Packers Demetri Goodson, Chris Banjo talk about the pressure to perform at their very best
GREEN BAY (WITI) -- The ratings would indicate plenty of folks love to watch NFL football. That would be unless you're employed by the Packers and would rather be PLAYING football!
No matter how much attention an early season college basketball game might garner, don't expect Demetri Goodson to be glued to the action.
"I don't really watch college basketball anymore except for the Sweet Sixteen and Final Four or something like that," Goodson said.
Not only did the Packers rookie cornerback use to watch hoops, he used to live them.
Goodson started 68 games at point guard for Gonzaga before deciding he'd rather play football. After transferring to Baylor to do so, he became a sixth-round draft choice of the Packers based on potential and toughness more than anything else. He is well down the depth chart in his rookie season.
"I'm not playing that much, but at the same time, this is such a great team -- such great players. It's probably one of the best groups in the NFL as far as corners and safety, so I'm just learning," Goodson said.
Besides his practice work, Goodson can learn from his limited game action too. He committed a punt interference penalty at Minnesota.
"You can't go out there thinking about not messing up. You've got to go full speed, full throttle every time. The coaches are happy with me. They said I played great except for that one play," Goodson said.
One of the few guys who does less on game day than Goodson is Chris Banjo. He was on the roster for 16 games -- even starting a game for the Packers, but this year, he's toiling on the practice squad.
"My personal goal, at least this year, is knowing that you could still get called up -- so I just go out there week by week, hit the reset button and try to be a true professional. Green Bay takes pride in having a next-man-up mentality, and it's not just me. Everybody else on the practice squad does a tremendous job of preparing as guys to play this week," Banjo said.
Besides the momentary step-down, it's tough to go from being on the field and making plays in front of 80,000 fans to watching games in street clothes in a suite. Banjo is no moper though, so at this point, all he can do is put his best effort into practice.
"To the full extent. I feel that it genuinely helps our team become a better team. The look squads, whether it's on special teams or giving A-Rod the looks he needs, I try to prepare myself as I'm playing week to week in terms of knowing what they're doing, knowing the scheme, just trying to be a true professional," Banjo said.
Banjo and Goodson are fully aware that while they are essentially in mothballs right now, they could be pressed into service at a moment's notice, and it's on them to be ready.