Packers' Allen Lazard on Clubhouse Live: Aaron Rodgers 'sees the plays before they happen'
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly football show. Packers rookie quarterback Jordan Love was Lazard’s guest.
Among the topics they touched on were absorbing an NFL hit, offensive production, offensive potential, Aaron Rodgers and developing as a quarterback. 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: You took a nasty hit from Bears rookie corner Jaylon Johnson during Sunday's victory. How would you describe what a hit like that feels like to a person who doesn't play professional football for a living?
Lazard: It sounds very cheesy, but it just takes your breath away - literally. Just running and getting hit like that just kind of throws you off your norm and kind of just puts you out of your place and humbles you. But it's part of the game, and you've just got to get up and take your hits when you can and still be able to keep on going.
Q: Given the defense you were up against, do you think that's as well as you've played offensively this season? You scored touchdowns on your first three drives and finished with 393 total yards, which included 182 yards on the ground.
Lazard: Yeah, absolutely. I think we were able to hit on all cylinders (Sunday) night with everything. Truthfully, I think we really didn't get too far deep into our playbook just because we were hitting the ground running. When we were able to get our ground game going, it helped to set up the pass game so much. The rollouts, the keepers. And once we were able to kind of get those things intricated, as well, it's really a hard, deadly force that we have in our offense.
Q: You're heading into December and have just five regular season games to play. You're well into the season and well into the playbook, so how high is the ceiling for your offense?
Lazard: I think we're finally just starting to get healthy. You look back toward the beginning of the year, we didn't have (wide receiver) EQ (Equanimeous St. Brown). We weren't fully identified as a wide receiver group ... early in the season. And then obviously I got hurt. We've had guys up and down throughout these weeks. But (Sunday) night is a good testament of what our offense can do at a full force. And especially within our own room. Having guys healthy out there, knowing what to do. Playing fast, playing hard and playing for each other. Like I said, we didn't really get too deep into our playbook (Sunday) night and what our game plan was on how to attack them, so it makes me very excited to see what our offense can still do once we do get to those plays.
Q: Aaron Rodgers was sensational against the Bears. We all see the talent and arm strength week after week - the outwardly stuff - but what are some of the things we don't see that demonstrate how talented he is and how he commands the offense and huddle?
Lazard: A lot of things people don't see is the groundwork that he puts in way beforehand. It's the offseason. Treating his body right. Getting in shape for the season. Knowing how to prepare. And really, it's studying defenses. This guy, he has played in the league for so long and has seen so many different coverages. So many different defenses. He knows the coordinators. Knows the players very well. And knows how to anticipate things. Sometimes, it's so far advanced, it's almost hard because I haven't had those reps, and I haven't had those experiences. But this man, he sees the plays before they happen. And I think that just helps you be able to make those big plays a lot easier and lot more frequently.
Q: How do you approach your role in running the scout team at practice? You obviously want to give your defense a good look at what they'll be facing, but you also can use those snaps to help show what you can do. How do you approach those practice periods?
Love: Our job is to give the defense a look. But at the same time, our job is to try to showcase ourselves. We've got the receivers out there. Every now and then, we'll get some plays on the show team that are the same as some of our schemes we got, so Coach (Matt) LaFleur will come over and tell us, "Hey, steal a rep right here. This is a chance to get better and put it on tape." We just try to go out there and do our best, man. That's all we can do.