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Packers' Allen Lazard on Clubhouse Live: MVS tweet 'an unfortunate reality that we have to live with'


Brett Christopherson   | Packers News

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly football show. Packers running back Jamaal Williams was Lazard’s guest.

Among the topics they touched on were returning from injury, falling to the Colts, better practice habits and social media chatter. The show can be seen live on any of our USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin Facebook pages or websites, including clubhouselive.com. It can also be seen on our YouTube channel.

Here are select and edited answers from the interview:

WATCH:  Clubhouse Live with Allen Lazard and Jamaal Williams

Q: You returned to action during Sunday's contest against the Colts after missing the previous six games due to core muscle surgery. How good did it feel to finally be back out there playing football again?

Lazard: Honestly, it was like a little bit therapeutic (to be) out there again. One, just being in front of fans for the first time this year for me. I believe (the Packers) played in front of fans down in Tampa Bay, but I didn't play in that game, obviously. ... Playing in front of fans - being able to feed off the energy from the crowd, hearing them chant, "Go Pack Go" - kind of just put me back at being in Lambeau again. So being able to have that experience and be out there and play again with my teammates and help my team as much as I can felt great.

Q: You finished with two catches for 18 yards on four targets and played a total of 36 snaps. Was the plan for you to take it slowly and ease you back into things?

Lazard: I haven't gotten tackled and hit in six-plus weeks now. Even just from that standpoint, even if I wasn't coming off an injury, there would still be some acclimation with that, as well. Just trying to ease my playing time back in there and just kind of get me conditioned and ready to finish the season and also be able to make this playoff push, as well. 

Q: You fell to the Colts in overtime - a game that saw you commit four turnovers and lose a 14-point halftime lead. As you reviewed the video, did you feel like you beat yourselves more than they beat you?

Lazard: Absolutely. One of the things that Coach (Matt) LaFleur - and that we emphasize as an offense - is the turnover margin. Whenever you lose the turnover margin, the chances of you winning aren't really in your favor. The fact that we lost the turnover margin and we only lost by three points gives us a lot of hope and encouragement going into this next week and finishing the rest of the season knowing that if we just take care of the ball and do the things that we're supposed to that everything will work out and we'll be able to win.

Q: Aaron Rodgers said after the game that there was a "different type of energy" last week at practice and that you practiced "like a great team and not just a good team." What was different about the energy, and what does he mean by practicing like a great team?

Lazard: I think it's just emphasizing the small details. Finishing the plays. Having the defense swarm to the ball. And ultimately, what helps us have the elite practices - the great practices - is really our show team. That's something I was a part of down in Jacksonville and then a little bit last year (with Green Bay), as well. The biggest characteristic behind a team's success would be having a really good show team that goes out there and gives the best look to resemble what they're going to see on Sunday. The more that we can see and experience and prepare ourselves for, the better our chances are to succeed on Sunday.

Q: Marquez Valdes-Scantling tweeted that he had received death threats after his fumble in overtime led to the Colts' game-winning field goal. What's your reaction to that? And what's your message to the people who tweet threats or post hateful things like that on social media?

Lazard: Unfortunately, that's the reality of being an athlete, being in the starlight, and playing for a professional team. Unfortunately, there are people out there in the world that just want to say hurtful and mean things to people - not really identifying them as a human being but rather just as a figure, in a sense. It's a very unfortunate situation. I've obviously received my fair share of tweets or DMs or whatever like that. And for me, it just doesn't pay me any mind. To me, you just dismiss yourself as a person and what your opinion means. It's an unfortunate reality of where we live in this society. It's obviously not just sports or sports figures. It's everyday people that are bashing each other or cyberbullying. It's an unfortunate reality that we have to live with. Hopefully, people are able to overcome it and realize that you just can't hide behind a keyboard or your Twitter fingers. 

Q: During a recent interview on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football," you described yourself as a bruiser who's also trying to add some finesse to your game. What do you mean by finesse, and how have you added it to improve as an overall running back?

Williams: Really just trying to get better at other ways of making people miss besides just trying to run through them. And try to get them off their toes or get them unbalanced so I can just run around them and just get north faster. Don't waste any time or movement to make a simple play, and then just go up and make more plays. I just want to make myself look more effortless and really just have fun and make it instinctive for me to go out there. And just, I can think of any type of where I want to make a defender miss - running them over, or now I can use my feet and use my mind and get skinny on people and not let them touch me at all. 

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Contact Brett Christopherson at (920) 993-7117 or bchristopherson@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PCBrettC.