Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard on Clubhouse Live: Not knowing the future is 'tough reality' of NFL
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard co-hosted Monday's Clubhouse Live, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s live weekly football show.
Among the topics he touched on were Sunday's setback in the NFC title game, processing a season-ending loss, saying farewell to teammates and the 2020 season. 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:
Q: Aaron Rodgers said after the loss to the Buccaneers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game that he felt "gutted." Do you feel the same?
Lazard: I feel like most people have an idea what tomorrow holds. And when your tomorrow gets completely flipped, you kind of feel lost and really uncertain where you're going and what you're doing. We obviously had our next two weeks really kind of planned out mentally in our head - what we were going to do. We had our goals and sights set on winning the Super Bowl and bringing the Lombardi Trophy back here to Titletown. Now that we aren't able to do that, we feel like we've let ourselves down, let each other down and let the Packer fans down, as well.
Q: How do you decompress after a tough loss like that? Do you replay specific moments of the game in your mind? Can you sleep? Do you reach out to family and friends? How do you start to get past the disappointment?
Lazard: For me personally, I just kind of like to be to myself and kind of just think about it. Kind of replay the game. After every game, I usually like to watch film to help me decompress, to be able to get a full grasp of everything because there are a lot of things when you're playing the game that you don't know what really happened. For instance, I go out and I block a safety. Well, I can't see Aaron Jones or Jamaal Williams running and what's happening with the O-line and everything. Or what the other receivers were doing. Sometimes, you make mistakes because you see one thing on the field, but you go back and watch film and you see it from a completely different view. So, it kind of helps you get a better understanding of the game that way. You get a better full-grasp of it. So once the film was able to download, I watched the game (Sunday) night. Kind of came to clarity with everything and see where we made mistakes, where we had opportunities to take advantage of the opportunities that were given to us and where we can still improve on.
Q: How tough was it being at the facility on Monday? You're cleaning out your lockers and saying goodbye to some guys who won't be teammates next season. Is that a more intense emotion than dealing with losing the game?
Lazard: That's always the tough reality of this. Not really knowing the team's future, your future. You never really know what's really at stake and what the next year will hold. You get so close to these guys, especially this year. We were really all the people that we had. We were somewhat in a bubble. (Smiling) Being in Green Bay, you really are kind of in a bubble as most of you know. But even more so with our team. The last six months or so that we've been here, this is the only really human interaction that we've had. So we've gotten close to these people. And that's how it is, really, every year. Obviously, it's kind of a group of guys coming together, and we spend so much time together and we depend on each other, we hold each other accountable. And we do great things with each other. So by the time that the end of the season comes and you lose the final game, that's what the toughest part is. You just feel like you let yourself and your teammates down. It has been a tough year. It has been a long year. And being able to have to say bye to a couple of these guys (and) you don't really know who you're saying bye to, either. Kind of makes it hard and a little bit awkward, but that's part of the business. We still love this game, so we know the risk of it when we get into it.
Q: What are the memories you'll take from this season? Anything specific stand out?
Lazard: (Smiling) COVID tests - every single day. No, but the thing that will reign with me will probably just be the bond that we had shared this year. Last year was a great year, and we had a great team. But this year just seemed a little bit different. I think a lot of people can agree on that. And I think it lot of it has to do with the COVID effects that it has had on us personally. Not being able to do the normal things that we usually do in life and still having come really close together for such a long period of time. So the first thing I'll think of is the locker room.