As someone who is from Green Bay, I can confirm that there is nothing like it. Growing up there with every football Sunday turning the city into a ghost town, football is more than just a game, it’s a spiritual rite of passage in Green Bay.
Seeing a player from Green Bay who has been playing top notch football all of his life that is now in the NFL is special. The entire city loved Alec Ingold throughout his high school days and his college days at Wisconsin. And now they are rooting for him still even though he doesn’t play for the home town Packers. Come Sunday, just listen for the cheer he will receive from the crowd at Lambeau even though he will be sporting the Silver & Black.
“I think the big deal for me is playing in front of the community that helped grow up and helped love football.” Ingold said about playing in Green Bay for the first time as an NFL player. “The Packers, I mean, It’s cool, but I think the people understand, the people I grew up with are going to watch an NFL game and see me go out there. It’s a thankful moment for me to thank them and show them how we play football here in Oakland.”
This is a ‘prodigal son’ moment. It’s a big deal. This young man was raised in this football town, cheered all through the years by this football town, and now he gets to play NFL football in this football town.
“I think everyone growing up loves football and loves the Packers, so it’s pretty cool to have a community that rallies around something so unified. It’s a big thing for kids to grow up and you see these Packers walking in the grocery store and you stop and stare and it’s really cool. To be able to have that go full circle is huge for me. Just knowing where I came from and to be able to bring it full circle is going to mean a lot.”
It’s unfortunate for Ingold and the Packers that they didn’t make Alec Ingold’s Green Bay dreams come true, but their loss is the Oakland Raiders’ gain. Ingold is an undrafted rookie who beat out veteran fullback in Keith Smith to earn the job and is literally leading this Oakland Raiders rushing attack with his blocking. Even before signing with the Raiders, Ingold played for Gruden and with a Raiders shield on his helmet.
“We loved Ingold at the Senior Bowl,” said Jon Gruden. “We stamped a bunch of Raiders stickers on his helmet. He was really ticked off he didn’t get drafted and if I’ve done anything right since I’ve been here coaching the Raiders, it was the recruiting call I made to Ingold. I’m really happy about getting him here. He played quarterback at high school in Green Bay, this is a big game for him. I’m trying to get some video of him throwing the ball, but all I have is him handing off, but we are really thrilled with this kid. He’s got a real presence about him and a huge upside.”
Ingold was a running QB in high school, but he had to know his offense inside and out as both a runner and a passer.
That experience is allowing him to understand the nuances of blocking and having the pre-snap reads he needs to make the key blocks that we have already seen from him. Having QB experience is often a boon for wide receivers or tight ends, but you rarely see it in fullbacks.
Thus far Ingold has been pivotal in establishing the identity of this team as a bruising physical offense.
“Oh my gosh, it’s violent, very physical.” Derek Carr said of Ingold. “The film doesn’t do it justice. And the film looks pretty good, right? Just watching him play, his understanding of the game, you’d think he’s an eight-year veteran to be honest with you. He’s very smart, knows his assignment, knows the running back’s assignment, is communicating in the huddle, after the huddle. Really excited about him, he’s a good football player.”
That’s perfect descripton of the way that Alec Ingold plays the fullback position. He plays the game of football the way it should be played and the city of Green Bay is proud to have helped cultivate him.
I’m just happy the Packers made the mistake in not going after him and that he is an Oakland Raider now. Let’s hope he makes the Packers realize just how much of a mistake they made in not making him a priority considering his history with the city of Green Bay and State of Wisconsin.