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Rashan Gary Expected to Stand Out in 2021

Obviously, every player approaches the upcoming season with the intention of it being their best, but there are certain players that stand out as not only needing a better season, but it’s also obvious they have plenty of untapped protentional. Rash Gary is worth mentioning in this regard. The odds of him continuing to show improvement are high and it’s a safe bet with a Betfred bonus that he knows this is his biggest season yet.

Rashan Gary is now entering his third season with the Green Bay Packers. A standout at Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey, Gary was the number 1 recruit in the class of 2016. As a sophomore at Michigan, Gary appeared in every game and has his best performance against UCF on September 10, recording six tackles. He had 58 tackles as a sophomore and was named to the All-Big Ten defensive first-team.

Before the 2018 season, Gary was a preseason All-American. He registered 38 tackles, including 6.5 sacks during the season, despite being hampered with a shoulder injury. Gary was named to the All-Big Ten defensive first-team Following the season, Gary announced he would not return for his senior season.

Entering the 2019 NFL Draft, Gary was selected by the Packers with the 12th pick overall. Mainly a defensive end on college, Gary would play outside linebacker for the Packers. Having to overcome a torn labrum in his right shoulder during the summer before his first NFL season, Gary recovered to registered his first sack in week three. The highlight of Gary’s rookie season was a three-tackle and sack performance against the Bears. He appeared in all 16 games, recording 21 tackles and two sacks. Gary added two tackles in two postseason games.

Packers LB Rashan Gary

Green Bay Packers linebacker Rashan Gary (52) and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) participate in minicamp practice Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis.

It didn’t take long for Gary to show he was improved over his rookie season. In week two of the 2020 season, Gary took down Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford 1.5 times in a blowout win. Gary more than doubled his season sack total to five and registered 34 tackles. Gary made his presence felt in the playoffs as well, recording five tackles in two games, including 1.5 sacks against the Rams’ Jared Goff.

Despite the improvement, the Packers have announced during training camp this season that Gary will be on the second team behind Preston Smith. A six-year NFL veteran, Smith had a career high 12 sacks in his first season with the Packers in 2019 and 42 tackles and four sacks last season. His willingness to take a pay cut to stay on the team may continue to interfere with Gary’s potential playtime going into the future.

Smith did have some good things to say on Gary recently:

I feel like he’s going to have a high production year this year. I’m calling it now. He’s going to do a lot of great things this year for us and for himself. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do.

Coach LaFleur on Gary’s potential:

I can tell you one thing: from the day Rashan has gotten here, you talk about a guy that puts everything into whatever it is he’s doing. He’s going to bring tremendous energy and tremendous effort on every play, and it’s shown. I really think probably as much as everybody in two years on the defensive side of the ball, you see it paying off for him. He’s going to be a big-time player for us and I think he’s going to be a big-time player in this league for a really long time, and it all starts with that work ethic and the detail. Rashan’s working hard to develop multiple moves coming off the edge, but one thing that definitely jumps, we see it every practice and every game, is just the effort he plays with.

Ed Rooney

Just a guy with too much free time trying to help out.



  1. PF4L August 15, 2021

    With all do respect Ed…i give no fuck what Smith thinks about Gary.
    “I’m calling it!” – Preston Smith……………stfu!
    Worry about your own ass earning your paycheck you overpaid fuck.
    “Gee, i think i’ll come into camp overweight in 2020.
    “Gee…”i almost got cut…i think i’ll come into camp in shape in 2021, i’ll need to find a new job for 2022”
    I can’t stand this dude.
    I don’t understand why Rashan Gary and some others didn’t play against the Texans.
    I get why Bakh, Rodgers, Alexander, Jenkins, Adams, and Clark don’t play….but doesn’t Gary, MVS, Lazard, Martin, Barnes, need the work?
    Right now, as we sit…the only conclusion i can think of why Gary isn’t starting yet, is the Packers don’t feel he’s starting material.
    Does anyone have a better reason i’m not thinking of?
    That pick is proving to be the epic fuck up i predicted when it happened.
    I mean, you play the players who give the team the best chance to win….right?
    If that’s the case and they feel Smith is better, then they are telling us Gary is a bust…WHERE he was picked.

    1. PF4L August 15, 2021

      Afterthought….LaFluer said…”He’s going to be a big-time player for us and I think he’s going to be a big-time player in this league for a really long time”.
      Is he going to be big time player for the Packers, or in the league (for a really long time).
      Funny thing is…i didn’t hear a thing about the Packers picking up his 5th year option last spring. Hmmmm.

      1. PF4L August 16, 2021

        Check that….Packers don’t have to pick up Gary’s 5th year until after the 3rd year.
        My bad

    2. rebelgb August 17, 2021

      PF4L. Get a life. Do you have nothing better to do? Is Mommys basement too boring for you? Maybe go out and see the sun? If Gary turns into the Superstar he seems likely to become, the pick was a good pick and should be applauded. Oh let me guess, we should have drafted Rodgers a “Weapon” you know to go along with one of the bets olines in football, the best WR in football and one of the top 3 RB’s. Poor Rodgers no weapons!!

      1. PF4L August 17, 2021

        I’m sorry precious, did i attack you?
        Hurt your feelings?
        Are you angry?
        From what i can see…i was making football observations.
        Giving my opinion, not mentioning you whatsoever.
        Is that not allowed in your world?
        Should i ask your permission first next time?
        I think the 12th pick of a draft should be a starter in his 3rd year, maybe you think he should be a “bench player”.
        That’s cool, that’s your opinion.
        I’m just happy that you posted something football related finally…kind of anyway
        I mean…other than the dreaded “mommy’s basement” burn…lol
        That hurt…btw
        Work on your anger issues Scooter.
        [“If ]Gary turns into the Superstar, he seems likely to become….” – Scooter
        Tell ya what Gomer….when the day “IF” ever comes….then come talk to us
        Keep posting though rebel, your thoughts are always entertaining as usual.
        rebelgb April 25, 2020
        Well this draft sealed it. I am now a Bucs fan. Love the uniform and its always warm in Tampa. Go Gronk and Tom!
        rebelgb August 16, 2021
        Jordon Love is in a great spot for his career! Also the Packers have the perfect coach to deal with our next HOF QB!
        So you didn’t like the Packers 2020 draft, but your claiming Love is a HOF QB?
        Packer fan, Bucs fan, Tom Brady fan, Jordan Love fan?
        What’s next year, Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes fan?
        You silly little man…smh :)

  2. Dean August 15, 2021

    Gary maybe on a similar trajectory as Cameron Jordan as the saints (pick 24 in 2011):
    rookie year 2011: 31 combined tackles (18 solo), four pass deflections, and a sack in 16 games and 15 starts.
    2012: 67 combined tackles (41 solo), three pass deflections, eight sacks, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries
    Gary 2019: 21 tackles and two sacks
    2020: 34 tackles and 5 sacks plus 1.5 sacks in playoffs.
    Big difference was that Jordan started 31 of 32 games his first 2 years…

    1. PF4L August 16, 2021

      Well….that is a big difference.
      So is drafting a guy to learn and convert to a new position.
      Jordan has played 1,936 snaps in 2 seasons.
      Gary has played 700 snaps in 2 seasons.
      Do i have to ask which draft pick has shown higher value?
      How about we look at Brian Burns, picked 4 picks after Gary….
      54 solo tackles
      16.5 sacks.
      4 forced fumbles
      1,228 snaps
      Do i have to ask which draft pick has shown higher value?

      1. PF4L August 18, 2021

        Dean….that’s about enough with the stats…we don’t want to make Princess Tommie angry

  3. PF4L August 15, 2021

    “Despite the improvement, the Packers have announced during training camp this season that Gary will be on the second team behind Preston Smith.” – Ed
    Princess Tommie is the gift that keeps on giving…..
    Tom M July 11, 2021
    As far as Rashan Gary. He’ll start opposite Za’Darious Smith. You can take that to the bank sweetheart….

  4. Mick August 16, 2021

    I get a kick out of P. Smiths’ comments on how Gary is gonna have a fabulous season. Simple logic tells me for Gary to have that kind of season, he’ll need to be the featured player at that position, not P. Smith! That means starting, or at least taking over that position some time early in the season by out-performing Smith. (Which means Gary starting) By the way, I wonder if it took 3 years for Cameron Jordan to develop multiple moves off the Edge? Just wondering!

    1. PF4L August 16, 2021

      He’s trying to come off like he’s a team leader. but it rings hollow.
      The reality is he was an eyelash short of being traded or cut outright.
      Seems the Packers couldn’t find a trade partner, so he had to take a pay cut to remain.
      That’s what happens when he comes in out of shape, his production falls off the cliff his 2nd season, while being paid All-Pro money
      That isn’t a man motivated to win for this team.
      Now….his only motivation is to play for himself, trying to earn a new contract from somewhere.
      That isn’t a leader…that’s a bad investment on return.

      1. Mick August 16, 2021

        Right on, can’t remember what site I was on during the spring that said P. Smith plays well every other year. That was in relation to his days at Washington. I thought back then that P. Smith would have been gone by the June 1st deadline, considering the salary cap hell they were in.

        1. Howard August 17, 2021

          I wasn’t as low on Gary as some after Gary was drafted. I was concerned that Gary didn’t have many pass rush moves, and commented on such at the time. Most elite pass rushers can get around the edge with speed, good body lean, and burst. Gary didn’t appear in college to be able to bend and burst around the edge. Last year Gary still didn’t show the bend, and burst ability to get to a QB around a tackle on a consistent basis. I believe part of the reason is the Packers for the most part want one of their OLBs to never get up field much further than the QBs drop depth before flattening and pushing the tackle into the QBs face. If both OLBs go to far up field it can leave big running lanes for QBs. Gary has the strength and speed to flatten and push an OT into a QB, and chase down a running QB. Z and P Smith can get around the edge better than Gary, so far. When Gary flattens and pushes the tackle it allows Z and P (when in shape and healthy) Smith a little extra time to get around the QBs blind side resulting in sacks and potential strip sacks for Z and P. QBs hate having defensive line pressure/push in their face.

          I’m sure P. Smith is going to talk up Gary as Gary may force some QB sacks to come P. Smith’s way. It may appear right now that P. Smith took an approximate 4 million dollar pay cut this year, but P. Smith can earn up to an extra 4.4 million dollars in sack incentives this year depending on the quantity of sacks (up to 14). Gary, with his push and speed can help P. Smith meet some of those sack incentives.

          1. Mick August 17, 2021

            Good points Howard. I remember the coaches saying that Gary needed more pass rush moves to become a complete player. No doubt the guy is a great athlete, and considering he played DE at Michigan; he is still evolving. Devin Bush, the now Steelers LB benefited greatly from Garys’ presence at Michigan. In fact, I think they benefited each other, as both were #1 picks for their teams. Gary outplayed Preston last year, especially towards the end and into the post season. Maybe the paycut Preston got will motivate him. P. Smith realizes his future is at stake, even if it’s not in GB next year.

          2. PF4L August 17, 2021

            Lol…Mick…i read all that also…how Preston plays well in the “odd” years.
            That was from…down the hall.
            Most well informed fans, scouts and talking heads looked at Gary as a project with high potential. But admit he’s someone who hasn’t lived up to his hype as a high school recruit.
            Bottom line….The fact he isn’t starting in his 3rd season is not a good sign. for where he was drafted.
            If Preston Smith had a great season last year, maybe it’s a different view. Then it’s at least…understandable.
            I think the Packers get a player they want to draft in their heads before the draft, and don’t turn back.
            Lets be honest, if the Packers were hell bent on drafting Jefferson or Aiyuk in 2020, like some think they wanted…couldn’t the Packers have traded up for one of those two instead?

          3. PF4L August 17, 2021

            Maybe they are just taking their time with the 12th pick, what i think they call..draft and develop i think.
            I don’t really understand the concept of draft and develop.
            But i’m taking a 10 week course learning about it.
            This is week 2, so in a couple of months i hope to understand the jist of it at least..

  5. Tom M August 17, 2021

    It’s called draft and develop. A concept that PF4L cannot comprehend. The Smiths were signed for immediate help while 21yr old Rashan Gary was always a draft and develop player. Making strides each of his first two season. Many believe he’s set for a breakout season. But because PF4L can’t qualify his play in “stats” he’s clueless in his evaluation. Gary being behind Preston in some depth chart is as meaningless as Jordan Love being behind Tim Boyle.

    1. PF4L August 17, 2021

      I’ve been clueless in here since 2011.
      Most everyone here can attest to that.
      But as someone “new” here Tommie, you picked up on it rather quick. Kudos.
      Maybe it’s only a dream, but my goal is to someday be a deep thinker like yourself.
      The way you articulate your opinions…just, pure genius. So effortless.
      Never change my friend!

    2. PF4L August 17, 2021

      Tom makes a valid point.
      You can’t qualify a player on stats.
      All stats can show anyone is what they accomplished on the field.
      They don’t show real things like effort…how hard he tried.
      How much he sweat during the game.
      Or…problems he might have had at home.
      Or…maybe he had other things on his mind during games.
      Maybe his kid had a cold.
      Maybe he had anal leakage.
      I don’t care if he only had 4 sacks, 0 FF.
      The Preston Smith i saw should have been voted to the Pro Bowl.
      It’s pretty clear he got robbed.
      Everyone gets so hung up on stats.
      I don’t even know why they keep stats.
      Nobody even looks at them.
      Not any real fans anyway.

  6. Tom M August 17, 2021

    Coaches, players, and fan’s alike see Rashan Gary as having a breakout season. Why? Because they base their evaluation on what the see. Not on stats. Your in the minority on this one. Your argument goes like this: Burns has more stats and therefore the better player. Not necessarily. Burns is a pure OLB while Gary is bigger and can also play with his hand down. Burns had no competition ahead of him. While Gary was drafted to replace either one of the Smith’s after this season. Just as Jordan Love was drafted to be Rodgers eventual replacement. And AJ Dillion to replace Jamaal Williams. A good GM has players in the pipeline to replace either aging players or ones the team can no longer afford. You use your first round picks on QB’s CB’s, OLB, and tackles. Those are the premium positions and they’re always first to be drafted. And while you can find those players in later rounds it’s the exception rather than the rule.

    1. PF4L August 18, 2021

      Funny thing….the one time i mentioned Gary’s stats, i was comparing him to Brian Burns.
      People like you are always crying…”Who else should they have picked?”
      Comparing the stats of the 12th pick and the 16th pick of the same draft,,,isn’t fair somehow?
      Isn’t allowed in your world?
      Should i get your permission next time?
      I have talked quite a bit about Gary deserving a starting opportunity, based on his draft position, his play, and Preston’s play last season. Claiming that he’s earned the opportunity.
      But to have a breakout season, a player needs the opportunity, that usually happens as a starter, not a bench player.
      Weird right?
      Maybe i’m different than coaches and other fans on a player having a breakout season….
      I wait to see it…..and then acknowledge it.
      Some fans were talking about Josh Jackson having a breakout season.
      Hopefully you get the point in that.
      Much the same way i don’t say the Packers have a SB team….
      When they can’t win an NFCCG.
      All of you viking fans have as much right declaring the vikings a SB team as us Packer fans have of declaring we’re a SB team.
      You aren’t a SB team, until you can get to the SB.
      For all we know, it was in the Packers front office plan to start Gary this year. By trading or cutting Smith (like everyone thought they were going to do).
      But by taking a paycut, he got new life.
      I’m surprised you don’t know those details.
      As you claim to know everything that happens, and what is discussed at 1265 Lombardi Ave.
      I’ll trust (hope) you’ve learned something here today.
      Critical thinking.
      The voice of reason..
      You’re welcome.

  7. PF4L August 18, 2021

    Tom M August 14, 2021
    This is where you always get yourself into trouble PF4L. When you try and challenge me.
    NO, i get in trouble expecting you to man up when i challenge you
    PF4L August 14, 2021
    Here you go again…making shit up.
    Aaron Jones scores 19 TD’s and [you state “that’s all Aaron Rodgers.” “He set that all that up.”]
    Show me where i said that. SHOW ME..make me eat my words. Can you? Everyone in here probably doubts it.
    Man up Princess.
    Or do you just want to continue to act like a little cunt in here?
    It’s been 4 days…find it yet?
    Need more time little man?

  8. Tom M August 18, 2021

    Sweetheart, I don’t have to show you anything. Everyone knows your an idiot. If you can quote me, you can quote yourself. I’m not wasting my time looking for every stupid thing you’ve ever said. Got better things to do. You know, like a career and work. Ok, maybe you don’t know. No one thinks your as smart as you do. I haven’t been posting but a few months. It’s there baby girl. I swear on your Aaron Rodgers photo album. By the time you find it mommy will have a PBJ and a glass of milk for you. And then it’ll be nap time with your niece. The perfect afternoon….

    1. PF4L August 18, 2021

      Tom M August 18, 2021
      Sweetheart, I don’t have to show you something that doesn’t exist.

    2. PF4L August 18, 2021

      You quoted me…
      See where it says…you state…then 2 lines in quotations?
      Quoting me….see it?
      Now…all of a sudden you can’t find it?
      Awe :(…i wonder what that means.
      Think of something better than throwing a hissy fit, sticking out your chest and telling me “Sweetheart, I don’t have to show you anything”
      Stop acting like a drag queen from the hood.
      What’s next….talk to the hand?