Cole Madison is becoming a bit of a Packer hero and he has not even spent much time playing with the team. I think almost anyone with their own experience playing contact sports can empathize with him and his loss of a close friend to the sport he loves. A right tackle from Washington State, the 2018 5th round pick seemed like a great fit for the team with a lot of positivity around his selection.
The chances of him returning to the team were looking pretty grim until recently when he was added back to the roster. He was mostly silent during his hiatus and avoided media contact. I was surprised by his recent return to the team.
It remains to be seen how the hiatus will impact his health and playing ability. Gutekunst expressed in a recent interview that he feels Madison will fit in great with next year’s scheme. This will likely involve a lot of zone blocking under new coach Matt LaFleur and offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Madison mentions in the interview that his weight is roughly the same as last year and that his level of stamina is still where it should be.
It feels real good to be back. I’ve taken a year, you know, to get my mind right and get my mental health [right].
As for the Packers’ patience and willingness to work with him through his mental and physical issues:
It just shows, you know, that the Packers are the greatest organization out there in football right now. […] They told me to take my time and get my head right and that’s what I did.
We’ve seen how determined the team is to bolster its chances next year by how patient they have been with Cole Madison in addition to the off-season moves for the defense. We certainly need the depth so I know the team is relieved that their patience paid off and he will be returning to the team.
As for Madison’s struggles, we’ve seen how even a tough giant can struggle mentally. There is always help out there for those that seek it. Glad to see Madison back on the right path.