T.J. Lang spent the previous eight seasons with the Packers and can make his first journey again to Green Bay this weekend.(Photo: Daniel Mears, Detroit News)
Allen Park — If T.J. Lang by no means has to listen to “Bang the Drum” or “Roll out the Barrel” once more, he’d be simply fantastic with that. But the Lions guard has loads of fond recollections of Lambeau Field from his eight years enjoying with the Green Bay Packers.
And whereas most gamers dread enjoying in Wisconsin’s wintery components, when the mercury barely rises and a rock is barely softer than the bottom, these are the moments Lang cherished probably the most.
“Those late season games, when it’s zero degrees outside and everybody is freezing, I took a great amount of joy playing in those games, when the conditions are really, really bad,” Lang mentioned. “It just kind of makes it fun. Those were some of my favorite games there.”
Lang appeared in 119 video games for the Packers, beginning 94, previous to signing along with his hometown Detroit Lions this offseason. It’s been a rewarding determination, not simply because he acquired a three-year, $28.5 million pact to make the transfer, however as a result of it’s introduced him nearer to household.
He will get to make up for misplaced time along with his three youthful brothers and his kids get to spend extra time with their grandparents, on each Lang and his spouse’s aspect.
“Being gone the majority of the past eight years, you miss a lot,” Lang mentioned.
And Lang has thrived in his new settings. Both coach Jim Caldwell and quarterback Matthew Stafford praised not simply the efficiency, however the management Lang has offered.
“He’s been not only a very, very good consistent player for us, but he’s also been good in the locker room, great with the leadership in terms of the offensive line,” Caldwell mentioned. “He’s brought a lot to the table. He knows what winning’s all about.”
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Former coach Mike McCarthy has additionally stored tabs on his former participant.
“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,” McCarthy mentioned throughout a Thursday convention name. “So obviously it’ll be a moment for him, but when that ball is kicked off, T.J. will play football with his style of play like he always has.”
You can inform the familiarity as a result of McCarthy’s feedback had been virtually an echo of what Lang mentioned within the locker room minutes earlier.
“I think the whole pregame might be a little different, being on the opposing sideline,” Lang mentioned. “But, you realize what, I’ve by no means been a man that will get enamored with the gang or the noise, simply go on the market and give attention to doing my job.
“Once the sport begins, it’s important to focus in your job, being skilled, doing every little thing you’ll be able to to win a recreation.”
Lang doesn’t know the way Packers followers will react to his return. He additionally doesn’t appear notably within the nostalgia. The solely time he’s mirrored on his recollections is when doing interviews this week.
And yeah, at one level he believed he’d play his total profession with the Packers. But that’s not how issues usually work in sports activities, and his path led him again residence.
“I’m happy to be here,” he mentioned. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”