Colt Lyerla dropped a manageable pass in his first bit of action at OTA’s Thursday. But remember, it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.
Shortly after, he made a pretty difficult grab across the middle and received a nice order of chants from fans in attendance at Ray Nitschke field.
"I was kind of surprised, I couldn't ask for a warmer welcome." Lyerla said afterwards in the locker room.
He was also one of the last players to exit the field after staying when practice concluded to run routes and catch passes. Just like today’s drop, Lyerla is working to make sure things in his past don’t happen again.
"The past is the past, and I’m just excited to move on. I’m excited to see what happens in the future and see what I can do to help this football team. Whether that be on special teams, tight end, water boy, whatever it is, whatever I gotta do."
Having gone through his troubles so early in his life with hopefully his best days ahead now, the 6-foot-4 rookie is taking that chapter in his life and using it to better himself as a man going forward.
"I think once you've been to the bottom, you kind of see what you need to do as a person and the kind of changes you need to make. I think that’s going to help me become a better person. I feel like this is the best place I could've ended up with how they run their offense."
Since leaving the Ducks’ football team this past season, Lyerla has had more than enough time to gather himself. Leading him to make the changes he talked about to get to where he is today -- in the NFL.
"I think I've spent the last six-seven months doing hard thinking. I feel like me being here today shows that I am moving in the right direction."
In March, he impressed at the NFL Draft combine, but every team passed on him in the draft and in the initial rookie free agent phase. The Packers gave him a tryout and eventually a contract, the chance he hoped for after wondering if his dream would ever come true.
"I can’t say that it didn't cross my mind. And that’s why I’m so thankful and excited to be here today. That’s why I’m just focusing on everything I can do to be the best player, person, and Green Bay Packer I can be."
The next goal for the young man is to make the 53-man roster for the upcoming season. It’s realistic for him since he’s the most athletic of the current tight ends on Green Bay’s roster.
"Personally, I'm excited about having Colt here." Coach Mike McCarthy said in his press conference after Thursday's practice. "When you look at our history...everybody is excited about helping a young man that's been through what he's been through...Colt just needs to be just like everybody else...We're excited to impact this young man's life...A credit to our program. A credit to resources that we have."
Let’s see if Lyerla can stick to the changes he mentioned going forward.