By Travis Duncan
Josh Sitton's reliability at the right guard position has been remarkable, he has started every game for the last two seasons and actually didn't miss a snap over 37 games if you count preseason and postseason action.
Friday the team rewarded him with a six-year contract extension. He was due to be a free-agent at the end of the season so this was a no-brainer for the Packers front office.
Sitton said Friady, "It's a big weight off my shoulders"
He continues, "That was what we said from the beginning, that we wanted to get it done before the season," in comments to the team's website"
"That way I didn't have to deal with it and I could just focus on playing football. That's what I do. I'm a football player."
Sitton was a guy who didn't even know if he had NFL ability in college and didn't find out until he landed in Green Bay.
It was easy to overlook Sitton coming out of Central Florida in 2008. But the Packers took a chance on him with a fourth-round pick and it was a great pick in retrospect.
He was a 2010 Pro Bowl selection as an alternate and as mentioned above has been a model of consistency, in fact some argue he is one of the NFL's "elite" guards, according to Nate Davis of the USA TODAY.
Having Sitton for the next six years is a positive without a doubt but there are some national writers who question the ability and experience, as well as depth at the position.
Rare is the NFL team that has the offensive line stacked two deep with the above mentioned characteristics.
But a writer for the Associated Press wrote the following after Thursday night's game.
"Sure, the Packers’ backups were facing the Chiefs’ defensive starters with nothing at stake — beyond roster spots, of course. But Green Bay’s offensive line play has been uneven throughout the preseason, and there are questions for the Super Bowl champions going into Thursday night’s regular season opener against New Orleans at Lambeau Field.
“A couple times, we had some obvious mistakes,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.
“When a defensive lineman runs right through to the quarterback, that’s not the way it’s supposed to go.”
The key piece of evidence cited by the AP is the 16 sacks the team gave up this preseason and the six Aaron Rodgers took in the first three preseason games.
Secondly, T.J. Lang is the new left guard and lacks experience. He replaces Daryn Colledge who signed with the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.
On the bright side, Ryan Grant did go for a 23-yard run on the first-string's only series of the game, though the total rushing yards in the preseason ranks as one of the lowest in the NFL, if preseason stats means anything.
Ultimately, any team is one injury short of having depth issues on the offensive line. The Packers have four experienced players and one not so experienced players.
Rodgers had this to say earlier in the week about the roster changes from the Super Bowl team
"Look at this locker room, There’s a lot of guys in here who are going to play important roles for us who weren’t with us last year or had a diminished role at the beginning of the season last year."
The Packers will have until 5 p.m. on Saturday night to finalize their 53-man season roster.
Tickets for the home opener against New Orleans
According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, ticket demand for the Pack's home opener against the New Orleans Saints Thursday Sept. 8 is actually down, or less than what was expected, on the secondary ticket market. At least one broker said that the Thursday night prime time time slot was to blame.
A quick check of Seathound.com shows that tickets for the game begin at $157.00 and go up from there.
Meanwhile, Seathound.com also reports that the Packers will add 6,000 seats to Lambeau Field by 2013. The new seats will be added on the four levels in the south end zone.
-The oddsmakers are favor the Packers over the Saints, but not by much. USA TODAY's Danny Sheridan gives the Pack just 4 points as do most other sportsbooks and the like.
-Meanwhile the White House, yes that one, has confirmed that President Obama's speech to Congress next Thursday night will conclude in time for kickoff.
A White House spokesperson said that the President will speak at 7 p.m. ET and will finish at least in time for kickoff at 8:30 p.m. ET. The spokesperson said, "It means he will have the opportunity to watch the game, like millions of other Americans."
-Also check for a Jay Leno segment next week, the late night host will tape a segment from Green Bay. Thursday night's game is on NBC.
I'll be back next week for lots of Packers-Saints coverage. You can read more of my work at www.digitalsportsdaily.com.
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