Packers rookie David Bakhtiari takes over for Bryan Bulaga
GREEN BAY (WITI) — Preseason injuries can devastate an NFL team, wipe out their game plans before the games even start, or they can open the door to new possibilities.
One of the few positives to take away from the Packers preseason opening loss to the Arizona Cardinals was the steady play of left tackle David Bakhtiari. The rookie fared just fine in his first pro work against a different team.
“To be honest, I think I probably had more jitters in college than I did for this game,” Bakhtiari said.
That seems believable after observing Bakhtiari in the early stages of camp. He was pushing for playing time at right tackle before Bryan Bulaga was lost for the season and Bakhtiari was tabbed to get the first look at replacing him on Aaron Rodgers’ blind side.
“I have the tools. I just need to utilize them and continue to grow as a player because no one wakes up and is greatness. They have to take time, and I would love to achieve that goal, and I’m taking that approach. Just every day come to work and get better,” Bakhtiari said.
Now, the northern California native is imposing his will on what could be a daunting situation. The early result is a bevy of positive reviews.
“It’s an awesome experience, but with all this comes great responsibility. I understand you guys are going to be loving on me, and it feels good, but I also know there is a dark side to it. Hopefully, I would like to say that that will never happen — that will never come, but you have to be a realist and know that some things can happen and will happen, and then maybe there will be different questions asked and different responses — but until then, I’m just enjoying the moment, enjoying the time and making sure the main thing I do is focus on football,” Bakhtiari said.
That is the extended version of Bakhtiari’s view of his place with this season’s Packers. As for the condensed version…
“I think there’s a difference between being confident and being cocky. I don’t see myself as being cocky, but I do feel very confident,” Bakhtiari said.