Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard on Clubhouse Live: Green Bay benefiting from adversity
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.
The show can be seen live at The Clubhouse Sports Pub & Grill in downtown Appleton or 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 missed Thursday's game against Arizona after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. What do you want to share - and what can you share - that might answer some of the questions about your vaccination status and why you ended up on the list?
Lazard: Obviously, we live in a day and age where a lot of things are changing. A lot of things are a lot more public and out in the open. But for me and myself, I think in the life that I live - obviously, living here in Green Bay, there's not much to do anyway (chuckling) besides Sundays. But Monday through Saturday, if I'm not at the facility, I'm in my basement. When I move up here (for the season), I tell my friends, I tell my teammates all the time, I'm literally a different person. I literally have a different mindset. My habits change. The things I think about, the music that I listen to, the people I talk to change. And so, when I get up here, I'm a different person. I just stay locked in and do my own things.
I guess kind of just with this whole thing, I think I'm doing the best thing that's for me with my decision and everything. And I encourage people to do what's best for them. And that's all I can really say as far as that. I'm not a doctor. ... I'm just a football player. I just play football. ... I'm not anyone that's perfect. I make mistakes every single day. But I will say that from my mistakes, I learn a lot. And that is what has put me in this position to be here up on this stage. So as far as that goes, I'm not really - I don't want to get too much more into it because I don't know much. Just like you guys. Just like everyone it seems like. I'll just continue playing football and scoring a lot of touchdowns.
Q: As far as the protocols go, have any additional measures been taken by you or the Packers to make sure this doesn't happen to you again?
Lazard: We've honestly just taken every single precaution that we have since we stepped back in the building from last season. Going back to the OTAs. Training camp. Week 1. I think our staff, our coaches, and the players - everyone has done a fantastic job over the past two years given the situation that we're in with the pandemic to put themselves - but also the team - first. And to put us in a safe environment to keep moving forward and to keep this winning train going.
Q: With Thursday's victory over Arizona, the Packers are now 7-0 in games in which Davante Adams has been out during Matt LaFleur's tenure as head coach. How do you explain that? Is your team depth an underrated, or understated, strength?
Lazard: I think it's the culture of the organization - top to bottom. Aaron (Rodgers) kind of hit on it towards the end of the game, and I think I even mentioned it within my last show, of how we do a great job of being able to plug and play guys. There's a lot of veteran players on our team. A lot of coaches that have tremendous experience throughout the league that have been here in our building for a long time, as well. And just the standard that we hold each other to. And I think it creates that accountability to be able to go out there. And knowing that the 10 other guys out there are going to do their job makes you do your one job a lot easier. And I think that's what separates good teams from great teams. And I think that's what we have. I think that's what we've been able to showcase over the past two, three years. And you were able to see that on Thursday.
Q: How is this season's team different from the previous two teams that advanced to the NFC championship? Anything that perhaps sets it apart from the 2019 and '20 squads?
Lazard: I'm not sure, yet. I've been obviously very fortunate to be a part of this organization the past three years and be part of two really previous good teams. And I think the thing that has benefited us this year is adversity. We talked about that Week 1. The more adversity you face the front half of the season helps you in the back half because you've already faced some of the hardest stuff. You've had to go through tough times, and you were able to persevere and get through them. Even though we did have that loss (to the Saints) Week 1, we've had seven wins in a row. We're focused on win No. 8 and not loss No. 2. I think just that mindset - going back to the culture that we have in our organization. The great leaders that we have in our vets and coaches. It's hard to tell what's different. What I think we'll be able to say in hindsight what will be different will be that we have a Super Bowl.
Q: Packers defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator Jerry Gray called the plays on Thursday in place of defensive coordinator Joe Barry, who was out. What role has he played in your development as player who has made an impact on your defense?
Sullivan: He has just helped me with the mental aspect. He played in the NFL a long time at a high level. Pro Bowls. And then you have a coach who has coached a long time. So he knows both sides. He wants everybody to be the best, and that's our standard in the room. We're trying to be No. 1 - the top secondary in the NFL. Not in our division. Not in our conference. In the NFL. So he challenges everybody to get in the film book. He gives us tips every week. And he basically says the NFL is an open-book test. And what he means by that is they're giving us the notes. They're giving us the information. If you study it and you focus in, you'll make the plays on Sunday. And he says just don't drop the interceptions.