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Robert Tonyan wrote:

Let me just say right off the bat: This isn’t a typical thing for me.

I’m not ordinarily someone who does a ton of talking or opens up about himself for the whole world to read. But this season has been special — and meaningful to me. I felt it was the perfect time to share a little bit of myself and give our amazing fans an inside look into this incredible team and organization.

Before I dig in and talk about what makes us tick, and the playoff journey we’re about to undertake, I’ve got a little story for you.

Flash back to three years ago. First week of December, 2017.

I’d just signed on with the Pack’s practice squad after having gone undrafted as a receiver out of Indiana State and being cut by the Lions in preseason. It’s my first day on the job, new guy in Green Bay, low man on the totem pole.

So I get to the facility early, check in, and immediately — like as soon as I get there — the quarterback comes right up to me and shakes my hand.

“Hey, I’m Aaron. Welcome!”

For a split-second it was like, Whoa! But I hold it together and manage to get out something basic like: “Hi, I’m Robert. Really excited to be here.”

And Aaron, he’s just being totally on-point and welcoming, but the funny thing is, for whatever reason, right off the bat.…

I notice that he’s calling me “Bobby.”

It’s like he’s known me for years and that’s just what he calls me. Like we were buds from middle school and that’s what he knows me as.

Which is cool, obviously. But at the same time, it’s kinda throwing me for a loop because ... no one has called me Bobby since, I don’t know … kindergarten? First grade? Next thing I know he’s introducing me to people as Bobby.

And, I mean … I’m just rolling with it. Right? Like of course. Lettin’ it ride. Just sitting there smiling and nodding away like, I’ll be Bobby … why not.

It’s like he’s known me for years and that’s just what he calls me.

So anyway we get out onto the practice field and, like clockwork, as soon as things ramp up and we get ready to go, it starts snowing.

And it’s one of those perfect winter snowfall deals, too. It’s like something out of a movie. Lambeau in the background, snow coming down, a crisp chill in the air. It’s just perfect. I look around and take it all in and just kind of think to myself: Well, it couldn’t get much better than this.

But then … it does.

I’m on the scout team, and we’re getting set to do red zone stuff, and it turns out on that particular day, get this … first set of downs, guess who comes jogging into the huddle?

“What’s up, Bobby? Let’s go score some points, what d’ya think?”


Aaron was in the process of rehabbing the collarbone injury he’d suffered against the Vikings earlier that season, and he was working his way back when I came to Green Bay. So now … that’s my scout team QB.

Aaron frickin’ Rodgers.

Not too shabby, right?

And, to top it off, dude ended up throwing me three touchdown passes that day, too. Perfect passes. Textbook throws.

It was definitely one of the coolest days of my life.

But then, at the same time, it was also like … I guess Bobby it is!

That’s my scout team QB. Aaron frickin’ Rodgers.

Looking back on it, it really does seem to me like maybe Aaron saw something in me that day because from then on he’s held me to an extremely high standard. He wouldn’t let even the tiniest mistakes slide. He’d explain things to me and coach me up, but he’d also get legit mad when I screwed up.

And to me, I always took that as such a compliment. It was like, Hey man, this guy really cares about you and wants you to reach your full potential.

Every single day I’ve been a Packer, Aaron has pushed me and helped me get better. And as a result a good friendship has developed that I think is paying dividends on the field. You go the extra mile for the people you truly care about, and that’s what it’s become with Aaron and me, for sure.

And, honestly, the more I think about it, it’s like that with literally everyone on this team right now. The support and trust and love we show for one another really is off the charts. We’re all on the same page. And that’s one of the things that I believe makes this team truly special and ready for these playoffs.

Because of how focused we are on winning, we all push each other constantly. As a tight end, from Day One, I was so fortunate to be able to learn from true pros like Jimmy Graham and Lance Kendricks and Marcedes Lewis.

And man, let me just say, Marcedes….

That’s my guy right there. He’s like my big brother, and he truly embodies everything I hope to be. Year 15, healthy, still doing it at a high level, still loving the game, so wise, and just the best, nicest dude you’ll ever meet. When we’re on the field together, it’s almost like we feel this extra, I don’t know what to call it … almost invincibility. When you have a best friend on the team — someone you look up to and respect — and you’re lined up right next to him ready to make something special happen, there’s no better feeling in the world.

And I’m pretty proud to say that, thanks in large part to Davante, I’ve now gotten to a place in my career where I have total confidence in myself during those big moments. That guy, he’s just always drilled into me that you need to believe in yourself and that you should never set any limits on what you can do. He’s taught me to develop and harness that … I guess you would call it raw confidence, or inner belief that all great athletes possess.

The support and trust and love we show for one another really is off the charts. We’re all on the same page.

The week in Atlanta when Davante was out and I had that big game on Monday night, the first thing he did afterward was pull me aside in the weight room and tell me, in no uncertain terms, that when he got back on the field he wanted to see me acting exactly like I did that night against the Falcons.

Not playing like I did … acting like I did.

I didn’t really get it at first, so I asked him what he meant.

“Acting like you were unstoppable,” he said. “Like no one on the planet could stick with you. Knowing that you had reached another level.”

Coming from a guy of that caliber? I mean, It was one of the coolest moments of my career to have him say that to me.

“I need you to be like that,” he said. “We all do. This team needs you to be like that every single game.”

That type of honesty, that directness, is one of the things I love most about being a Packer. We’re a player-led team, so we’re all just completely real with one another. There’s no bulls*** when you come into the Packers’ locker room. And everyone knows it.

Hell, even outside the locker room we’re like that with each other.

I’ll never forget Thanksgiving in 2019 at Aaron’s place, when David Bakhtiari leaned over to me at the dinner table for a word. (Literally at the dinner table. And, keep in mind, this is two Thanksgivings ago … before I was anything at all. Before I was really even playing.)

“Listen,” he says, “I don’t know what’s up with you in the passing game, or how you do things when the ball’s in the air … but when we’re running the ball, in the run game, what you’re doing ... it’s not good enough. You need to be better.”

He wasn’t smiling as he said this. Trust me.

He was … mad. Like mad mad. Here I am thinking dude was gonna ask me to pass the gravy or something and David, he’s pissed off … and leaning in to talk to the fourth-string tight end about his run-blocking skills.

Dude was not messing around.

To this day, David’s fiancée, when she sees us together she’s still like: “Man, you were sooooo mean to Bobby that one Thanksgiving.” (Of course, I’m “Bobby” to everyone now. Thanks, 12.) But I actually really loved the talking-to he gave me that afternoon.

When he came at me like that, I remember there was this pure emotion that rose up inside me. It wasn’t anger. It was desire.

It was inspiration.

I looked him dead in the eye, and I was like: “I cannot wait until practice tomorrow.”

A few years later, David’s one of my very best friends on the team. We joke about that conversation all the time, and how stern he was. But the really cool thing about it is that when we talk about it now, do you know what he says?

“Dude, you went and made me look like a damn fool after that.”

David helped me more than he’ll ever know. And you damn sure better believe that we’re gonna do everything in our power to help bring that guy a Lombardi Trophy this year. We’re all heartbroken for David, obviously, but I’m truly hopeful that we’re about to do something special for him over the next few weeks.

For me, these playoffs are going to be the most fun thing imaginable. And running onto that field for these games is definitely going to take me back to when I was a little kid.

I grew up in Northern Illinois, not too far from Wisconsin, and the first football game I ever went to was at Lambeau. It was us against the Bears. And I was really little, maybe five or six. So I only remember blips and flashes. But, I gotta say: They’re some pretty damn good blips and flashes.

I remember our angle to the field, and the scoreboard, and then I remember the bright yellow railings and steps, just all that yellow paint, and the light reflecting off that yellow. I mean, what an image. What a memory.

And to this day it still takes my breath away when I look around Lambeau. When it’s noon on Sunday in October, and there's dew on the ground and the sun hits all that yellow and reflects off the bleachers at the same time? It’s just … wow. There’s this golden tint to the field. And it just looks like football, man. It’s just beautiful. There’s really no other way to put it.

So to me, getting the chance to play in these playoffs on that field now, that hallowed ground … I just feel extremely fortunate.

It’s a dream come true.

Ever since I was young — and I’m talking really, really young, like two or three years old — I feel like what I’ve been put on this Earth to do is to play football and compete. That’s just how I’m wired. That’s what I was put here to do. And at this point, thanks to this team and this incredible community….

I know the exact place where I was meant to do it.

That big G, and everything it stands for? It’s unlike anything in all of sports. And that’s not me being disrespectful in any way to any other team. It’s just that Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers ... that’s NFL royalty right there. The frozen tundra, all those historic games, that yellow and green. It speaks for itself at this point.

We all know what this is about. We all get it.

This is what we all live for. It’s what we’re all here to do. Players, coaches, fans … all of us.

This is what it’s all about.

And it all starts right now. It’s gonna be one hell of a ride!

Go, Pack, Go!

Source : https://www.theplayerstr...obert-tonyan-jr-football 

I love this stuff.
Neat story! Thanks for posting it Zero!😁
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Zero2Cool (18-Feb) : The NFL in a memo to teams has said the salary cap floor has been increased from $175 million to $180 million after talks with the NFLPA.
Zero2Cool (17-Feb) : Richard Sherman: It’s been made pretty clear I won’t return to 49ers
Zero2Cool (17-Feb) : Graziano: #Broncos are “likely” to decline Von Miller’s $18M team option. That would make him an unrestricted free agent.
Mucky Tundra (16-Feb) : Thems are fighting words down South Zero! Well, when the snow and ice melts and they run out of bread and milk
Zero2Cool (15-Feb) : WINTER STORM WARNING... Yes. Bring it biotches
Zero2Cool (14-Feb) : “Why go from $175 million for 2021 and then raise it to $220 million in 2022? That just doesn’t make any sense,” one NFL agent he said.
Zero2Cool (13-Feb) : @ProFootballTalk Report: Steelers, Browns, Titans, Bills have shown interest in J.J. Watt
Zero2Cool (12-Feb) : JJ Watt asks for and is released by Texans. I bet he joins his brother.
packerfanoutwest (12-Feb) : Isn't that the title Capers has in Detroit?
Zero2Cool (10-Feb) : Report: Mike Pettine joining Bears as senior defensive assistant
Zero2Cool (10-Feb) : @MikeKlis Broncos are releasing CB A.J. Bouye per source. #9sports
Cheesey (10-Feb) : Yup, Mucky. Brady is “the chosen one”. He could knife a guy in the field, and they’d flag the other guy for bleeding!
Mucky Tundra (10-Feb) : Zero, I wonder if Wisconsin promised him the HC at some point in the future
Mucky Tundra (10-Feb) : yeah Cheesey,I love how Brady ran 10+ yards and bumps into Mathieu helmet first the refs do nothing but when Mathieu turns to walk away and just points at Brady they instantly flag him
Zero2Cool (10-Feb) : Oates: Leonhard "dang near took the job"
Zero2Cool (10-Feb) : Tell your friend registration is free. Register and ask.
packerfanoutwest (10-Feb) : Was the SB fixed? asking for a friend
Cheesey (10-Feb) : Easy to be a “tough guy” when your defense is killing the other team.
Zero2Cool (9-Feb) : I'm serious. Dude wants to crush people and apologize later. Kill!!!
Cheesey (9-Feb) : Yup Mucky! I agree! A killer D can make any QB look good.
Mucky Tundra (9-Feb) : Cheesey, Trent Dilfer could win a super with that team and probably had a higher completion percentage against Wash and NO and no floating passes
Mucky Tundra (9-Feb) : Zero, I cant tell if you're being sarcastic, serious or both lol
Cheesey (9-Feb) : If Rodgers has Tampa’s defense, he would win SBs too.
Zero2Cool (9-Feb) : I believe that. I love the guys fire and killer instinct. Wish we had a QB with that.
Mucky Tundra (9-Feb) : Zero, Brady just wants it more than the next guy
Zero2Cool (9-Feb) : Former NFL coach Marty Schottenheimer has passed away,
Zero2Cool (9-Feb) : The defense is because of Brady. That's how amazing great he is.
Mucky Tundra (9-Feb) : The Patriots and Bucs D allowed 0 TDs in their last two super bowl victories. unreal
Mucky Tundra (9-Feb) : and it just looked a little funky to anyone since they took away stops from the Chiefs D and Tampa scored TDs off the drives
Mucky Tundra (9-Feb) : Zero, the penalties were a little iffy and compared to what was going on when GB played Tampa absolutely nothing. Throw in the timing of them (bailed Tampa out of INT and a failed 3rd down conversion)
Zero2Cool (8-Feb) : The #Cardinals and long-time Pro Bowl CB Patrick Peterson are parting ways, per @MattVerderame
Zero2Cool (8-Feb) : It was funny reading comments. Brady is amazing! I look at scoreboard, 9 points? Brady did that? lol
Zero2Cool (8-Feb) : I remembered it and started following in Twitter. Seems the officials were thinking the game was bout them
yooperfan (8-Feb) : Just another fixed game by the NFL. The officiating decided another game. I’m sick of it.🤬
Cheesey (8-Feb) : Mahomes has to run for his life all game.
Mucky Tundra (8-Feb) : Zero, I was watching it closely until the Fournette TD in the 3rd. Was hoping Mahomes would put on a show
Cheesey (8-Feb) : I didn’t care who won. Besides, I don’t have “Hulu”! 😂
packerfanoutwest (8-Feb) : Fuck Brady and the refs
Zero2Cool (8-Feb) : No shame in it. Just have no interest in it. Deadliest Decade 90s got me all day.
Zero2Cool (8-Feb) : Lol you guys watching the Super Bowl. Hulu for this guy. 😊
Cheesey (8-Feb) : Imagine what the Packers could do with that defense???
Cheesey (8-Feb) : Tampa’s defense should be MVP.
Cheesey (8-Feb) : To me, the commercials sucked too.
Mucky Tundra (8-Feb) : It's a look that says "even if I can make it close, the refs will put their thumb on the scale"
Cheesey (8-Feb) : Mahomes has the same look on his face thatRodgers had.
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