Ryan Pickett has been a formidable defender his entire career, especially during his time with the Green Bay Packers.
Since 2006 when the Packers signed him as a free agent (one of Ted Thompson‘s best moves in free agency) Pickett has been called on to eat up double teams and stuff the run.
He’s done that well.
In fact, in an interview with Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he is adamant about playing again in 2014 whether it’s in Green Bay or not. Though the Packers haven’t called him (or teammate Johnny Jolly), Pickett said his preferred team is the Packers.
But it may be difficult for the 300-plus-pounder to get through the crack in the door. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has left the door slightly ajar, saying earlier this summer that he would love to have either or both Pickett and Jolly back in-house.
Pickett is a family man, and a leader in the locker room. His faith is well-known and he brings a solid sense of stability to a team. He would certainly be a positive influence on the team.
And to date, the Packers do still have a roster spot open on their 90-man roster.
“I can still play ball. Just turn on the tape,” Pickett told Dunne. “I can do my job. And I do it well. I like to prove people wrong. I feel great. I don’t feel old.”
But age is the factor that seems to be changing the Packers of late.
The team has drafted, used free agency and committed to the young guys along the defensive line, which may limit the team’s efforts in bringing either Pickett or Jolly back into the fold.
And what motivates the Super Bowl champion?
Well, another Super Bowl.
He says it in his own words:
“Another Super Bowl, man. I really want to win. I can still play. I feel great….I just have more left. I’m a competitor and I love football.”
But as the Packers move toward training camp one wonders whether the door may be closing quickly on both Pickett and Jolly. Maybe the Packers are thinking they might hold the two veterans on the outside with the hope that nobody will pick them up and that they could reach out to them should injuries once again strike the team.
While that’s not a very good approach, Pickett is hoping that the Packers pick up the phone before then.
“You can’t blame them. They’re moving forward. They’re bringing in guys that do different things. That’s what they’re supposed to do.”
But Pickett also feels that he could fit into the Packers plans, if given the shot to do so.
“I play hard every play. And I’m going to do my job. If they tell me to be here, that’s where I’m going to be. And I’m going to do that and I’m going to make plays. I’ve been playing football my whole life. I just know how to do it.”
Clearly he wants to do it for the Packers.
Time will tell.
Stay tuned …