Billy Turner continues to be an ‘unsung hero’ in the Packers’ offense


GREEN BAY – A few weeks ago, “Aaron Rodgers” and members of the Packers board gathered for an informal roundtable with the rookie class.

It’s a meet the team has run in the past, designed to help young players get to know the veterans while gaining an understanding of what is expected of them at this level.

After the Packers’ director of player engagement Gray Ruegamer got everyone together, Rodgers gave his own spiel to the young players sitting across from him before finally listing one particular player who exemplifies what it means to be. a pro: start right tackle Billy Turner.

“I emphasized the way Billy runs his business,” Rodgers recalled this week. “You probably wouldn’t see him a lot, but he does the same thing pretty much every day. Every day he works on his passing streaks after his workouts, and every day before training he works on his passing streaks. passes and his punch.

“He’s a guy who’s played football a lot. He’s been in the league for a while. But his consistency in his profession is daily and I think the best players do these things.”

Turner has been an invaluable, yet understated presence on the Packers’ offensive line since signing with the team as an unrestricted free agent in the same 2019 offseason that brought Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith in Green Bay.

Versatility and reliability have been two of Turner’s greatest strengths during his eight seasons in the NFL, which the Packers have both exploited during his time here.

To date, Turner has started 22 games in right guard, 10 in right tackle and six in left tackle in 38 games (including the playoffs) with Green Bay. His 2,217 offensive snaps played are the most important in the Packers’ offensive line since the start of the 2019 season.

This year has been a little different. The Packers not only leaned on the 6-foot-5, 310-pound offensive lineman as a starting right tackle, but also as a veteran field presence with both All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari. and Pro Bowl left guard Elgton Jenkins currently on the mend.

“I would say he’s rock,” head coach Matt LaFleur said of Turner. “He’s such a great example for everyone to look at in the way he conducts his day-to-day business. You will see him… doing the little things in the training room, taking care of his body, because that he knows that in order for guys to go out there and play to the best of their ability, they have to have a good body.

“I think when needed he provides a calming voice in this room and an experienced veteran voice that these guys lean on.”

While Turner says nothing has changed from previous years in the leadership department, the eighth-year veteran brought undoubted stability to a young O-line made up of four starters (Yosh Nijman, Jon Runyan , Josh Myers and Royce Newman) who hadn’t combined for a single NFL start before last month’s opener against New Orleans.

It wasn’t just the rookies that Turner made an impact. As Rodgers illustrates, even an established lineman like Jenkins followed Turner’s lead after watching pre-workout drills and drills his fellow lineman O was doing at training camp.

“Watching Billy Turner has been really inspiring for so many other guys,” Rodgers said. “He does it every day before training at boot camp and the next thing you know, Elgton does it too. I think that’s the mark of any great pro. You kind of set the standard with it. your work ethic and let the other guys come in if they’re ready. “

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