The Green Bay Packers are aching to give star QB Aaron Rodgers as much protection as possible. Second-year lineman Royce Newman wants to do just that.
Newman had a bit of a rollercoaster rookie season with the Packers. He started 16 of their 17 games and played 1,084 snaps in his first NFL campaign. According to Pro Football Focus, he also gave up six sacks and five penalties. He may not have wowed with his numbers, but he seems to be turning heads now entering year two,
One of those who’s noticing is none other than Rodgers. The superstar quarterback described to USA Today how Newman just looks different.
“Royce looks heavier,” Rodgers said earlier this month. “I feel like his belly got a little bigger, but that might make him a better right guard.”
That sounded like a compliment, especially for a guy Green Bay took in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Newman also feels he has adjusted well. He claims that the game is now slowing down for him.
“Learning the technique, the speed of the game, how much it’s ramped up. Getting used to that,” Newman said. “Blocking these guys in the middle because I played tackle in college, so just learning how to play guard again, getting used to that.”
— The Packers Wire (@ThePackersWire) June 23, 2022
That will be important if he does intend to have a powered-up sophomore season, and it does seem he will have many opportunities to prove himself.
With David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins still nursing injuries and fellow o-line guys Billy Turner and Lucas Patrick out of the Packers, Newman should be an easy choice to start.
Having Rodgers’ vote of confidence is great, too, and that has elevated Royce Newman’s confidence to take his game to the next level.
“I can just play faster,” Newman said. “I had an offseason to get stronger, and I can play faster.”
Bigger. Stronger. Faster. That sure seems like exactly the kind of protection Aaron Rodgers is going to need this season.