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Cheese Curds, 7/17: Packers embracing ‘disrespect’ as motivational fuel

Packers players aren’t asking for a little respect. In fact, some of them are ready to embrace the underdog role.

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Wild Card Round - New York Giants v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Kenny Clark is a very good football player; there’s no doubt about that. The same can be said for Aaron Jones. And just two years ago, De’Vondre Campbell was an All-Pro.

But for these three Green Bay Packers — and many of their teammates — the theme of disrespect has been on the mind recently. With the Packers sitting just over a week out from the start of training camp, players are getting their minds right to begin the long, grueling marathon that is the NFL season, and these particular players are embracing the underdog role.

Recently, Clark went on a radio show and said that he is fine with the team being disrespected. Campbell is taking it personally that some writers and analysts are keeping expectations low for him after he worked through an injury-marred 2022. And Jones somehow can’t crack a list of the top running backs in the league despite his years of consistent, explosive production.

So much the better, perhaps, if this team exceeds the expectations placed on them.

Kenny Clark likes disrespect toward Packers, can’t wait to play with Jordan Love | Packers Wire
Clark says he “can’t wait to get out there with Jordan,” and he's happy that the team is flying under the radar.

Packers Star Aaron Jones Misses Cut In ESPN’s List of Top 10 Running Backs - Sports Illustrated
That disrespect flows down to some individual players as well, as Jones didn't crack the list of top ten running backs despite being sixth in the NFL in yards per carry last year, 10th in total rushing yards, and 9th in yards from scrimmage. And he did that while being lower on the rushing attempts leaderboard, at just 15th.

Packers linebacker De'Vondre Campbell looks to prove doubters wrong | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Meanwhile, Campbell is also thriving off disrespect, whether actual or perceived. There's no doubt that he took a step back in 2022 from his All-Pro campaign the year before, but he's convinced that now that he's fully healthy again, he'll be back to his game-changing ways.

Execs, coaches, scouts rank NFL's top 10 interior offensive linemen for 2023 - ESPN+ ($)
One player who is finally starting to get the recognition he deserves is Elgton Jenkins, who comes in 4th on this list.

Jordan Love, Rashan Gary among 10 biggest questions entering Packers training camp - The Athletic ($)
One of the most intriguing questions, at least in this writer's opinion, is "How much leeway does Joe Barry have?"

Man in viral dress That broke internet debate reportedly accused of trying to kill wife - Pro Trek
This is the headline that just keeps on giving.