Retooled TE Brandon Bostick sees an opportunity with the Packers
By Tyler Dunne, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
~GREEN BAY – Last year, he was an undrafted rookie hoping to hang on. This year, Brandon Bostick (6’4″ 230lbs) has a different set of expectations.
Out with No. 48, in with No. 86.
“It looks better than No. 48,” said Bostick, laughing. “Forty-eight is like a fullback or something.”
When coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that the Green Bay Packers are “really a draft or undrafted” football team, he was talking about players like Bostick. Last May, Bostick was a needle-in-the-haystack tryout player at rookie camp, a wide receiver from microscopic Division II Newberry College. Green Bay saw tight end potential, signed Bostick and kept him around on the practice squad.
Now, his outlook is much different. About 10 pounds heavier, he’s aiming for a roster spot and, eventually, a role in the offense.
“They just kept working with me and kept believing in me,” Bostick said. “Each week, I kept doing what I can do to better myself. Luckily, I stuck around and I’m back this year. If I keep doing what I did last year, hopefully I make it.”
The position does have some future uncertainty. Starter Jermichael Finley is entering the final year of his two-year contract. Matt Mulligan replaced Tom Crabtree. Andrew Quarless (knee) hasn’t played a down since December 2011. And urgency rises a bit with D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor both entering their third season.
After a full year on the practice squad, the raw Bostick has a chance to blend in.
On the scout team last year, he typically emulated the opposition’s top tight end – and Green Bay faced some good ones. Bostick spent about an hour breaking down film of Vernon Davis, Jimmy Graham, KyleRudolph or whomever the Packers faced that week. His job was to give the offense a complete look. But he also tried to re-create himself at a new position.
Bostick said Davis “is very explosive,” adding “I tried to model my game after his.” Through three weeks of prep, he grew to admire Minnesota’s Rudolph because “he can do it all.”
“I treated every practice like a game,” Bostick said. “That was my game. That was my time to show them what I can do. So I went out there and played as hard as I could every time. And I tried to make a play when it was time to make a play.”
At Newberry, Bostick caught 136 passes for 1,935 yards with 19 touchdowns, also playing one year of basketball. He admits he could get away with things in the South Atlantic Conference – the what? – that he can’t in the NFL. His blocking needed a lot of work. Instead of taking on D-II cornerbacks, he was now blocking defensive ends. So Bostick added weight.
In college, Bostick played at 240-245 pounds. Last year, he was 250. Today, he says he’s up to 260 pounds. Leading the tight end group at rookie camp this weekend, he’s working on the finer points of run blocking.
“It’s about your technique and footwork, your hand placement and your aiming point,” Bostick said, “where you block and knowing how to leverage a guy.”
Blocking is Bostick’s ticket to the 53-man roster. Stretching the field as a receiver is what would keep him there.
Two weeks ago, he did watch…… full story here