Bakhtiari: “No excuses” when Packers get back together, Rodgers’ “still got his wheels”

Packers

Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (69) blocks against Detroit Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara (95) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

(WFRV) – This week would normally be the final mandatory minicamp of the Packers offseason workout program. Nothing has been normal due to the coronavirus pandemic, but left tackle David Bakhtiari has the same expectations as always for when camp starts: be ready with no excuses.

On Tuesday afternoon the leader of the Packers offensive line spoke with reporters via a Zoom conference. There were plenty of topics that came up from discussions with teammates about social justice, new additions on the roster, and training during the pandemic.

“Physically and mentally, there’s an expectation that when we do come back together that there is no excuses. For me and my previous offseasons, I’m right on par for the expectation that I know I need to be at with my conditioning, with my strength, with my weight, with my health,” said David Bakhtiari.

“I enjoy, I love, I accept the grind in the offseason. It’s not really hard for me to wake up six days a week and get after it…When this whole thing comes together I’m not really looking for, they don’t want to put any leashes on us, I’m expecting to go and go fully.”

Bakhtiari admitted to reporters that it was hard at first when the pandemic first struck, closing business and gyms around the country. Over time he adjusted, but still working with an old friend and trainers.

FILE – In this Nov. 8, 2015, file photo, Green Bay Packers’ David Bakhtiari (69) gestures on the sidelines against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C. Protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be of the utmost importance for the Green Bay Packers when they face the Chicago Bears and their NFC-best defense on Sunday. The offensive line will be tested by a Bears defense that tripped up the high-octane Los Angeles Rams last week. The protection did hold up last week in the second half of a win over the Falcons last week, with backups playing at both guard spots and right tackle. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)

Bakhtiari has long worked out with, now former Packers linebacker, Clay Matthews during the offseason. During the pandemic he has worked out at Matthews home gym, and received instructions from his trainers remotely.

“I’m a creature of habit. So wasn’t the biggest fan of having to move and change. I found some stability, and thankful, that I’ve been working out with Clay at Proactive Sports Performance in Westlake Village. I’ve been training there with him for the past eight offseasons. Thankfully he had built his new home, and in his new home he had a home gym. So it was almost like a mini-Proactive that we had,” said Bakhtiari.

There are some positives to the new normal that is the NFL offseason, according to Bakhtiari.

“It’s been in a sense refreshing for me,” said Bakhtiari. “I’ve had a lot of seasons under my belt, so I feel pretty comfortable not having to be at the facility as much. I’m beyond a year integrated into this offense, and I know it pretty well. I’m not worried about my knowledge of the offense. I think we’ve done a great job of virtually teaching it.”

Rodgers “still got his wheels”

This offeseason one of the biggest changes in Green Bay has been the addition of first round pick Jordan Love. Bakhtiari was asked about the Packers newest quarterback, and the moves general manager Brian Gutekunst used to pick the rookie out of Utah State.

“I was more shocked that they traded up, but I mean how I feel about the pick doesn’t really matter, because I’m not in charge of building of the roster. I don’t think that, no matter where my point is, my goal is to protect the quarterback and open holes in the run game and make sure I’m out there on Sundays. That’s why job title is,” said Bakhtiari.

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers and David Bakhtiari run a drill during NFL football training camp Thursday, July 25, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Right now the man he’s blocking for is Aaron Rodgers, who does work out with Bakhtiari during the offseason. Giving the Packers left tackle a unique vantage point of QB1 since the decision to draft Jordan Love over a month ago.

“I can even reflect on today, we were out on our conditioning day and the guy’s still got his wheels. I’m proud of him on that end. We compete and I know that fire still burns in him deep, and he’ll in his own way still make sure he’ll try and win in every facet. He’s the most competitive person I’ve met and I always expect the most out of him because I know, at least for my expectations, that he can deliver on that end.”

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