Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez preview the Lions-Packers recreation.

Detroit Lions offensive lineman T.J. Lang speaks with the media in Allen Park on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.(Photo: Carlos Monarrez, DFP)

T.J. Lang was a fan favourite in his eight seasons with the Green Bay Packers, a down-to-earth man who endeared himself to the Lambeau Field devoted along with his fun-loving character and hard-nosed play.

But Lang is aware of he most likely will not get the warmest reception when he makes his return to Packer nation Monday night time with the Detroit Lions.

In reality, the offensive guard who the group low-balled out of city in free company, mentioned he expects to listen to boos from the pbadionate Packer followers who used to yell his identify.

“It’s a division opponent,” Lang mentioned. “I think if I was playing somewhere in the AFC maybe (they’d cheer), but it’s Lions-Packers. From a fan’s standpoint it might not be as big as Packers-Bears, but from the player’s standpoint, all those division games are rivalries. So I understand that.”

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Lang has lived the opposite aspect of the Lions-Packers rivalry since Green Bay made him a fourth-round select of Eastern Michigan in 2009.

He went 12-Four towards the Lions, the crew he grew up rooting for in metro Detroit, received 5 division championships and one Super Bowl ring.

Lions offensive linemen Travis Swanson (64) and T.J. Lang (76) watch as Matthew Stafford is tackled in need of the aim line on fourth down within the third quarter of the 20-15 loss to the Steelers at Ford Field on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo: Tim Fuller, USA TODAY Sports)

Lang left the Packers this low season in free company, when the Lions provided him about $2 million extra per season. His departure, coming off a Pro Bowl 2016 season during which he performed via hip and ankle accidents, rankled some, however Lang mentioned, “I don’t think it was a relationship that ended on bad terms.”

“Certainly not from my end,” he mentioned. “But you never know with fans. Obviously a division rival, I think they kind of forget pretty quick how long a guy played there. But it is what it is. I don’t look for cheers, boos, it doesn’t matter to me. It’s not going to affect my mind-set.”

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Lions basic supervisor Bob Quinn explains why the crew focused Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang early in free company and whether or not Adrian Peterson is an possibility. Video by Dave Birkett/DFP

In Detroit, Lang has been one of many few vibrant spots on an offensive line that is had its share of go safety points this season.

He missed one recreation with a again harm final month, however in any other case has performed at a constantly excessive stage at proper guard.

“I think anytime you see one of your players move on to another opportunity, you watch what they’re doing,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy mentioned Thursday in a convention name with Detroit reporters. “T.J.’s playing very well. I’m very fond of T.J. and I’m happy for him and his family. He’s from the Detroit area, so yeah, we feel that he’s their best lineman as far as going through our personnel evaluation, and our defense is getting ready to compete against him. So obviously it’ll be a moment for him, but when that balls kicked off T.J. will play football with his style play like he always has.”

Lang mentioned his play has been “a little bit up and down” to date, however in any other case he has made a clean transition to a brand new scheme and new environment.

The veteran of the Lions’ offensive line room, he has been a sounding board for youthful gamers like Graham Glasgow, and off the sphere he mentioned he has loved the time he has gotten to spend with household.

“Being gone for the majority of the past eight years, you miss a lot,” Lang mentioned. “I’ve got three younger brothers, my wife’s family’s all back here. You miss a lot of time watching them grow up and going to their football games and things of that nature. My kids being around their grandparents. Obviously miss a lot of that, so kind of making up for missed time right now. I think that’s been one of the best things so far.”


Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, discusses the upcoming Monday night time recreation towards the Green Bay Packers and his personal crew’s struggles within the crimson zone.
Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press

As for Monday’s recreation, Lang mentioned he is positive some reminiscences will come washing over him as soon as he steps on Lambeau Field, a venue he known as “one of the best stadiums in all of football” and “a very special place for me and my family.”

But as soon as the ball kicks off, he mentioned his solely focus might be doing his job.

“The only time I’ve reflected so far is when I’ve been asked about it,” Lang mentioned. “I don’t sit at home and think about all the memories I had in Green Bay. Obviously, that’s in the past. I had a great time, but I’m more focused on right now.”

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Contact Dave Birkett: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett. 

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