Canadian Thrust into Green Bay Spotlight

Canadian Thrust into Green Bay Spotlight

With the Packers hit hard by injuries at outside linebacker, Canadian rookie Andy Muluma should see extensive playing time against the Browns.

The undrafted Mulumba and sixth-round pick Nate Palmer were the team’s only healthy outside linebackers at the October 16 practice.
Mulumba was born in Congo but moved to Montreal with his family more than a decade ago. He began playing football in the 10th grade at Ecole secondaire Edouard-Montpetit.

In a recent Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel article Tyler Dunne suggests that relying on rookies is nothing new in Green Bay”

When crisis strikes, the Packers turn to…more rookies. That’s the law of the land. Legislation might as well pass in Madison. No team has more rookies on its 53-man active roster. With 14 — fourteen — rookies, the Packers shatter the league average of 8.9. The next closest teams are New England and Cleveland with 12 apiece. The Indianapolis Colts have the fewest with six.
So there was coach Mike McCarthy showing the team a framed “Keep calm and carry on” poster this week. The slogan was used by the British government in 1939, months before World War II.

All of these rookies will certainly need to “keep calm” if the Packers are going to rally. No team in the NFL relies on as many raw, inexperienced players.

This “keep calm and carry on” motto always applied to Mulumba. He spent his childhood in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where a civil war raged. It was “unstable,” he said. As a child, Mulumba always needed to stay in a secure area because “there was violence everywhere.”

The possibility of starting Sunday against Cleveland? Yeah, Mulumba will take that. The past, he said, prepared him for the present.
“It surely does. And it’s motivation,” he said. “You use that as motivation as you grow and as you look back at it. You just try to make the best out of it and not try to think about it too much.

“It’s all about being focused and keeping on what you have to do — not what’s happening on the outside world. That’s what he’s trying to tell us. As a team, we have to move on from every situation that is thrown at us and keep playing.”

Other teams probably would be hesitant to even sneak raw projects from Eastern Michigan and Illinois State onto a roster. Mulumba didn’t play football until he was 17 years old. In Green Bay, they play.

(Dunne’s complete piece can be found here )