Packers adjusting their offensive line

    2013-05-12 20:20

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers' decision to shuffle their offensive line was based on the need to protect the team's most important asset in quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

After doing postseason evaluations of schemes and players and ranking each player on the roster, coach Mike McCarthy and his staff determined that Bryan Bulaga and Josh Sitton were the team's best offensive linemen.

McCarthy said their ranking led the coaches to having the best blockers protecting the blind side of Rodgers. Rodgers signed a five-year, $110 million extension last month that made him the NFL's highest-paid player.

McCarthy said Sunday after the conclusion of the rookie camp that he and his staff put a lot of thought into the move, but that the idea behind it isn't very complex.

``How you utilize your personnel is a constant conversation, and it's no different this year,'' McCarthy said. ``Frankly, we felt Bryan Bulaga and Josh Sitton were our two most accomplished offensive linemen, and just going back to the old-school theory of how you structure your offensive line, we wanted to put those guys on the left side.''

When organized team activity practices kick off May 21, Bulaga will line up at left tackle, Sitton at left guard and former left guard T.J. Lang at right guard.

At right tackle will be former left tackle Marshall Newhouse, who'll compete with Don Barclay who started the final six games at right tackle last season, and 2011 first-round pick Derek Sherrod, who hasn't played since breaking his leg at Kansas City on Dec. 18, 2011.

The Packers also selected a pair of offensive linemen last month in the draft, adding Colorado's David Bakhtiari and Cornell's J.C. Tretter in the fourth round.

In the one rookie camp practice open to reporters, Bakhtiari lined up at left tackle and Tretter at right tackle, although McCarthy said they moved around during subsequent practices.

McCarthy said Sunday that he likes the competition the shift creates at right tackle, as Newhouse, Barclay, Sherrod or the rookies could win the starting spot.

``Everybody involved on the right side has some history there. Marshall's played the right side, T.J.'s played the right side, Barclay's played the right side, so we're just trying to make as much competition as possible,'' McCarthy said.

``We feel with Bryan and Josh, we've solved the left side and those guys have some history together, so there's a number of different things that went into it.''

The reshuffling of the line comes after Rodgers was sacked a league-high 51 times last season and the Packers' running game ranked 20th in the league in rushing per game (106.4) and 22nd in yards per attempt (3.9).

Bulaga, the team's 2010 first-round pick who took over at right tackle during his rookie season, played 587 snaps last season before suffering a hip injury that ended his season on Nov. 4.

Sitton went to his first Pro Bowl as an injury replacement last season. McCarthy said he watched Sitton closely as he played left guard during the Pro Bowl.

Barclay was a pleasant surprise as an undrafted rookie free agent when called upon to fill in for Bulaga after Lang struggled at right tackle.

Barclay was inconsistent and was better as a run-blocker than pass-blocking.

At the NFL meetings in Arizona in March, McCarthy had said that he wanted to see improvement from the left side of the line, but the coach said Sunday that he hadn't made up his mind about shuffling the line at that point.

``I hadn't made a final decision yet. But one thing was clear: We needed to be more productive as an offense,'' McCarthy said. ``When you don't win the Super Bowl, you hear about all the negative things that you are on offense. The reality is, we were fifth in the league in scoring (and) No. 1 the year before. So, why? You look at the run game, you look at the players you have.

``We've always built game plans and taken the things we've learned from scheme evals and do things with the scheme with guys we know are going to be here. So, how can we best utilize the individuals we know are going to be here? It's great that these rookies are here, but I can promise you there's not one play that we put in because we thought we were going to draft two tackles in the draft. That's just not the way it works.

``We've built a system of offense that has the ability to take advantage of any players' talents. And more importantly focus on the ones we know are going to be here. And we felt Bryan and Josh were our two best answers for the left side.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Andre EllingtonDec 1 02:23p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (toe) is dealing with turf toe and is considered day-to-day, although his status for Week 13 is in doubt.

Kyle WilliamsDec 1 12:53p

Buffalo Bills DT Kyle Williams (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Dec. 1.

B. RoethlisbergerDec 1 12:33p

Updating earlier reports, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (head) was told his diagnosis was 'traumatic ocular migraine,' while head coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger has a concussion.

Josh McCownDec 1 12:33p

Updating earlier reports, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown (clavicle) possibly has a broken collarbone, which would likely end his season.

B. RoethlisbergerDec 1 12:23p

Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (head) said he does not have a concussion and expects to practice Wednesday, Dec. 2, and play in Week 13 [ More ]

B. RoethlisbergerDec 1 12:23p

Updating an earlier report, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (concussion) has a concussion and is in the concussion protocol, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

Josh McCownDec 1 12:13p

Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown (clavicle) was in a sling after the Week 12 game against the Baltimore Ravens Monday, Nov. 30, and he will have more tests Tuesday, [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 1 12:13p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz (concussion) was cleared to practice Tuesday, Dec. 1, or the first time since suffering a concussion Nov. 22.

Terrelle PryorDec 1 12:03p

Free-agent WR Terrelle Pryor (Browns) will re-sign with the Cleveland Browns Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Karlos WilliamsDec 1 11:03a

Buffalo Bills RB Karlos Williams (shoulder) is in the locker room wearing a sling on his arm Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Sam BradfordDec 1 10:33a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (shoulder) will practice Tuesday, Dec. 1, which will serve as a big test to determine his status for Week 13 against the New England [ More ]

Chris JohnsonDec 1 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Arizona Cardinals RB Chris Johnson (leg) could be out six to eight weeks with a broken tibia, according to sources.

Case KeenumNov 30 07:53p

St. Louis Rams QB Case Keenum (concussion) is still being evaluated for a concussion but is likely to be on the practice field in some capacity Wednesday, Dec. 2, [ More ]

Tyler EifertNov 30 07:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck) underwent tests on his injured neck, but they did not show any structural damage. His status for the Week 13 game against the [ More ]

Marlon BrownNov 30 07:13p

The Baltimore Ravens have declared DT Carl Davis, CB Cassius Vaughn, OT Eugene Monroe, DL Kapron Lewis-Moore, OG Kelechi Osemele, WR Marlon Brown, CB Tray Walker inactive for Week 12.

Andrew HawkinsNov 30 07:13p

The Cleveland Browns have declared WR Andrew Hawkins, CB Don Jones, CB Joe Haden, OG Joel Bitonio, CB Pierre Desir, DL Randy Starks, WR Taylor Gabriel inactive for Week 12.

Chris JohnsonNov 30 06:33p

Arizona Cardinals RB Chris Johnson (leg) suffered a fractured tibia during the team's Week 12 game and will miss an extended period of time. The team is still waiting [ More ]

Chris HarperNov 30 06:33p

New England Patriots WR Chris Harper was released Monday, Nov. 30.

Jimmy GrahamNov 30 06:23p

Seattle Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Nov. 30, and DT A.J. Francis was signed from the practice squad to the active roster [ More ]

Trey WilliamsNov 30 06:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB Trey Williams was waived Monday, Nov. 30.

Karlos WilliamsNov 30 06:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Karlos Williams' (shoulder) status for the Week 13 game against the Houston Texans is uncertain at this point. Williams suffered a shoulder injury during the team's Week 12 game.

Rishard MatthewsNov 30 05:13p

Updating a previous report, Miami Dolphins WR Rishard Matthews (ribs) suffered multiple fractured ribs in Week 12 against the New York Jets, according to sources. There is no timetable [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 30 04:53p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (kidney) is still the Colts' starting quarterback and will be under center when he's 100% healthy, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 04:53p

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) is not expected to play in Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to sources. Gronkowski is likely [ More ]

Peyton ManningNov 30 04:13p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (foot) will get his walking boot off at some point this week, but there is still not definitive timeline for his return. For now [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 03:33p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's (knee) MRI revealed that he suffered a knee strain in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. He will miss a week at most.

Andre EllingtonNov 30 03:33p

Updating a previous report, Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (toe) suffered a turf toe injury in Week 12, but the severity is unknown at this time.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 03:03p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) is week-to-week, and his knee injury is considered more of a bruise than a tear, according to sources.

Allen HurnsNov 30 01:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns (concussion) is going through the concussion protocol but has not been ruled out for the Week 13 game against the Tennessee Titans.

Dan HerronNov 30 01:03p

Indianapolis Colts RB Dan Herron will become the backup to RB Frank Gore with RB Ahmad Bradshaw (wrist) done for the season.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 12:53p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) isn't dealing with any structural damage in his knee, but he still could miss Week 13.

Chase FordNov 30 12:43p

Baltimore Ravens WR Daniel Brown and OG Kaleb Johnson were promoted from the practice squad to the active roster Monday, Nov. 30, while WR Chuck Jacobs was released and [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group