Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard on Clubhouse Live: 'Everyone is behind' Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly football show. Packers rookie right guard Royce Newman 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 said this on last week's show: "I think the thing that has benefited us this year is aversity." With Aaron Rodgers currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list, along with all the injuries you guys have had to deal with, how much more adversity can you take this season?
Lazard: That's the funny thing about adversity: You don't really get to pick when it happens - or else, you'd be able to plan for it. I said this Week 1: The more adversity we handle early in the season will benefit us in the back end of the season, especially going into the playoffs. Obviously, (Sunday's loss to the Chiefs) wasn't what we all wanted, but it's definitely a stepping stone. And I think we can all learn from it and grow from it. We flushed the film today. So when we get back in the building on Wednesday, we'll be ready to go Sunday (against the Seahawks).
Q: Given the situation involving Rodgers and what has been surrounding the team because of it, how good did it feel to take the field on Sunday and just get back to playing football again?
Lazard: Yeah, there was just a lot of anticipation, obviously, (with) it being Jordan's (Love) first game (as the starting quarterback) given the circumstances and how it arose. Being on the road. All the external noise. So it was great to be able to just get out on the field and play ball. I think it was a great learning opportunity for him and for us just as a team. Now we know areas that we can grow on and continue to get better at.
Q: Tight end Marcedes Lewis tweeted to "trust the struggle" because "it gives you perspective." He added: "If it was easy, everyone would be successful." What perspective did you gain from Sunday's struggle against the Chiefs?
Lazard: Obviously, losing sucks. But you learn more about yourself from losses than you do wins because you see your deficiencies. You see areas that you need to grow on, areas that you need to work on, keep developing. And kind of what you're doing well at, as well. We know that we made a lot of mistakes (Sunday) and that we're going to be able to clean it up and be able to flush it and bounce back.
Q: Was it difficult for you and others to not overload Jordan with too many words of encouragement and too much information since he had plenty to deal with already? Did you find that was a tough balancing act as he prepared for his first career start?
Lazard: The cool thing about our team is everyone is behind him. Even from the first team meeting on Wednesday, everybody was behind Jordan and believing in him and trusting him - and we still do - and be able to instill that confidence. It's just like you don't want to sit there and be on him like, "You're going to be good. You're going to be good. You're going to do great. We're going to have a lot of success." You don't want to overdue it and then just put too much (on him). I just go about my regular week just like everybody else. I talk to him the same amount as I normally would. I may say a few more things just because of the week like, "Hey, this is what I kind of like for these type of plays. Here are a couple of tips and pointers that 12 does that I think you could use." But it's not an overstressing thing because we all know that we all just have to do our job. And if we all do our job, that will allow him to do his job. And when we were able to have good plays (Sunday), you were able to see all 11 people be able to do their job.
Q: You're in your rookie season and have made starts at right guard in all nine games. It's not easy to make the jump from college to an NFL starter, so how would you evaluate your play so far?
Newman: It's been OK. Just got to keep developing. Just getting in there every day and working on run blocking and pad level - just like your basic stuff. But I just got to keep coming in every day and work on something just to get better and just keep building off of that.
Q: You were selected in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Are you aware of the Packers' successes in finding very good offensive linemen in that round? All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, for example, was a fourth-round pick. Do you use that as inspiration in that if those guys can have success in the NFL, so can I?
Newman: David probably just once a week tells me that he was in the same boat as me - a fourth-round pick, not the biggest guy. But you've just got to keep coming in and finding something to work on every day and improving at that.