(WFRV) – The Packers are holding a Zoom conference with left tackle David Bakhtiari on Tuesday afternoon.
Bakhtiari asked about having fewer penalties down the stretch of the season, and changes he made: Bakhtiari said the fall start pentalties were unacceptable, just comes down to thinking more with the change in system and taking thought process away from the cadence. Holding is very arbitrary and during different seasons holding calls go up and down. Staying true to what he’s already done in his career, and once the point of emphasis went away the holding calls dropped. Not necessarily a change in technique.
Bakhtiari on conversations with teammates about social justice: I think the best thing we’ve done as an organization is having uncomfortable conversations. Mentioned conversations with fellow offensive lineman and Minneapolis native Billy Turner, and offered his support and to listen.
Rick Wagner joining team: Always one of the more soft spoken sweet side, but his game shows differently. Don’t think there will be an issue with him fitting into the room. Expect that he’ll climate just fine, and be the soft spoken neutral voice that’s needed.
Kneeling during the national anthem: Don’t have an expectation yet. Going into the season not having any kind of notion. Like a few years ago we will take as a team and do it together, and will support that. Assume there will be more kneeling around the league than the past season or two.
Asked if conversations about social justice will bring team together: Already pretty close, and respect each other for who we are. Bakhtiari said the good to come out of those conversations will be personal growth for each player, and building more of an understanding.
Going into a contract year, how important is it to get an extension done before the season and conversations with team: Even if I were talking the team about a new deal, I wouldn’t disclose any information. I’m open to anything, but at the end of the day I’m the left tackle and I’m under contract for the next season. Whatever the organization wants to do with me, we can have that conversation, but as of right now focusing on playing good football. Times right now are different and a lot of guys are changing their process and preperation, that’s taking center stage.
Thoughts on drafting Jordan Love and expectations for Rodgers: Bakhtiari says he’s indifferent. It is a business at the end of the day. Bakhtiari says he was more shocked that they traded up. My job is to protect the quarterback, and open up holes in the run game. Aaron Rodgers “still has the wheels.” From conversations and experiences with Rodgers, he will continue do everything he can to go out and win. Bakhtiari’s expectation is that he can delver on that end.
What has been the toughest challenge in the virtual offseason? How different will training camp look due to pandemic? Bakhtiari said the virtual offseason has been refreshing, feel comfortable being away from the facility due to experience. Done a great job of remotely teaching the offense. Having more time away from football has allowed Bakhtiari the ability to focus on personal aches and pains. Don’t know what to expect heading to training camp during the pandemic. It is a weird time, and don’t really know how it will impact the season.
How comfortable are the teammates in the offense heading to year two: Think their will be a jump. Bakhtiari says his focus is less on individual aspect of the play, and seeing the play from a wider view. Allows him to become more effective in the system. Would assume other guys in the offense are further along in the offense. Thinking less allows players to play faster.
Based on what you say last season, how good can Elgton Jenkins be: He can be as good as he wants to be. Year two is usually your bigger jump, and he has a chance to make a big jump.
Role changing with Bulaga moving on: Told Bulaga when he became the eldest in the room “I’m going to be your captain.” Bakhtiari joked that he more “of what I want and no one can tell me what to do.” Won’t change what he does, don’t over stretch trying to be a leader it isn’t heard.
How does an offensive lineman train during a pandemic: Bakthiari is a creature of habit and it was tough at the beginning. Working out at a home gym at Clay Matthews’ house with the guidance of same trainers as usual offseason. Having to adjust wasn’t easy, but there’s an expectation and a standard that when football comes back no one is going to be using the pandemic as an excuse.
How much longer do you want to keep doing this: Bakhtiari says he wants to keep playing long as that fire is still there and the body and mind allow him to. At the end of the day I love what I do and want to keep playing longer.
Where do you feel you are in training for the season? Preparing for a late July training camp and normal start to the season: Physically and mentally there’s an expectation that there is no excuses. Kind of keeping where it needs to be. Bakhtiari says he feels he’s right where he needs to be physically and mentally. Enjoy, love and accept the grind of the offseason.