Take a Moment and Enjoy Packers DT Ryan Pickett Blowing Up Offensive Linemen

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Ryan Pickett
Packers DT Ryan Pickett getting after it.

If you’re an NFL fan who subscribes to Game Rewind and likes to re-watch games in order to see what happens away from the ball, Packers defensive lineman Ryan Pickett is your type of player.

The 330-pound 33 year old doesn’t make many plays that garner immediate attention on the game broadcast. To appreciate what Pickett does, you have to watch the film. That’s when you’ll nod your head at the veteran’s quickness off the ball. You’ll pump your fist when he shoves two blockers backward and frees up a linebacker to make a tackle. You’ll notice that Pickett is often the reason why a mess of players pile up at the line and the ballcarrier fails to pick up a short-yardage first down.

After 12 seasons, Pickett should be slowing down. Instead, he looks as strong and nimble as ever. It’s not a rarity to see space-eating defensive linemen play effectively as they creep into their mid-30s and beyond — Casey Hampton, Ted Washington and Pat Williams come to mind as older, run-stuffing linemen who excelled as they aged.

I planned to do an in-depth study of stats and numbers to tell you just how great Pickett has been the last few years, but I said the hell with it. Pickett’s worth goes beyond *numbers.* Let’s watch some film instead.

Here’s Pickett wrecking the Houston Texans offensive line:

 

I know Pickett is in there to stuff the run, but I love when he does get after the quarterback.

Wasn’t that awesome? I told you watching Pickett on film is fun.

After watching Pickett, I sometimes wonder why B.J. Raji can’t consistently play with the same energy and passion as his veteran linemate.

Some of it probably has to do with playing time. Raji played 124 more snaps than Pickett in 2012. Part of it probably has to do with assignments and responsibility. Raji is asked to do a little more than Pickett.

Can Pickett’s success continue this season? He’ll be a free agent. In addition to wanting to prove that he still is an upper-end defensive lineman, I’m sure he’ll be playing for one last multi-year contract.

I know I can’t wait to fire up the film and watch me another season Ryan Pickett making offensive lineman 10 years his junior look silly.

*In case you’re wondering, Pickett played 645 snaps last season, his highest total since 2006. According to Pro Football Focus, he had 26 stops. His 51 tackles were the most he’s had since 2006, his first season in Green Bay.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • steve cheez

    So Pickett blows it up and Foster walks in for a TD anyway. Guess it takes all (or, at least most) 11 guys for a defense to function.

  • FireMMNow

    It is crazy how much quicker pickett is off the ball than raji. and the thing is raji has the ability to fire of the ball. we have all seen it a time or two. just wish it could be more consistent. this will be picks last year in green bay most likely, unless he comes back on a short term cheap deal, but he has been a great packer.

    • Rick

      Raji hurt his ankle badly in the Detroit game and was not the same the rest of the season though. Lack of NT depth hurt down the stretch. Not signing Guy to roster from the practice squad and let him go to the Colts was a stupid mistake.

  • Oppy

    Pickett is a stud, I’ve been on the “big grease” train since he got here. Great dl, great personality.

    First off, he’s the only truly effective NT the Packers have. I’m on record as saying I think Raji isn’t a NT, he’s miscast.

    However, to be fair, Pickett’s explosion off the line as seen above are both in situations where he’s given the green light to penetrate the line, he’s shooting a specific gap. For instance, in the Lions’ clip, Pickett is straight out rushing (“Jet” assignment for you fancy lads) and Raji is tasked with eating up blockers and setting the line- hence why Raji looks slow off the ball compared to Pickett. Raji has to read and react to the OL, Pickett gets to just GO.

  • Stroh

    Pickett is still an excellent DL. I see no reason he won’t continue being a Packer for another couple years. Hes as good as he’s always been. Everyone afraid he’s 33 and need to get his replacement. Hogwash! Resign him for 2 or 3m per for another 2 yrs and go from there. We don’t need another DT we need a true 34DE!

  • Jeff

    I’ve always called him the Pickett Fence,and with good reason. Been a stalwart of that defensive line for years.

  • Toch

    he’s a 1 man wrecking crew, does a great job.