With just 9 days left until the Packers open up training camp, all eyes will be on new players wearing green and gold.
But after Green Bay signed three potential impact starters on the defensive side this offseason, the addition of offensive lineman Billy Turner has kind of flown under the radar.
“He’s got a great attitude,” said Packers offensive line coach Adam Stenavich. “He’s really good in the room, and really good out in practice. He’s hungry to get better just like all the other guys. I’m very happy that he’s here.”
At 6’5″ 315 pounds, Turner isn’t built like the guards Green Bay has deployed in recent years, but the Packers believe his versatility and athleticism are perfect for Matt LaFleur’s new-look offense.
“Any time you’re able to use your athleticism and your footwork to your advantage, you’ve got to be able to do it,” Turner said during minicamp. “In any offense in this league the better feet you have, the better off you’ll be.
And the more cohesive an offensive line is, the better the unit will be.
“That starts day one when you get into this locker room with these dudes,” Turner said. The camaraderie and the chemistry starts then. It’s not always on the field every single play. There’s a feel in the locker room, the weight room and in the meeting room.”
“Billy is fantastic,” said left tackle David Bakhtiari. “I’ve had a fun relationship with him right off the bat. I’m not a man to believe in kind of a grace period of becoming friends. I just kind of jumped right into the deep end with him. Billy is a good dude, and he’s got quite the personality. I’m happy he’s in the offensive line room and he’s a good addition, especially to this locker room.”
In March the 27-year old signed a four-year, $28 million dollar deal with the Packers, making him the first free agent offensive lineman Green Bay has inked to a multi-year deal in 7 seasons.
Turner’s experience playing in an outside-zone run scheme has given him a head start in Green Bay, but he admits he’s learning with the rest of the linemen.
“We’ve got a lot of great guys in the room, and I’m doing my part to learn this system,” Turner said. “As I’ve said before there’s no masters of this scheme yet, but the best part about this offense is once you get it you can pretty much be plugged into play any position.”
Turner’s made 25 starts in five seasons, and his experience at right tackle in the past is important as well since Bryan Bulaga has missed 13-games over the last two years.
After allowing the 3rd most sacks in the NFL last season it was obvious an upgrade was needed on the line.
“The guy that I have to say that I’m really excited about is Bill at right guard,” Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said this offseason. “Just his presence in the huddle, he’s a big dude. He’s a no-nonsense guy at times, but he’s also got a really dry sense of humor. He’s been a great addition to that group. As a quarterback the protection is so important. As I look across the line, I feel great about those first five. But kind of like I said last year, I feel really good about the next group of guys too.”