993-7117 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PCBrettC.