Packers XLV

Power Play: Pack Makes A Line Shift

Posted May 3rd, 2013 @ 03:05pm

Consider the Marshall Newhouse experiment over. The Packers are completing an offensive line makeover and it's likely that Newhouse will be on the outside looking in. That's a good thing. The promise he showed in '11 disappeared in '12, and the team is moving on.

The Packers believe that Bryan Bulaga will be able to move seamlessly to left tackle, despite not having the prototypical left tackle body (short arms). The good news is they must believe he has fully healed from the hip injury and is ready to step right in and protect their most valuable asset. Bringing Josh Sitton over to assist on the left side will certainly help.

When Ted Thompson drafted Derek Sherrod a couple of years ago, he hoped he'd step right in to replace a soon to be retired Chad Clifton. But injuries have kept him stuck in neutral and the team decided it can't wait for him any longer. If and when he's able to walk without a limp and try to play football, he'll compete for the right tackle job which right now is an open competition between him, Newhouse, Don Barclay and rookie David Bakhtiari. My guess is Barclay wins the job.

TJ Lang will slide from the left to the right side, which shouldn't be a major transition for a guy who played almost a quarter of the season at right tackle when Bulaga first went down, while dealing with his own elbow and arm injuries. As a beefier guard than Sitton, he'll be more concerned with run blocking on that side, while letting the nimbler Sitton deal with the stunts and blitzes that will come from elite pass rushers on his new side.

I like the move. The Packers are moving their two best linemen to the left side to give Aaron Rodgers more protection on his blind side. As mobile as Rodgers is, he doesn't necessarily need Joe Thomas over there. But a chance to remain in the pocket a bit more often and a few extra fractions of a second could be all he needs to take the passing game to another level.


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Comments (9):

We'd better hope Bakhtiari and Tretter aren't the new Breno Giacomini, Allan Barbre or Jamon Meredith as well. As for NFC North d-linemen licking their chops: They had better start accounting for that 1-12 record they have against Green Bay over the past two seasons.

on May 11th, 2013 at 06:47am

Here we go again. O-line shifting, shuffling and experimenting have been the on-going story of the Ted Thompson-Mike McCarthy era since the Packers lost pro bowl guards Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle on the same day in 2005 free agency. Too bad they can't reincarnate that line of Mike Flanaga at center, Rivera & Wahle at the guards and Chad Clifton & Mark Tauscher manning the tackles. After giving up 50 sacks last season, and not for the first time, I suppose trying anything is worth the attempt. Newhouse was never a fit for left tackle or probably for right either. He could be a powerful guard on the right side, however. T.J. Lang was orignally drafted as a tackle but was rushed into work on the left side in '09 because of injury to Clifton. He didn't do well and the team has been looking for a proper place for him since. Let's not forget he was installed at left guard only after and because Daryn Colledge bolted in free agency in 2010. The Packers messed around with Derek Sherrod as a left guard during his rookie training camp after drafting him as a left tackle prospect in 2011. Chances are the line will be in flux well into the next season as guys and combinations are tried out and, as usual, injuries start complicating the process. We probably aren't seeing the line yet that will be starting for the Packers by the time they start their push to the playoffs later in the season.

on May 3rd, 2013 at 08:34pm

Packerlifer....I agree with you almost completely....except for one statement. Derrick Sherrod was not drafted as a left tackle prospect but always was a guard. In fact the year he was drafted Brian Billick called him his sleeper pick of the first round. So far he is correct as his career while injury curtailed has been asleep. If he comes back from that injury he will be used at guard and not tackle. But your overall take on the line is right on in my opinion. I think moving Bulaga to left tackle will turn out to be a mistake as he is not a strong pass blocker. EDS at center is below average. I think the important left tackle position may haunt us for years like a solid ...dependable running back has up to hopefully this season. Davy's poll I think it is lipstick on a pig. I hope I am would not be the first time for my favorite team. GO PACK GO !!

on May 5th, 2013 at 07:44pm

i think you guys are looking at this all wrong. mccarthy doesn't add the players. mccarthy tries to do the best with the players teddy gives him. so from the players on our team, bulaga has to be consisdered our best option i would think. or would you prefer we go with newhouse again? so you certainly can' blame mccarthy. you want to blame teddy? he has used two first round picks on tackles. not his fault sherrrod broke his leg. think he should have added Albert from kc? think he should have taken one in the draft at 26 after so many tackles went earlier in the round?

on May 5th, 2013 at 08:21pm

Looks like Cane and Screech have it all figured out. The handwriting is on the wall, boys - Vikings go 19-0 and the Pack goes 0-16. I don't know how you guys did it. Superbowl, homeboy. ~

on May 6th, 2013 at 03:13pm

I can tell you one thing: Jared Allen, Everson Griffen, Julius Peppers, Suh, and Nick Fairly are absolutely licking their chops to get at this disgrace of a make-shift Oline. You guys play in the wrong division to try and pull this kind of crap.....

on May 6th, 2013 at 07:08am

Do the Packers actually have any real OLineman? Considering how terrible they are, I'm half convinced that the Packers just grab 5 of the MANY 300 lb + Packer fans who are stuffing themselves with beer and sausage in the parking lot and give them a go.

on May 6th, 2013 at 08:27am

Man, Bill. That's a weak come back. But I guess what more could you expect from a Packers fan? Besides incest and a triple bypass surgery, of course.

on May 7th, 2013 at 08:34am

I think you are all wrong. the whole point of doing this right now as opposed to training camp is to solidify the line and eliminate the shuffling. There is exactly one position that is open right now and that is RT. I believe if Sherrod is healthy, he will win that job. If he's not, Barclay will win it. Either way, the line will be improved, barring additonal injuries. --Bulaga was picked to be the LT. He only started on the right side because of Tauscher's injury. EDS is a better center than guard as he is allowed to double with the guard instead of having to be the main guy. Rodgers trusts his line calls and that kind of endorsement is more valuable than all of our ballyhooing online. -- I love the move. Confident both our pass blocking and run blocking will be vastly improved. GoPack!

on May 7th, 2013 at 11:50am

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