For the fourth straight year there is a new starter under center for Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. 2013 4th-round pick JC Tretter missed his rookie season due to an ankle injury. He did return late in the year and was able to practice some with the team, but he saw no live action. His NFL debut was Saturday in Tennessee and the second-year player was impressive, especially with the elements less than ideal.
“To go out and handle the football the way he did in his first start I think is huge. It’s something that he personally will have a lot of confidence from and I know it gives me more confidence to see him play the way he did especially in that environment,” said Mike McCarthy referring to the rainy weather in Nashville last Saturday.
“It's just about the ball is the most important thing so you make sure to secure the snap every play and then you go from there and get your assignments down. If it's going to happen, might as well get it out of the way and get your first game like that,” said Tretter.
With the heavy rain, six of the packers eight plays on the team’s opening drive were on the ground as Green Bay marched 64 yards to the endzone. Tretter remained in the game after the rest of the o-line starters were benched following the first series. The new center thought his first game experience was a success, but he's not content, there are always areas for improvement:
“Certain technique and blocking steps and kinda reading what the d-line's going to do to you. Just little things that are going to come with experience and come with reps. That's why every practice is extremely important, just the more reps you can get the more chances you have to improve quickly,” Tretter explained.
Reps are especially important for Tretter who was a tight end his first two seasons at Cornell University, before switching to tackle.
“Whatever position you can play, you take advantage of so at this point it's just I feel extremely comfortable at the center position. It doesn't feel new or different to me anymore, kinda feel settled in at it so I feel comfortable.”
It certainly helps to be surrounded by so much talent, McCarthy has said on numerous occasions this preseason that this is the best offensive line he's had in Green Bay. McCarthy also told reporters Tretter practically lived at Lambeau Field during the offseason --that dedication seems to be paying off.