Packers’ Barclay eager to get back into action
BY JEREMY REEVES
Don Barclay of the Packers signs photographs at Holy Rosary Sports Night on Sunday. ( SEAN KRAJACIC )
KENOSHA — Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Don Barclay was among the celebrity guests at Sunday’s Holy Rosary Sports Night.
Barclay made the team as a non-drafted free agent in 2012 and started 21 games at right tackle his first two seasons before suffering a season-ending tear of the ACL in his right knee last August.
A restricted free agent, he said he hopes to be back in Green Bay next season.
Here are a few topics Barclay addressed in an interview with the News:
— He didn’t offer a percentage of where he’s at in his recovery process or a timetable for his return to the field but simply stated his goal is to get his (injured) right leg as strong as his left leg. This was the first major knee injury of his career.
— Even if he and starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga both re-sign with Green Bay, Barclay said he’s not conceding anything. Before his knee injury, Barclay — who can play multiple positions on the line — was viewed as the unit’s “swing man” and top backup.
“Every year, I go into it and I’m trying to compete for a starting position. That’s my goal … so that’s how I view it going into each year.”
— After recovering from surgery and starting his rehab, Barclay was allowed to return to the sideline for games about midseason. So he witnessed first-hand the Packers’ late collapse in their NFC Championship game loss at Seattle.
“I just think you’ve got to use it as motivation. I think you can go either up or down in that situation, and I believe the team is going to go up,” Barclay said. “I’m not saying we’re going to use this as fuel to our fire, but I think you’ve just got to learn from this. Teams can either go down or thrive from these situations, and I think with the players we’ve got and the coaches we’ve got … I think our future is bright and we will get better next year.”
— When Barclay got hurt, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, “They don’t come any better than him. If you want someone to emulate what a Green Bay Packer football player is on and off the field, he’s definitely one of your guys.”
“I appreciated him saying that,” Barclay said. “I did hear that soon after I got hurt, and that did mean a lot to me. I try to hold myself to a high standard, especially playing for an organization like the Packers. It’s a special place and a special town, and given the opportunity to do this is special. So I try to make the most out of it.”