Packers Conducting a Fun Experiment With James Looney
Green Bay Packers play the role of a mad scientist when it comes to one player on the team. During last season, Green Bay asked James Looney, a defensive lineman, if he would be interested in moving to tight end. Looney accepted the position change. He did not see the field as a defensive lineman and wanted to breakthrough in the league. Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated wrote a great article on him yesterday where Looney revealed he lost 30 pounds in the process and now sits at 256 pounds (I need his diet plan, please). The tight end room is rather full, but the Looney experiment is an intriguing one.
The reason that Green Bay asked him about the shift was his 40 time. The 40-yard dash is not always an answer to a good lineman, but when a big man runs in the sub-five, you take note. Looney ran a 4.89 at nearly 290 pounds. What will he run with his new weight? It could be 4.7 or maybe even 4.6. That is fast for a tight end, and you can see why Green Bay wanted to exploit his athleticism. The team sees an opportunity for Looney to become a tight end. Can it be an overnight success? Probably not, but who knows he has the whole year.
The tight end room is not empty by any means. Green Bay has Jace Sternberger, Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara, Evan Baylis, and Robert Tonyan. Green Bay will not pull a Chicago Bears and have 10 tight ends. Looney might get preferred treatment as Packers wouldn’t end the experiment early. Packers likely put him on the practice squad as he continues to develop his tight end skills. This is why it is good to get along with management and support their plans for you. Looney’s role will likely be a run-blocking tight end wondering his offensive line experience, but you never know.
I hope for the best when it comes to the new Packers’ tight end.