Packers XLV

Loss of Bulaga Puts Pack Back to Square One on Line

Posted August 5th, 2013 @ 02:08pm

You hear the news about Bryan Bulaga and it just makes you sick, doesn't it? Every year, training camp is a 30 day exercise in holding your breath and hoping that your favorite team can come out of it relatively intact. But it seems the Packers never do.

So it's back to the drawing board with the Packers' offensive line. The silver lining is that the injury happened before any preseason games have been played, giving the reconfigured line a lot of time to get comfortable. But what will the Pack end up doing?

The most likely scenario is Marshall Newhouse going back to the spot he has tenuously held down the past two seasons. His mediocrity forced the Pack into moving Bulaga over; now he gets a shot at redemption--at showing the coaches that he can handle one of the most important positions in the NFL. If your job description calls for protecting the blind side of guys like Rodgers, Manning, Brees or Brady, you're at the top of the 'valuable' food chain.

But you can expect the Packers to take a long look at rookie David Bakhtiari. The fourth round pick was #2 on the depth chart at left tackle and from all accounts is off to a very impressive start--after one week in camp he had already put himself in the conversation for the up-for-grabs right tackle spot. If the team settles on the experience that Newhouse brings on the left side, Bakhtiari is sure to be heavily in the mix on the right side, competing with the unsung Don Barclay.

Big picture, it's a huge, huge loss for the Pack. Say what you want about teams losing receivers (Maclin) and tight ends (Pitta) to season-ending injuries. When you lose your starting left tackle, it's a huge loss that reverberates through the depth chart and the coaches' offensive game plan.

Friday night will give us our first peek at what the team is thinking at left tackle; though you can bet both Newhouse and Bakhtiari will get time there. Rodgers is unlikely to play more than a series or two anyway.

The other eyebrow raising news coming out of Titletown is word that the team is working out quarterback Vince Young. Now I know Mike McCarthy likes to build QBs more than just about anything in this world, but it's hard to believe the team would bring him in to compete at that position. Maybe they think he can play the part of RGIII or Colin Kaepernick in practice, to give the defense a feel for what they'll be up against. That's assuming Vince has dropped 15-20 or 60 pounds and is in close to football shape. Obviously neither Graham Harrell nor BJ Coleman inspires a ton of confidence should the franchise go down, but Young is two years removed from the league and is not close to being ready to serve as an understudy on this or any team.


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Comments (5):

THC--So I see you mention Bulaga and Young, but manage to skirt around the other major issue in Pack camp at the moment. The fact that Mason Crosby has continued to kick FG's like you golf. I told you in the final version of Pack preview last season that he has to be cut and you dismissed it. They guy is a headcase and has been absolutely horrendous kicking in camp.

on August 5th, 2013 at 02:20pm

on August 5th, 2013 at 04:44pm

Put Rodgers in a body bag

on August 6th, 2013 at 12:08pm

For starters, don't expect TT to hit the phones looking for left tackle help. No GM out there anywhere would make a trade regardless of what's being offered, and you won't find a talented LT walking the streets. They will make the adjustments, and move on. I'm concerned, like the rest of you, but I'm not worried. Now, the other topic that's been floating around out there is Greg Jennings, aka "Mr. Annoying". I don't know about the rest of you, but I hope he never shuts up. This is just the kind of thing this rivalry needs. Keep it going, Greg! I'm looking forward to what you have to say around 11PM on October 27.

on August 8th, 2013 at 12:31pm

Ted Thompson may border on genius when it comes to quarterbacks, receivers, linebackers and d'backs but when it comes to the lines, on both sides of the ball, his record is littered with miscalculations, reaches and bad luck. The Packers now have both their 2010 and 2011 first round draft investment at the offensive tackles on the shelf and questionable for the future. Fortunately Bulaga's injury happened early in camp for the team to have time to figure out a solution in time for the start of the season. I don't think Mike McCarthy will disrupt his o-line further by moving Newhouse back to LT, unless Bakhtiari gets hurt or proves incapable of doing the job. TT will be keeping his eye on prospects on other teams preseason rosters who will be late cuts and could produce a quality prospect or two. The theme of the Packers' draft in 2012 was defense, this year it was the running game so look for next year to be the o-line. The team needs a draft like 2000 when they landed Chad Clifton in the second round and Mark Tauscher in the seventh and they were quality starters for a decade. As for players doing down now, we will have to trust in TT's and MM's ability to find replacements or bring in some finds to fill in. The Packers have been one of the most injury prone teams in the league for several years now but they have also been one of the most consistently successful on the field as well. This team won 11 games and the division title last year with Bulaga out for half the year, Sherrod missing all year and other major figures like Woodson, Jennings and Matthews down for extended periods of time as well.

on August 9th, 2013 at 07:26am

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