PLAYER PRO­FILE

Packer Plus - - NEWS - Martin Hen­dricks Send emails to mar­t­in­when­dricks@ya­hoo.com

Valdes-Scantling gets his chance to make an im­pres­sion

Green Bay — It was a les­son learned for Mar­quez Valdes-Scantling.

With Ran­dall Cobb in­ac­tive due to in­jury, the rookie re­ceiver started his first NFL game against the Buf­falo Bills at Lam­beau Field on Sun­day.

It’s the op­por­tu­nity the fifth-round draft choice from South Florida has been wait­ing for. He has as­cended through his body of work in OTAs, train­ing camp, and the first three reg­u­larsea­son games as the top rookie re­ceiver on the Pack­ers ros­ter.

“I mean, it was good feel­ing, but a start is only one play,” Valdes-Scantling said af­ter Green Bay ’s 22-0 vic­tory. “So, you got to play the whole game. It’s al­ways a good feel­ing to have your num­ber called, but there’s full four quar­ters you have to play.”

Valdes-Scantling was not only on the field with the first-team of­fense, but he also has seen ex­ten­sive ac­tion on spe­cial teams units with his com­bi­na­tion of speed (4.37 in 40), size (6-foot-4, 206 pounds), and ath­letic abil­ity. As a gun­ner on punt cov­er­age units, he stood out in the loss at Wash­ing­ton by forc­ing two fair catches and down­ing an­other at the Red­skins’ 2.

“The only thing I wasn’t on to­day (against the Bills) was the field goal block,” he said. “I’m al­ways about mov­ing for­ward. I did some things right to­day, I did some things wrong. I want to keep learn­ing and keep do­ing what I can to help this team out.”

Les­son No. 1 came in the third quar­ter: Valdes-Scantling’s mis­take al­most re­sulted in a pick-six for the Bills — which drew the ire of quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers.

On 4th-and-3 from the Buf­falo 36, he ran a short stop route to the right side­line, just enough to move the chains. Cor­ner­back Ryan Lewis got in­side po­si­tion and dropped Rodgers’ pass with noth­ing but open turf in front of him. Rodgers stared down his rookie re­ceiver af­ter the play.

“I took out­side re­lease and he (Lewis) just sat on the play be­cause it was fourth and short so he didn’t re­ally think I’d be go­ing deep — he was just play­ing the sticks,” Valdes-Scantling said. “I couldn’t re­ally fight back to the ball. He made a good play. I didn’t win the route...

“It wasn’t a good enough play by me. When A-Rod got to the side­line, he showed his frus­tra­tion, but he came to me and said, ‘I still be­lieve in you, I trust you.’”

Les­son No. 2 came i n the fourth quar­ter: Rodgers meant what he said.

On 3rd-and-3 from the Green Bay 34 with 4:09 re­main­ing, he ran a go route up the right side­line and Rodgers hit him for a 38-yard gain. It was ValdesS­cantling’s only catch of the game, but one he will not soon for­get.

Rodgers told the two out­side re­ceivers in the hud­dle to run go routes.

“A-Rod had his mind made up on tak­ing a shot,” he said with a smile. “He still has trust in me, that I can make plays. Mis­takes are go­ing to hap­pen, no­body is ever go­ing to be per­fect.

“It was a mis­take made by me ear­lier, and we moved on from it. He had con­fi­dence in me to go and throw me a ball. It was a good feel­ing.

“I just want to keep pro­gress­ing and help us win.”

The play­book on Valdes-Scantling

Full name: Mar­quez Re­shard Val- des-Scantling Nick­name: “Quez” Res­i­dence: St. Peters­burg, Fla. Born: Oct. 10, 1994, in St. Peters­burg. Fa­vorite flick: Bad Boys II Fa­vorite meal: Shrimp Al­fredo Books I en­joy: The Bi­ble First job: I worked for a mov­ing com­pany in Tampa, and I re­al­ized I didn’t want to be do­ing that (for too long).

First car: I had a Dodge Ram 1500 in high school, but that was my par­ent’s truck. First car I bought my­self was in col­lege and it was an In­fin­ity G35. My ride now: I drive an Audi A7.

My NFL idols grow­ing up: Larry Fitzger­ald and Randy Moss. I wore No. 11 in high school like Fitzger­ald and I trained i n Tampa with Moss. We’re have the same body type and he helped me with some of the de­tails of be­ing an NFL re­ceiver and the men­tal as­pects of the game.

Per­son I’d like to have din­ner with:

Prob­a­bly Larry Fitzger­ald. He’s my fa­vorite re­ceiver and he’s been do­ing it for so long. Just to talk to him about the finer points and learn all I can to be the best re­ceiver I can be.

WM. GLASHEEN / USA TO­DAY NET­WORK-WIS­CON­SIN

Pack­ers wide re­ceiver Mar­quez Valdes-Scantling catches a pass in the fourth quar­ter against the Bills. Valdes-Scantling started his first NFL game Sun­day due to Ran­dall Cobb’s ham­string in­jury.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.