GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Every year there are a handful of players who come out of training camp as the underdog who ends up making it on the roster. Sometimes it is an unknown free agent, other times it’s a day-three draft pick. Linebacker Isaiah McDuffie is hoping to be that guy this year.
“I just keep the mentality that, control what I can control, and I try to get at least one percent better every day,” said McDuffie. “That’s what I was always told and I will stick by that.”
McDuffie was one of the top tacklers in college football his senior season and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur sees someone who can definitely contribute in the Packers run defense.
“He does a really good job of playing with his hands, said LaFleur. “He is aggressive so, just looking for him to fly around, attack the football, and make plays.”
The 6th round draft pick out of Boston College missed some of camp with a hamstring tweak, but ended up with four tackles against the Jets last Saturday.
“It felt amazing I was real excited to get out there and play,” said McDuffie. “It was my first NFL game experience, so it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.”
McDuffie knows that he has to take advantage of the final preseason game in Buffalo if he plans on making the team, and at this point, he’s letting his play on the field speak for itself.
“Im a run and hit linebacker. I can cover backs one on one,” said McDuffie. “I feel like I fit perfect in the scheme, so I’m excited to play in it.
LaFleur added, “He’s a guy that flies around, and goes after the football. I’ve really been impressed with him. Two days ago in practice you could really see the speed and physicality.”
The rookie linebacker also has a mentor of sorts in veteran free agent De’Vondre Campbell.
“You know he definitely gives me a little tips and reminders of things that he sees, and things that I can get better at and I listen and key in on.” McDuffie added, “Khrys (Barnes) is a great guy and he helps me too. You know just watching him and watching how he handles things kind of gives me the mold of something I can follow myself.”