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Offensive Line Solutions In House?/ update

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by ARodsBelt12, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. BorderRivals.com

    BorderRivals.com Cheesehead

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    Smart move by MM I think. Bulaga is clearly the best T on the roster and Sitton is an elite guard. And considering they've played side-by-side since Bulaga came to town, I think it was the right decision to keep them together. As for the right side, I'm placing my bets on Barclay. He held his own very well last year and should only get better (Y1 to Y2 jump as MM loves to say). The run game, in particular, seemed to take off after Barclay was inserted into the lineup. Obviously, it's very early, but I'm starting to like this shakeup and what it means for the offense.

    The key part is the line needs to stay healthy (cue FrankRizzo)! Any team would suffer in line play if it's starting tackle went down and it's guard was playing with one arm. If EDS is the upgrade over Saturday that the Packers claim he is and we stay healthy, I'm optimistic this line can perform well.
     
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  2. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    ^^^
    I hope Barclay emerges as well.
     
  3. NorthWestCheeseHead

    NorthWestCheeseHead Cheesehead

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    That is probably the most likely scenario. It's been around a year now since his 1st surgery.
     
  4. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    This is good news. The best possible case was for Sherrod to emerge as the starter at LT for the next several seasons but there were questions about that before he got injured; now his career is in jeopardy. It wouldn’t have been foolish to count on him at LT this season, it would have been insane. Depending on Newhouse to improve enough at LT didn’t make any sense either. By far the best candidate on the roster to become even an adequate LT is Bulaga. And there’s a chance he can become more than that. The worst possible case would have been heading into TC depending upon Newhouse or Sherrod or a rookie or Datko to miraculously emerge at LT.

    Switching Sitton and Lang is a bit of a surprise. Sitton and Bulaga are used to lining up beside each other but it seems to me the transition from RG to LG is a bigger deal than getting used to playing next to a new RT. Maybe they’ll emphasize running to the left? In any case, Sitton is the last OL I worry about.

    It’s much easier finding a RT than LT and there may be a surprise as to who wins that open competition. The winner probably won’t match Bulaga at his best but the line as a whole will almost certainly be better.

    I also like that they’re not waiting to institute this change – it’s smart to do it ASAP. In McGinn’s post-draft chat in answering a question about the Packers need to get tougher and more physical he said, “Give the Packers a heap of credit for not sticking their heads in the sand and deluding themselves into thinking they didn't get physically pounded several teams a year ago. They are smart football people. No matter what they say in public, in private they see it the way it is.” http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/204935441.html

    I agree and I give the Packers credit for acknowledging the problem and taking what looks like their best course of action at LT. In addition to recognizing they need to get tougher I think McCarthy will adjust the O scheme to help his new OL protect Rodgers.
     
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  5. easyk83

    easyk83 Cheesehead

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    I actually like Bulaga more as an LT, he's very much a natural bender who kinda reminds me of Chad Clifton.

    Barclay, Newhouse and Sherrod should make for an interesting competition and Ill be rooting for Sherrod.
     
  6. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    He'll (Bulaga) probably struggle some at the beginning but I don't see him giving up 11 sacks. :eek:
     
  7. rodell330

    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    Yet alone three in one game!!:eek: as long as he doesn't have to block Bruce Irvin he should be fine.
     
  8. mradtke66

    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    Holy balls. Based on this swap, assuming it sticks as is (personally, I would have left Lang at LG regardless), this more or less means Barclay is going to be the guy at RT.
     
  9. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    11 sacks wasn't the worst of it IMO. According to McGinn's grades, Newhouse allowed 42.5 pressures and 13.5 bad runs which was almost exactly what he allowed the previous year.
     
  10. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    Yes. I just didn't want to get into anymore of his poor play.

    As an aside Lang is a better run blocker than pass blocker as is Barclay. Lang has a mean streak and Barclay seems to be in the same mold. Assuming Barclay wins the job is it significant that both are on the same side??
     
  11. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    I think this is a great idea by MM. Bulaga is the best tackle on the team, without argument. Sitton, EDC and Lang make up a strong interior. Right Tackle is now an open competition between four players more suited for right tackle than left tackle. I'm still hoping Sherrod comes back strong and healthy.

    Don't sleep on the rookie Bakhtiari. A number of websites really like this guy.
     
  12. rodell330

    rodell330 Cheesehead

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    If he's mean let him play...no more cupcakes on the o-line please. Hopefully they spent the offseason watching tape of the Niners o-line. Now that's a mean bunch.
     
  13. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    Mean with ability is the ticket.
     
  14. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    There are a lot of very high draft picks on that San Fran O-Line. Davis, Staley and Iuapati are all first round picks and justifying their draft position.
     
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  15. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    IMO Sitton is a better run blocker than Lang (and a better pass blocker) so that still doesn't explain it to me. But as I said, this is not a big deal compared to moving Bulaga. From what I've read, Bakhtiari needs to add strength, I'd be surprised if plays this season.
     
  16. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    Well Sitton is better at everything than Lang. Still your point is made. I agree Bakhtari needs to grow some before we can count on him. Needs a year in the strength room as you said. I am concerned about the finesse label I have seen attached to him. Lot to find out.
     
  17. Bagadeez04

    Bagadeez04 Cheesehead

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    Moving Bulaga over was the only option on the left side...Newhouse just isn't a starter...at any position...plain and simple. He's a great guy to have around to back up either tackle position, but he just doesn't have the drive and consistancy to be a starter.

    Bulaga on the left side is a "hope for the best" kind of thing IMO, as he has not played at an elite level on the right side, is having to move to a "new" position, and is coming off an injury. The hope with him is that he can simply be an upgrade over Newhouse. How good he actually does over there is anyone's guess, but he will certainly be better as a run blocker, and I would hope he's at least slightly better in pass protection.

    As for the right side, I would think it's sort of Barclay's job to lose. He's only played a few games there so can he be there on a more permanent basis? Maybe, maybe not. But one would think he would impove with a few games under his belt, and maybe a few more pounds of muscle on him from the off-season conditioning. Maybe one of those rookies impresses in camp too, who knows?

    As for moving Sitton and Lang, seems like an awful lot of change to me...I hope all these guys can move around and adapt quickly.

    I'm sure there will be growing pains, but in the long run this is probably not a bad idea. Something has to change on that line (I would have fired Campen long ago), I applaud McCarthy for giving this a shot. Honestly, they can't be any worse than they have been the last couple years. I hope the run blocking can get better...I think that would help the run game, the pass game and the defense.
     
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  18. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    I wonder if the timing means, something didn't happen in the draft they thought would. Maybe they had someone in mind who wasn't there.

    Interesting moves that I think will pay dividends. Glad to hear the Guys are on board with this and excited. It is a bigger change than what you would expect.

    I still think the biggest improvement they could have made was the hiring of a new OL coach. Shake things up.
     
  19. HyponGrey

    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    I hear the pins slipped and he had to get them removed. Had water on the leg too.

    Newhouse will still be RT if Baktiari doesn't beat him out. Barclay doesn't stand a chance and will probably play G. This does say to me that Sherrod isn't quite ready, and they want to give him at least another year.

    Bulaga just got that much more expensive.
     
  20. Bagadeez04

    Bagadeez04 Cheesehead

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    Couldn't agree more...definately a flaw of McCarthys is that he too loyal to "his guys".
     
  21. JBlood

    JBlood Cheesehead

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    Nothing new here that hasn't been going on with the offensive line since MM was hired. Maybe this will work, maybe not.
     
  22. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Not sure what you mean: I don’t remember a similar shake up in the OL under McCarthy. Three established starters are switching positions; including of course one to the most important spot on the line. I don’t remember a similar shake up not due to injury. In fact, when was the last time a similar change has occurred in Packers' history?

    Of course its success is uncertain, but its chances of working are much better than the OL that finished last season. Even if Barclay wins the RT spot and needs as much help as he did last season, the OL will be better because the LT will be better. And it is reasonable to expect Barclay to be better and therefore the winner of that spot better than last year’s version of him. Also the OL got better when EDS took over at OC, if he stays healthy, that should boost the effectiveness of the OL all season.
    - - - - - - - -
    No matter who wins the RT spot, I hope the depth on the OL will develop well enough so a re-shuffling won’t be necessary if one player goes down. For example, I think Newhouse’s best spot is backup OT and if Barclay loses the competition at RT, he could be penciled in at backup OG. The thinnest spot is probably OC. Maybe that’s Tretter’s spot but it’s probably the most mentally challenging spot on the OL and difficult for a rookie to handle.
     
  23. JBlood

    JBlood Cheesehead

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    2009 20 different line combinations during that season alone. The Packers pride themselves by taking linemen that are versatile, ie, Workmen good at everything but masters of nothing. It's helpful when injuries occur, but leads to instability at all the positions, imo. MM and Campen openly disagreed whether Lang was a tackle or guard, for instance. Thompson's drafted 15 o- linemen to 2012 (plus several undrafted f.a's) and 6 are still with the team. Colledge, Moll, Barbre, Giacominni all saw some time on the lines--most at more than 1 position. Moll and Barbre were horrible, but still given a chance to start--at the risk of the QB more than anyone else. The o-line has been a weakness. The personnel has changed repeatedly, both individually and by position. The o-line coach remains the same. Maybe it's the coach.
     
  24. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Nothing that you mentioned is analogous to the changes that were just announced: Never before have three established starters changed positions. The fact this happened so early in the season and none of the changes being due to injury also distinguishes it.

    Maybe past problems were due to the coaching and maybe they were due to the personnel acquired, and maybe they were due to scheme. Or maybe some combination of the three, but there's no doubt it's been an area of weakness.
     
  25. 2411t

    2411t Cheesehead

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    I was ecstatic when I heard this news! Does this mean that Bulaga will be getting more practice snaps against CM3? It would be a great way to help them both improve.
     

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