Rashan Gary is committed to improving in year two with the Packers.
The Green Bay Packers have high expectations for Rashan Gary in his second season as he takes on a bigger role in Mike Pettine’s defense.
Gary only made two sacks and three quarterback hits in his rookie season, but he was playing a backup role behind Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Kyler Fackrell. Gary was given time to develop without the pressure of being a starter, but with Fackrell now gone, the time has come for Gary to become a key contributor to the Packers’ pass rush.
And the team’s 2019 first-round pick is fully committed to improving his game. Packers outside linebackers coach Mike Smith had high praise for Gary when he spoke to the media on Friday:
“He loves football,” Smith said. “He texted me last night at 12:30, asking for three things that he can work on, on his off day today.”
“Guys like that, they don’t fail,” Smith said. “They don’t.”
Gary’s commitment is there, and he now has the opportunity in front of him. With Fackrell gone, Gary is set for a big increase in snaps on defense this season.
“Rashan is going to have a big role in what we’re doing,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said on Friday.
There is competition for the fourth edge rusher spot at training camp, but the top three looks set with the Smith Bros. and Gary. With Gary stepping up into the number three role, he should see a significant increase in snaps, and his ability to line up at multiple positions will also help him get on the field more often.
Being able to learn from two great pass rushers in his first season will have helped, but now the Packers need Gary to also become a key contributor on defense.
Gary is doing everything he can to make a second-year jump.