Rashan Gary carries the G

Once a player that fans had questions about, Rashan Gary is now a fan favorite.

Rashan Gary is a very good football player in the National Football League.

The Green Bay Packers' edge rusher has quietly developed from a talented youngster that had potential, into a four-down, impact player on the team from Titletown's defense.

After getting drafted in the first round by the Packers back in 2019, some fans were quick to point out that Gary could be a developmental pick who may never fully grow into his own.

He spent his first two seasons learning, developing and growing while rotating in to rush the passer behind Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith.

With Za'Darius sidelined with a back injury for most of the 2021 season (Gary's third in the league), the former Michigan standout had a breakout year, registering 81 pressures (second-most in the NFL according to PFF) and recording 9.5 sacks.

The 2021 season was exactly what the front office and coaching staff were planning on back when they used one of the organization's two first round picks on Gary in 2019.

Once a player that had question marks, Gary is now actually a fan favorite.

Just check Gary's social media, where you'll see he's coined the phrase #PutCheeseOnEverything.

Outside of Gary's natural talent, he's one of the hardest-working players on the team - constantly showing up and showing the type of professional he is.

One of only four starters participating at the final open-to-media OTAs on Tuesday, Gary stood out amongst a squad of backups and young players. He had no financial incentive to do so.

Why was he there when so many other veterans weren't?

“I’m just here trying to get better,” Gary said. “We’re getting closer to the season, so I’m here working with my outside linebacker coach and trying to bring the team together as we can."

"Got a lot of young pieces here," Gary continued. "I want to make sure that they know the importance of building a championship team. We don’t have time to correct things. We’ve got to hit it full speed. So, I’m happy to be here so I can push the young guys, but I’m just here to get better for myself and better for this team.”

If that doesn't fire you up, then you're not a Packers fan.

Rashan Gary carries the G. And I'm excited to see him stack success in 2022.

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Gunnar Davis is a lifelong Packers fan and a recent graduate of Simpson College, where he was a 3-year letterwinner on the offensive line and graduated with a degree in multimedia communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @Gunnar57Davis.

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Comments (49)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
ricky's picture

June 15, 2022 at 12:18 pm

As always, it's best to be patient with younger players. Sometimes it pays off, such as Gary; other times, we are disappointed, as with Jace Sternberger. But to claim he's a "bust" after one season is simply wrong. Breakout rookies are always exciting, but are the rare exception, not the rule.

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mnbadger's picture

June 15, 2022 at 12:23 pm

Thank you Gunnar, great piece. RG is so honest. He didn't brown nose us and say it's only about the team.
Note how he said "I’m happy to be here so I can push the young guys, but I’m just here to get better for myself and better for this team.”
An honest professional saying he wants a championship, he wants to get better, helping himself and helping the youngsters.
I was disappointed in the pick. Patience on our part and hard work on his part and that of his coaches and teammates are turning him into a stud. Can't wait to see what '22 brings.
#PutCheeseOnEverything!
GPG!

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dblbogey's picture

June 15, 2022 at 03:09 pm

He was also quoted as saying something to the effect that the Packers are a historical franchise that they need to appreciate, and that we also wear the helmet for all the players before us.

I wasn't upset at the Gary pick, but had my doubts. He's turned out to be a class act on and off the field.

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Swisch's picture

June 15, 2022 at 06:29 pm

Thanks for furthering the good article above, dblbogey, as it's so good to hear a current player who appreciates the wonderful heritage of the Packers.
Former busts on the Packers who made the hall-of-fame include a linebacker named Ray Nitschke, as well as Bart Starr and Paul Hornung.
How many years did it take Donald Driver to become good, and he ended up with the most receptions in Packers history -- even more than Donald Hutson.
Then there's Rasul Douglas and De'Vondre Campbell as unexpected standouts on the current roster. Teams weren't fighting over them last year.
***
This goes to my two posts yesterday about the Packers seriously considering the signing of Allen Lazard to an extension -- which was downvoted by five people, upvoted by one, commented upon by one, and passed over without remark by all the rest (kind of discouraging).
The point I'd like to emphasize today is that it doesn't matter whether Lazard as a restricted free agent was actively pursued by other teams in the NFL willing to give up a second-round draft pick for him.
If the Packers think Lazard is a player of talent and a person of character, you try to keep him around for at least a few more years (especially when he's the only tested NFL player among our promising but otherwise unproven bevy of young wide receivers).
It seems life is much better if we aren't overly concerned about what others think, and go with the people and places and opportunities we think are worthwhile.
In that spirit, I'm wondering if we're overlooking all that Lazard does for the Packers in the way that Rashan Gary used to be dismissed as unimportant.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 15, 2022 at 07:18 pm

I also got downvoted yesterday/today for defending Lazard and his abilities. No comments disagreeing what I posted...(just basic facts by the way)...instead just downvotes by posters who don't think Lazard is worthy of a place on the team, with no evidence to prove otherwise, other than he's "big and slow". Kind of like when Gary was drafted.

Thank goodness we have a front office that recognizes legit NFL talent. There's a reason why they are the paid professionals and we're just fans.

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Swisch's picture

June 15, 2022 at 08:20 pm

13TC, I gave you a thumbs up for your comment yesterday that said that Lazard's 40 time is comparable to that of Davante Adams, Jerry Rice, and Larry Fitzgerald.
That was an example of something I didn't know, which surprised me, and added greatly to the overall discussion.
Same with your note in another post on the same thread that during last season Lazard had only one drop in 60 targets.
Good stuff, which no one refuted.
***
So, you're an example of how fans can add significantly to the discussion.
What happens, though, is that we as fans can get blinded by the flash, or distracted by the lack of flash, and overlook a player that may be valuable in ways that don't usually make the highlights.
While it seems to me a front office would be foolish to depend on the fans for making its decisions; then again, it seems good for a front office to pay some heed to the fans.
Sometimes, the common man may see things the experts miss.
***
Anyway, I'm not saying for sure we should sign Lazard, and I would generally rely on the front office to evaluate players much better than I would.
My main point with Lazard has been to give him careful consideration for an extension.
Sometimes we underestimate and underappreciate the people we see the most.

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13TimeChamps's picture

June 15, 2022 at 10:22 pm

Maybe this site would be better served if they just eliminated the "thumbs up/thumbs down" option. It might force people to express why they agree/disagree with actual thoughts as to why and generate an actual dialogue as opposed to hiding behind some option that allows them to never have to explain their position. Just a thought.

Good talk.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 16, 2022 at 09:25 am

This is a player who should be voted team captain as he leads by example. Something a few others on team should observe and emulate. Just saying!

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splitpea1's picture

June 15, 2022 at 12:38 pm

It says a lot about his attitude not only that he showed up to improve his own skills, but was willing to encourage the younger players and build a little cohesiveness in that short time. It looks like he's got what it takes to be the leader of this fairly loaded and ascending defense.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

June 15, 2022 at 12:54 pm

Me loves me some RushOn Gary! Thank you talented sir! 👍

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Rarescope's picture

June 15, 2022 at 05:17 pm

Careful now Burpy, need I remind you of what happened the last time you got a little too attached to a player? We can’t have you getting another stalking charge, even if it is the off-season. We need you now more than ever!

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Pantz_Burp's picture

June 15, 2022 at 05:22 pm

I'm sorry, your what hurtz?😁 Plus, it wasn't stalking...I was just playing REALLY GOOD defense, mirroring him if you will.

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Rarescope's picture

June 16, 2022 at 02:38 pm

Hmmm that’s not how I remember the jury seeing it. Good job on sticking to your story though! Never blink!

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Swisch's picture

June 15, 2022 at 06:35 pm

Jersey Al had a couple of good puns last season with player names, but RushOn for Rashan may be even better.
Speaking of which, what happened to Jersey Al's mindset of opinions and observations for today? -- although I wouldn't begrudge him some time off.
At the least this is a note to say he was missed.

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JerseyAl's picture

June 15, 2022 at 06:54 pm

Thanks Swish - yes I needed a week off, for sure...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

June 16, 2022 at 05:45 am

Could be the stopper remained unplugged. :)

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BuckyBadger's picture

June 15, 2022 at 01:34 pm

The Packers need to bring in another guy so Gary won't be double teamed. Can't count on Preston for 17 good games and playoffs. To me the EDGE is still the Packers biggest worry going into the season.

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packer132's picture

June 15, 2022 at 05:08 pm

You must be thinking of Zadius Smith. Preston has missed one game in 3 years for the Packers and zero with the Redskins over 4 years. Preston is tough and getting better. Don't count out Randy Ramsey, as they will have more than two good edge rushers.

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Oppy's picture

June 15, 2022 at 08:11 pm

I always have to ask, who started this whole "EDGE" (in all caps) thing and why do people feel compelled to follow suit?

It's not an acronym or anything. I know it's silly, but man, it gets my goat every time. :)

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Matt Gonzales's picture

June 16, 2022 at 08:26 am

It probably started with advanced stat stuff. A 3-4 and 4-3 OLB have different responsibilities in their defense, so it makes sense to group edge pass rushers (3-4 OLB and 4-3 DEs) together for statistical comparison purposes.

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Oppy's picture

June 16, 2022 at 06:18 pm

Sure.. I don't have an issue with grouping players together as "Edge (rushers)". My issue is, "EDGE". ALL CAPS. WHY?

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Matt Gonzales's picture

June 16, 2022 at 06:58 pm

Aaah.

Yeah. That's effing stupid.

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BradHTX's picture

June 18, 2022 at 06:29 am

If CHTV’s interface had a function for posting GIFs, you, sir, would be getting Orson Wells’ enthusiastic applause from Citizen Kane. Same thing has bugged me for the past six years or so since it became a thing.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 15, 2022 at 01:42 pm

I remember all the negative reviews and comments after he was drafted. One of them was about his lack of work ethic. Turns out to be a false narrative. Glad got him.

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JerseyAl's picture

June 15, 2022 at 06:55 pm

Absolutely. I admit that I fell for that without digging deeper. Lesson learned.

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 16, 2022 at 09:30 am

P,
Yes, nearly everyone calling him a bust. That he was lazy. That Gutey had no clue. LOL!

How fortunate would we be if Jordan Love turns out much like Gary has after being on the end of many negative posts. 🤞

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Carpy's picture

June 15, 2022 at 01:49 pm

I'm not too proud to admit that I, too, was skeptical of Gutey's selecting Gary in Round 1. Many times we've seen athleticism and "potential" not carry a player to a lofty status the public expects from him (not just our Packers, of course). Well... Gutey, the coaching staff, and most of all, Rashan, have proven me wrong. I'm proud and excited to have this young man on my home team, with the opportunity to see just how far he can take his game -- as well as the Green Bay Packers! Stay well, Mr. Gary, and stay hungry!!!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

June 16, 2022 at 09:34 am

Carpy a thumbs up simply because you owned up to being skeptical of the Gary selection. Many on here are quick to harshly judge even without allowing the player to develop and show what they are capable. Then those same posters never own up to their original sentiments.

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

June 15, 2022 at 02:11 pm

I've "mea culpaed" several times on the Gary pick; before the draft, he was the one guy I did NOT want the Packers to take with that pick. That was because I watched him CLEARLY motor down/"give up" a number of times in college when plays went away from him. That lack of finishing really worried me.
However, Gary isn't doing that as a Packer. I like to think his coaches and fellow players have turned him around, or perhaps he just needed to be doing football as a profession. Either way, I'm happy to be proven wrong and eat crow. Hopefully Rashan will continue to improve and play hard. He's going to be an important part of the defense this year.

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Guam's picture

June 16, 2022 at 09:42 am

I also was one of the Gary sceptics when he was drafted. His college production did not match up to his #1 ranking as a high school player. Given his development as a pro, it makes me think his college shortcomings may have had more to do with Harbaugh's coaching staff at Michigan than it did with Rashan Gary.

Regardless, I am delighted to have some salt and pepper with my crow and hope that Gary continues to ascend as a Packer!

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SpikeHyzer's picture

June 15, 2022 at 02:13 pm

Weird. Loved the pick from day one.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

June 16, 2022 at 07:55 am

Me too. The more I read about his potential, the more I got excited about him. His college coaching staff loved him, so I was never worried about motivation. He was just a very, very young and brought in at a different position than he played in college. I didn’t know if he could be this good, but I sure hoped for that.

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Lphill's picture

June 15, 2022 at 03:29 pm

I liked the pick from day 1, I got plenty of down votes but the best high school prospect in the country is a pretty high honor , he will be in the mix sooner rather than later got defensive MVP .

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Pantz_Burp's picture

June 15, 2022 at 05:17 pm

Not sure why you got a down vote Lphill?

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Lphill's picture

June 15, 2022 at 06:35 pm

No why?

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SpikeHyzer's picture

June 18, 2022 at 04:49 pm

Likewise. I saw him a few times in college and his highlight tape.
Looked like a stud and I never care about so called character or off field problems.
Because there isn't a single sanctimonious guy on fan sites in the world who has ever walked a mile in that guy's shoes or met him.
It's all usually BS.

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SpikeHyzer's picture

June 18, 2022 at 04:49 pm

Likewise. I saw him a few times in college and his highlight tape.
Looked like a stud and I never care about so called character or off field problems.
Because there isn't a single sanctimonious guy on fan sites in the world who has ever walked a mile in that guy's shoes or met him.
It's all usually BS.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 15, 2022 at 04:49 pm

I really didn't know enough about Gary to have an opinion on him but I distinctly recall that he was at the top of the "Don't Draft" list of a lot of posters here. I do recall that I liked Christian Wilkins at DT and I'd have probably taken him.

I think this is another example of a player that was allowed to develop. Some guys seem like they're ready from the first day, but other guys seem to really benefit from the slower approach. Gary, Love, Dillon, Deguara, Amari....these guys all got to learn at their own speed and I think you're going to see the benefit of that this year.

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LLCHESTY's picture

June 15, 2022 at 05:29 pm

I was big on Brian Burns and Wilkins too. Or a trade down for Simmons but I thought he'd last til at least 20. Actually all those guys have had good seasons with Simmons being the most consistent so far. Wilkins really cranked it up last year. Dexter Lawrence was really good his first two years and so so last year.

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stockholder's picture

June 15, 2022 at 08:22 pm

I would have taken Wilkins first too. Gary had a bad shoulder. And we needed DE. Wilkins could have played it, instead of Lowrey.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

June 15, 2022 at 05:55 pm

After reading some of these comments I now finally feel like what #12 usually experiences...you know, feeling like you are the smartest, complicated fella in the room.

*If you agree that I am the smartest person on CheeseHead, please down vote...if you don't agree with me, please up vote. If you ignore me, well...I have a few secret admirers. ;)

Thanks in advance, you lil' devil's...

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Lphill's picture

June 15, 2022 at 06:37 pm

Yea don’t remember seeing you posting when Gary was drafted unless you are that cow person back again.

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Pantz_Burp's picture

June 15, 2022 at 07:07 pm

No, but I did dress up as a cow and was involved in a DD Lambeau Leap! It was his 50th TD of his career (49th receiving: 1 rushing) against the Ravens...a truly cool experience!

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Swisch's picture

June 15, 2022 at 06:02 pm

Wow! I am indeed fired up after reading this piece about Rashan Gary.
Working to make himself better, and to help the younger guys on defense to gel as a unit for the start of this NFL season -- awesome!

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Packman60's picture

June 15, 2022 at 10:43 pm

I will readily admit that I was disappointed the Packers drafted Gary after signing the "Smith Brothers". I really wanted them to draft Jeffrey Simmons, who went a few picks later to the Titans. While that would've been a great choice. I'm glad Gutey went with Gary. I think he has the right attitude and a bright future.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

June 16, 2022 at 04:52 am

I love it when Rashan Gary proves me wrong.

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Matt Gonzales's picture

June 16, 2022 at 08:29 am

Just realized both of our OLBs are converted DE tweeners.

Ted Thompson would be so proud.

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Oppy's picture

June 16, 2022 at 09:02 am

Not a Ted Thompson thing, it's a 3-4 OLB thing- totally common place, on one of the fringe benefits of running a 3-4 style front- the body types you need to succeed at OLB in a 3-4 are body types that are too big and bulky for conventional LBs in 4-3 systems, but too small for every down play at DE in 4-3 systems as well. When the 3-4 was being employed by LeBeau and Capers, no one else was really running it.. so they had a large pool of college players who have pass rush talent who would be overlooked by the other teams due to their physical dimensions. The 3-4 has always been a landing spot for converting players who didn't physically fit the 4-3 roles of either DE or LOLB/ROLB.

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Oppy's picture

June 16, 2022 at 09:09 am

Everyone heaping praise on Rashan's attitude and leadership for attending an elective camp, even though he's a lock starter who 'doesn't need' to be there.. and they should. The man wants to win a superbowl, and he wants to build chemistry with the rooks and young guys, show them the ethic, and demonstrate that even the vets can invest in offseason to improve. Everyone agrees it's a great thing for the Packers and demonstrates a desire to win and tangible leadership qualities that have an impact on a team.

Some of those same people just don't get why some of us were saying it sure would be nice if the $50M dollar man would elect to do the same, and insist there is no value in his attendance... oookkkkaayyyy.

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