The Packers were big fans of Josiah Deguara long before they drafted him.
Deguara, a third round tight end/fullback out of Cincinnati, was used by Packers coach Matt LaFleur in a team meeting last year as an example of the way LaFleur wants his players to play the game.
Specifically, LaFleur showed the Packers a highlight of Deguara running down a UCLA player after an interception, hustling to make a tackle on what otherwise would have been a pick-six.
“We actually showed this to our team — ironically enough — last season in a team meeting when we were talking about effort and grit,” LaFleur said, via Madison.com. “There was a play versus UCLA where there was an interception, and just the effort he displayed to run down the defender and make an unbelievable play on the ball, I think it really epitomizes who he is as a football player.”
Deguara said the play shows his approach to football.
“It was definitely a big moment for our team during that game,” Deguara said. “It could’ve been a big shift in momentum, so it wasn’t just [big] for me but for the team as well. [With] our culture at Cincinnati, I pride myself on outworking the guy in front of me, pride myself on being the hardest worker not only on the team, but on the field at that time. I think it just shows my relentless effort on the field and I think that’s the best way that resembles how I am as a player.”
There are some big questions facing the Packers about what role Deguara will play in their offense, and many draft analysts thought he was a reach in the third round. But the Packers love his hustle.