JC Tretter hopes third season’s a charm
By the wonderful Lori Nickel of the Journal Sentinel
~Green Bay— No one would blame JC Tretter if he felt robbed.
He did everything right, turned in a great four years at Cornell, got his degree. He was chosen in the fourth round by the Green Bay Packers in the 2013 NFL draft.
And then in his first organized team activities he suffered an ankle sprain so bad he missed his whole rookie season.
Yet he came back from it so strong, and showed so much potential early, that the Packers had the faith to pencil him in as a starter for the 2014 season.
Not just any starter.
Aaron Rodgers’ starting center.
Then near the end of training camp last Aug. 22, he suffered a knee injury in a preseason game vs. Oakland.
While Tretter had his leg propped up in a scooter, and wheeled around from the meeting room to the treatment room to the locker room, Corey Linsley came in from Ohio State and wowed everyone with 16 regular-season starts and an all-rookie team selection from the Pro Football Writers Association.
So maybe that’s why there seems to be no one more enthusiastic about practicing in the OTAs this spring than the 24-year old, 6-foot-4, 307-pound Tretter.
Not only practicing, but back at center. Tretter thinks he will play mostly there for the rest of these OTAs and for the veteran minicamp later this month. It is the position he feels he’s at his best, and most comfortable.
“I think it just fits me,” said Tretter. “I know the offense, I make all the calls.
“I took a back seat at center at the end of last year. So it is nice to get back at center and to work at some things at center again. And then I will slowly start moving around.”
After Tretter was placed on injured reserve last season, the Packers used their “designated return” tag on him so he wouldn’t be out for the entire year.
While the team reported the injury as being to the knee, Tretter will only say he suffered a lower-leg injury, not wanting to get into specifics. Rest was all he could do to heal.
“I would say this injury was tougher than the first one,” said Tretter. “The timing was tough; I was looking into the season, getting going, and then it hits. It definitely took me significantly longer to wrap my mind around it. It took me a week or so to get past it.
“Now I try not think about what happened since then. Or what could have been.”
Tretter returned to the field Nov. 3. He did not start again but played in 10 games (including playoffs), mostly on special teams and some backup duty on the offensive line.
He also moved to all four other lineman positions.
“Yep, during practice, I was hitting all of them,” said Tretter.
It required a lot of thought and a mastery of the entire playbook.
“And not just, ‘this is my job.’ You have to change your mind,” said Tretter. “You get up there in your stance and you think, all right, I’m a…left guard. I’ve got a totally different checklist of things to look for.”
This off-season, the two centers, Tretter and Linsley, have worked closely together. They’re friends, sharing the same sarcastic personalities as well as a desire to break down the offense.
“I think our entire room has that, which is nice; you can get on people and they don’t take it personally,” said Tretter.
“We both know the offense inside and out. If we see something, we have that conversation. What are you looking at, we have this now, what are you thinking? What do you think about that linebacker, he’s a little far backside, what are you going to call?
“We pick each other’s brains. Everybody is going to have different calls with the things we can do.”
When the minicamp ends, Tretter will go home to Buffalo for a traditional family gathering over the Fourth of July holiday. Soon after that, he will return to Green Bay
Original story HERE