GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) -The Packers didn’t select any wide receivers in this years draft, and a likely part of that rationale was the fact that they knew Equanimeous St. Brown would be returning to their active roster this season. The former Notre Dame star was out all of last year after injuring his ankle during the preseason, and St. Brown subsequently had to sit out the entire 2019 schedule.
The one thing he didn’t miss?
Work in the classroom and the playbook.
“I think the first thing that jumps out when you’re in the meeting room with ‘Q’ is that he is really intelligent. Unfortunately, missing a whole season practically, you don’t get those reps,” said Packers head coach Matt LaFleur. “He knows our playbook inside and out. He knows the finer details, and I thought that was pretty impressive, especially since he missed all of last season.”
At 6′ 5″, St. Brown is one of the tallest wide receivers in the NFL. He caught 11 of his 21 passes over the last five games of the 2018 season. And his biggest game was against the New York Jets, where he had five receptions for 94 yards.
“The way he finished 2018, the way he goes about his business, the way he was performing in ’19 in training camp before he got injured. We’re really bullish on him,” said GM Brian Gutekunst said. “I think he’s got a bright future ahead of him. Glad he’s healthy. Glad he’s back. Expect him to make an impact this year,” LaFleur added. “I just think that flexibility gives us a tremendous weapon. And not to mention, he’s a long guy that’s got a really good catch radius, and he’s got really good speed.”
High praise has come often during training camp this year and now that he’s healthy, St. Brown is ready to take that next step in his football career. And according to him, there wasn’t any hesitation getting back on the field and absorbing contact after surgery.
“Honestly I felt ready. Emotionally I was pretty calm and collected,” said St. Brown. “I just wanted to focus and show the coaches and staff that I’m healthy, and I could run, and I know my playbook.”
St. Brown comes from a family where athletics have always been a central theme and sitting out last season was less than desirable.
“At first I was kind of tough. It was my first serious injury. I’ve been playing football all my life and my first major surgery, so, it’s been the first time I went a whole season without playing football. Mentally at first, it was kind of tough, but as I got on throughout the season, I got used to it. I just wanted to focus on my rehab mentally and physically.”
In this year’s training camp, he has also consistently shown flashes of why the Packers drafted him in his rookie season. St. Brown has the kind of ability and knowledge to play any position in the passing game.
“It’s just more or less getting him out there and getting him comfortable with, I don’t think play calls, but the routes,” said LaFleur. “And working him back into it. But I got a lot of confidence in not only his ability but his mind. And I know he’s working hard at each and every day.”
EQ also knows there are very high expectations for the entire wide receiver group.
“I believe we’re leaning a lot on the wideout group as a whole, as a unit, as an offense, because we didn’t draft any wideouts the past few years. So I think as a unit we need to step up, I think there are a lot of eyes on us. I think there is pressure on all of us this year.”
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