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.——————
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .