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Packers WR Allen Lazard excited about new opportunities

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Packers WR Allen Lazard excited about new opportunities

Davante Adams is in Las Vegas. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is in Kansas City. Allen Lazard remains in Green Bay, and he’s excited about the new opportunities ahead for himself and the other Packers wide receivers.

“Davante leaving and everything creates a lot more opportunities for everybody. I’m pretty excited about that as an individual, ”Lazard told Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register. “Even our room more so, just to be able to spread the ball around, the guys that we were able to add to our room this year – I’m very excited to work with them and see them blossom.”

The Packers lost Adams and Valdes-Scantling but added Sammy Watkins and three rookies, including second-round pick Christian Watson.

Lazard, 26, is entering his fifth season in Green Bay after setting career-highs in catches (40), receiving yards (513) and touchdowns (eight) last season. He erupted down the stretch, catching 21 of his 40 passes and five of his eight touchdown passes in games against the Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.

Of the Packers’ returning players, Lazard ranked second in catches (to only Aaron Jones) and first in receiving yards and touchdowns last season. He’ll have a legitimate chance to lead the team in targets and receptions in 2022.

Chemistry with Aaron Rodgers – a valuable asset built over years of playing together – represents a major reason why.

“I think just our repertoire and our history, it’s obviously a major amount of comfort between the two of us – just understanding the game and understanding what he wants,” Lazard said. “I think that’s probably the biggest challenge for anybody playing with him, especially young guys, is just understanding what he’s thinking at the moment.”

Rodgers, the four-time NFL MVP, demands a lot from his receivers. He needs pass-catchers to be where he expects them to be on every play. It’s more than just knowing the playbook. It’s being able to adjust on the fly and get on the same page pre-snap in every situation.

Lazard and Randall Cobb have the best combination of experience in offense and chemistry with the quarterback entering 2022, but they’ll be competing with Watkins, Watson, Amari Rodgers and others for snaps and targets.

Lazard, who displayed contested-catch ability to end last season, has always been an efficient option in a complementary role. Now, he’ll be a more primary target.

Over the last three seasons, Lazard has averaged 9.1 yards per target and caught 68.4 percent of his targets. His career-high in targets (60) came last season, but he’ll have a chance to approach 100 with Adams and Valdes-Scantling playing elsewhere.

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