In established QB room, Packers rookie Michael Pratt focuses on controllables

Green Bay Packers quarterback Michael Pratt will be stepping into a bit of a unique situation as a rookie. However, his approach will remain the same: control the controllables.

“Just controlling what I can control,” said Pratt on Friday. “Just controlling my attitude and my effort. Getting better every day but also elevating all the people around me. You know whatever my role is here, fulfilling it to the best of my ability and just taking it day by day.”

The Packers have a well-established quarterback room. After playing at an extremely high level during the second half of last season, Jordan Love cemented himself as the long-term solution at the position and will receive an extension this offseason.

The Packers also used a fifth-round draft pick just last year on Sean Clifford, who was the team’s backup and someone they remain quite “excited” about. An added wrinkle to all of this is that Pratt and Clifford are actually fairly good friends.

“I believe it actually started at the Manning Passing Academy a couple of years ago,” said Pratt about his friendship with Clifford. “And then we’ve got like a group chat, just other quarterbacks and other people that Sean and I have stayed in touch.”

So where does all of this leave Pratt?

Well, as both Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur have harped on all offseason, competition within every position group is crucial to the overall growth of the team. If Pratt is able to provide that and push Clifford for the backup role, I’m sure the Packers would be thrilled.

But realistically, with Pratt as a seventh-round rookie and Clifford not only having a year of NFL experience but a full year in LaFleur’s offense under his belt, Clifford is going to have the leg up in any potential positional battle that may unfold in the coming months.

Gutekunst’s decision to draft a quarterback is largely rooted in the organizational philosophy that the Packers have around drafting and developing quarterbacks–the most important position in the game.

Pratt comes to the NFL with a “big arm” as Gutekunst mentioned following the draft, something that could be seen on the practice field Friday with the zip that Pratt was able to put on the ball. He is also a three-time team captain, steadily improved his accuracy each season at Tulane, and as LaFleur pointed out, he isn’t afraid to hang in the pocket to deliver the ball.

“Just more years of experience,” said Pratt about his growth in college. “I think knowledge of the defense, understanding coverages, understanding our offense, as well. I think the more reps you have under your belt, the more coverages you’ve seen, more blitzes you’ve seen, getting into different protections to keep yourself safe, being able to get the ball out, keeping the back out on his route. There’s a lot of factors that can play into that.”

The traits and tools are there with Pratt, but like any late Day 3 pick, refinement is needed, especially at a position with such a steep learning curve.

Ultimately, what takes place during training camp and the preseason will dictate how the chips fall and, more specifically, how the Packers’ roster is constructed.

For the time being, Pratt is just taking it one day at a time and, of course, controlling the controllables–learning the playbook, commanding the offense, having high energy, a good attitude, and elevating the play of those around him.

“At this level, I think the intangibles,” said Pratt on what it takes to be a good quarterback. “Everybody at this level has the talent. I don’t think anybody would be here if they didn’t have the talent to be at this level.

“It really comes down to leadership, how you get the guys around you to elevate, getting the locker room to buy in, being a leader – all those kind of things because, essentially, you can’t do everything by yourself. At lower levels – in high school and sometimes in college – you can make stuff happen by yourself. At this level, it’s about what you do, what you get the guys around you to do.”

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire