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Why isn't Balaga the starting LT?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by rodell330, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. rodell330
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    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    Outside of Sitton he is probably our best linemen and he played the position in college. I'm sure Newhouse can play tackle... i'm just not confident that he is a left tackle at this point. I think that in the NFC north when you play against guy's like Peppers and Allen twice a year it is critical to have a solid foundation at left tackle, and looking over our schedule we play against some pretty good defense this year. We could move Newhouse to the right side and let Balaga play the position i thought we drafted him to play.
  2. FrankRizzo
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    I think they have faith that Marshall Newhouse, and/or 1st round pick Derek Sherrod will be able to become a very good LT with their quick feet and balance. In the meantime, Bulaga is proving to be a very good RT over there and they'd rather not have him bounce around.
  3. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Because Bulaga starts on the right side? I thought that was obvious :p. The big wigs have stated that they will not move Bulaga because they believe he has all the tools to be the best RT in the game. Switching sides isn't as easy as it sounds and besides, Bulaga has really short arms and isn't quite strong enough to play on the left (so I've heard, which makes no sense to me because usually the RT faces the stronger rusher). Quite frankly they feel more comfortable moving Lang back to LT than switching Bulaga.
  4. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    Personally I believe Newhouse to be solid, but he will never be much more than that. Sherrod on the other hand has a much higher ceiling, possibly even elite. Look for Sherrod to take over in a year or two, but Newhouse WILL be the starter at least through the end of this year
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  5. rodell330
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    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    Well because Bulaga plays on the right actually doesn't make it that obvious thanks. I'm actually looking for reasons that he is still on the right, and what prevented him from being moved to the left that's it. I see some good points about his arms tho, playing left tackle does require you to have longer arms.
  6. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    For the record the first two sentences were me trying to be funny, didn exactly work
  7. rodell330
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    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    lol i actually did laugh when i read it, so your attempt didn't go in vain haha.
  8. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    HA!

    Another reason is switching sides means everything is backwards, down to the stance you use. Its confusing and awkward and once you've been on a side for a while it just feels wrong
  9. GreenBlood
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    GreenBlood Banned Banned

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    Best pass rusher usually comes from the left because teams want to bring the heat from the QB's blind side.
  10. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    I'm not sure where anyone got the idea Bulaga isn't strong enough to play LT - that's clearly not the case IMO. I'll bet Bulaga is stronger than either Newhouse or Sherrod. He certainly run blocks better. However, Bulaga does not have ideal size to play LT and since they expect him to be outstanding on the right side, they want to keep him there. But Newhouse has to improve on his play from last season - he gave up a ton of pressures. McCarthy and others often say they usually see a big improvement from players from year one to year two - that's what I'm hoping we see from Newhouse even though he's entering his third season (he didn't play much in his rookie season).
  11. El Guapo
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    You also have to consider the entire offensive line, not just the pieces. You need your best 5 out there working together. Who do you backfill at RG if Bulaga moves over? Newhouse isn't going to the RG position or probably anywhere else on the line. The Packers don't have any quality behind Lang and Bulaga yet so you put people in places that makes the best overall line.

    It often seems like teams including the Packers draft LTs out of college with the strong possibility that they will either be moving inside or to the other side. The Packers quickly assessed (for whatever reasons) that Bulaga was better suited elsewhere and continued looking for new RTs in the draft.
  12. Wood Chipper
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    Wood Chipper Fantasy Football Guru

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    As long as he succeeds playing RT then I feel no need to have him moved to LT.
  13. rodell330
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    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    I guess you're right, if it aint broke don't fix it eh? The only thing is i would feel much more comfortable knowing we had an established pro bowl tackle protecting our franchise player's blindside. Newhouse got worked by athletic d-ends last year and thats what has me worried. Yes he can improve but unlike RT most top pass rushers are coming from the leftside of the defense.
  14. packnutt
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    Simple. The offense is partially designed for bootlegs and rollouts to the RIGHT. Bulaga has the strength to block and/or clear a path.

    I'm certain TT/MM are looking at all options. Have faith.
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  15. rodell330
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    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    that's a good point. If you watch film from last year almost all the roll out and bootleg action type of passing is done from the right. Then again if Rodgers was left handed could we say the same thing?:confused:
  16. slaughter25
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    slaughter25 Cheesehead

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    I think to say that LT is where the premier pass rusher is always going to come from is wrong, while not completely false, it is also not completely true. The first example that comes to mind in Chicago and their usage of Julius Peppers since they acquired him. They know he's a beast and they move him to wherever the favorable match up is for them. I've seen him come from the left side the right side and even stunting up the middle. It's no longer the case that you can hide a poor offensive tackle on the right side to keep the opposing D's best rusher away from him. So to say moving Sherrod or another average olineman to the other side doesn't really have as much benefit as it might have once had and in the packers case I think keeping the line up the same will really help solidify the protection up front.
  17. Kitten
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    I think the only way he would get moved to LT is if there was an injury and Lord we don't want that.
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  18. Vltrophy
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    Bulaga & Sitton work good together. For now he's good where he's at
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  19. El Guapo
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    Let's also keep in mind that Newhouse essentially was the backup last season until Clifton hung up his cleats. It was his first year. How many of us kicked but at our job at first - with millions of fans watching? Newhouse is developing just fine. He's not a first round draft pick with high expectations. He's a left tackle with pretty good tools that is learning the job and will find his own. I expect the Jared Allens of the world (pro bowlers) to teach Newhouse a few lessons in his first real season as a starter. I also expect that it will happen less this year and even less in 2013.

    We all want instant gratification from this team and its players. That is not reality.
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  20. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    I didn't say best did I? "Strongest" and "best" are two different things. Perry is stronger, but CM3 is better (just one example)
  21. GreenBlood
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    GreenBlood Banned Banned

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    "Strongest" can also mean "most effective."

    "The strongest competitor" in a chess tournament might be an old man in a wheelchair.

    I would say Finley is our strongest option at TE, even though Ryan Taylor can out-lift him in the weight room.

    Either way, I don't think it was worth throwing a hissy fit over.
  22. HyponGrey
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    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    I can agree.

    I'm still struggling to sucessfully integrate sarcasm. Still interpreted as whiny. I'll keep working on it. ;)
  23. GreenBlood
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    GreenBlood Banned Banned

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    Eh... it's forums. Wait... what were we talking about?
  24. HardRightEdge
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    I'm in the "leave him be" camp, with the best arguments already mentioned, so I'll just embellish a bit. The links to the statistics that follow my recap are worth examining closely:

    - Technique: Moving from one side of the line to the other forces all movements to flip to the mirror image. You run the risk of swapping instinctual play for mechanical play, never a good thing. McCarthy has noted this several times in the past, and his preference for his linemen to be dedicated to either the left side or the right side. If this switch was going to happen, it needed to begin with the first workout of the off season.

    - Opponents: Some teams, though not most, move their top dog pass rusher around on the line. Peppers was noted already. JPP is another. This is not an overriding factor, but a mitigating factor in favor of leaving Bulaga where he's at.

    - Rodgers' Mobility: Rollouts as a staple of this offense has been noted. And while Rodgers does not have eyes in the back of his head, he does have an excellent sense of backside pressure and the ability to slip and slide through and out of the pocket.

    The one thing I don't think has been given enough credit is how well Bulaga played last year at RT. Check out these pass blocking stats from Pro Football Focus:

    http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/02/20/2011-pass-blocking-efficiency-offensive-tackles/

    While I'm not keen on their formula which gives a "hurry" 75% of the value of a sack (I would give it maybe 40%), it gives you an idea of how well he played. Not noted here is the fact Bulaga gave up only 1.5 sacks and 2.5 knockdowns in those 409 pass snaps...those are the drive killers, fumble generators and injury producers.

    Lets look at Pro Football Outsiders run blocking rankings, where they use an interesting Adjusted Line Yardage calculation (described at the top of the following link) that attributes % of run yardage to the line:

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/ol

    Green Bay ranked 11th. in the league running off RT at 4.61, against a league average of 4.26. This is particularly impressive when thinking about our less than impressive stable of running backs who also missed time with injuries.

    Adding it all up, I would not conclude Bulaga is BECOMING one of the top RTs in the league...he's ALREADY THERE. If you're not keen on these stats, then use the "ear test"...it's often said you know a good O-lineman when you don't hear his name called. Check.

    So we're looking at Stewart, Vollmer (who played LT when Solder struggled, if memory serves, and may end up there again), Clabo...and Bulaga at RT. Dahl only played half the season and looks like he may be playing RG this year. And Bulaga is only 23 years old. I suppose you could throw in Peters if you want to make it "front side" instead of "right side"...remember Vick is a lefty...but with him blowing up his Achilles his best days are likely behind him.

    I think it would be imprudent to mess with a very good thing. You run a high risk of net-net making two positions weaker.
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  25. packnutt
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    packnutt '97 Shareholder

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    Excellent Analysis. Book it.

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