Like Bulaga, Castonzo Works Out With Former Packers Coach

NFL Draft prospect Anthony Castonzo is working out with former Packers offensive line coach Tom Lovat in advance of the draft.

INDIANAPOLIS––As a client of agent Tom Condon, NFL Draft prospect Anthony Castonzo has spent time preparing for the NFL working out with former Green Bay Packers coach Tom Lovat.

Condon's clients have been doing this for years. Among those working out with Lovat include Bryan Bulaga of the Packers, Jake Long of the Dolpins and Jason Smith of the Rams––all of them first-round draft choices.

"That was a big reason why I decided that he was a guy I wanted to coach me, because he showed that some of the guys that he's coached has been so successful," said Castonzo Thursday at the NFL Combine.

Now retired, Lovat works with Condon's players to prepare for the NFL on a part-time basis.

Lovat spent 23 years as an assistant coach in the NFL including two stints in Green Bay, one as the offensive line coach for the 1996 Super Bowl winning Packers.

He also broke into the NFL in 1980 coaching offensive linemen with the Packers such as current Packers Radio Network analyst Larry McCarren who says Lovat's resume speaks for itself regardless of guys like Bulaga, Long and Smith.

"To be honest with you, I don't think he needs their success to have a track record," said McCarren. "People in the NFL, around the NFL know Tom Lovat and know he's a heck of a teacher, heck of a coach, and that just is a process of working with these young fellas just reconfirming what the people that really know the business know. That Tom Lovat is a good coach, good teacher."

Rather than preparing Castonzo specifically for the Combine on things like the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and three-cone drill, Lovat is working with the Boston College product on skills that will translate to the football field.

"He's been working with me on technique, a lot staying square in the pass set and different things I can do with my hands, just kind of preparing me for the next level," said Castonzo.

Castonzo leaves Boston College as four-year starter and career record holder with 54 starts.

Considering where he started, it's amazing to think that Castonzo is now being considered one of the top offensive line prospects in the nation.

Following high school as a self-proclaimed "6-7, 220 pound drink of water," he didn't receive a single college offer. Universities told him they didn't think he'd get big enough, so instead he enrolled Fork Union Military Academy where he gained 25 pounds in one semester.

He then attended Boston College, became a starter at right tackle his freshman year and started at left tackle the next three seasons.

"Growing up, I heard from a lot of people, 'Don't set your sights on the NFL because you might be heartbroken,'" said Bulaga. "I've always thought, 'Why not shoot for the stars?'

"It's just something that I've always decided to be the best and regardless of what anyone says, that's what I'm going to try to do."

Although he saw some time at right tackle during the recent Senior Bowl, most observers view him as a left tackle. And like Bulaga, he expects to be one of the top tackles taken in this year's draft.

When the Packers took Bulaga in the first round of the 2010 draft, connections were drawn from Tom Lovat to his son Mark Lovat, the current strength and conditioning coordinator for the Packers.

McCarren is aware of the obvious familial relationship with the Packers organization but doesn't look too deep into the situation.

"I'm sure they talk from time to time, but I only see Tom at practice once in a while, once in a great while as a matter of fact," said McCarren. "He's more than a casual observer, but he's retired now. Whatever he likes to do, he's doing it, and occasionally he shows up, but I don't think it's a thing where there's a line between him and the Packers."

As far as the term "Packers people" goes, Castonzo fits the bill. He's a biochemistry major that hopes to continue his education and conduct cancer research someday.

He received the Scanlan Award at Boston college as a football player who excels on the field, in the classroom and in the community. And he was also honored as a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete.

In order to be drafted by the Packers––if they're even interested––Castonzo would have to slip all the way to the last pick of the first round by virtue of their victory in Super Bowl XLV.

"That's very cool," said Castonzo. "I know they just drafted Bulaga last year, and he's a guy that actually grew up near me. But they're a team that that's impressive what they were able to do this year."

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Comments (4)

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Norman's picture

February 25, 2011 at 01:40 pm

Don't know the first thing about the guy and didn't even hear the name until now, but I gotta admit, the comment "he enrolled at Fork Union Military Academy where he gained 25 pounds in one semester" leaves me a little suspicious of steroids.

Of course, I recall that I gained about 10 pounds my first year in college, but that was for altogether different reasons (beer, mozzarella sticks and chicken wings).

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snackpack's picture

February 26, 2011 at 03:39 pm

With a 6'7" frame, I can see someone easily gaining 25 pounds in a semester without steroids, just working out a lot and eating right. If you can gain 10 pounds without even trying, I imagine 25 isn't that crazy when you're that tall and gaining weight and muscle is your main goal.

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redlights's picture

February 25, 2011 at 02:42 pm

I like Boston College talent. Hoping that we prioritize OL again this year, at some point we need to be able to sustain a running game (ARodg injury, reduced WR talent, weather conditions), especially with Detroit coming on. They were extremely robust in their front DL last year. Get some wide-bodies that can MOVE the pile.

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BubbaOne's picture

February 26, 2011 at 07:16 pm

I'm not sure the Packers have figured out whether TJ Lang is best at OG or OT.
Maybe the Packers need to consult Lovat on this, get an independent third party to break the stalemate.

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