2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Reworked Packers' offensive line getting work

    2013-05-21 20:03

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers are using their spring practices as a chance to get their reconfigured offensive line accustomed to their new roles.

Although offseason team activities began Monday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday's practice was the first to feature 11-on-11 work after the first day of practice focused on fundamentals and position drills.

McCarthy made the change last month. The five players - Bryan Bulaga, Josh Sitton, T.J. Lang, Marshall Newhouse and Don Barclay were moved around.

Bulaga was moving from right tackle to left tackle; Sitton and Lang were flip-flopping their spots, with Sitton shifting to left guard and Lang moving to right guard; and Newhouse moving to right tackle, where he'll compete with Barclay and others.

On the first snap of the 11-on-11 sessions, it was Bulaga, Sitton, center Evan Dietrich-Smith, Lang and Newhouse left-to-right in front of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

But while working together at their new positions was important, individually adjusting both mentally and physically is the biggest challenge, several of the players said.

None of them had been told of the idea beforehand, even though changes were to be expected after Rodgers was sacked a league-high 51 times in 2012 and the Packers' running game ranked 20th in the league in rushing per game (106.4) and 22nd in yards per attempt (3.9).

``It was kind of a quick meeting. Basically, it was, `This is what's happening: You guys are playing here, you guys are playing here,''' Lang said Tuesday after first learning of the change.

``You're thinking, `Am I not playing good enough? Am I losing my job?' I don't want to say any of us are secure, because there's always competition.''

Discussing the move after practice Tuesday, McCarthy said that the move was made to put the team's best linemen, Bulaga and Sitton, on the left side to protect Rodgers' blind side.

As for how long before the Sept. 8 regular-season opener at San Francisco he'll have his starting five set, McCarthy said he didn't know.

``I'd like to go maybe two years in a row without answering this question about your offensive line,'' McCarthy said. ``Would I like to have five guys ready to say they're our starting five? And play 19 games? That's great. But we have to get them all ready.''

Sitton said early on it was a big adjustment.

``I think we're all a little surprised. That's a big move,'' Sitton said Tuesday. ``You don't see a four-position switch on the offensive line very often, so it's definitely surprising, but at the end of the day, it's football. We'll get used to it. We'll continue to grow and hopefully it'll be a good change for us.''

According to Lang, McCarthy came down to the offensive line meeting room to explain his reasoning last month. Then, it was time to get to work.

``We all talked about it for 20 minutes, whatever it was, and got a better explanation why it was happening, and it started to make more sense to us,'' Lang said. ``(But) when coach tells you to do something, or asks you to do something, you just have to do it. That's how it works.

``It was definitely awkward for us the first couple days out on the field. Your stance is uncomfortable, your footwork is awful, but we still have a lot of time before we open up the season to make sure we're getting better at our new spots. You just have to keep a positive attitude, go out there and compete every day and just do what you can do to get better.''

Bulaga has the added responsibility of protecting the blindside of his team's franchise quarterback.

``It's like a lefty batting right-handed and not being ambidextrous,'' said Bulaga, who was a left tackle in college at Iowa but has played almost exclusively right tackle since entering the league as the team's first-round pick in 2010.

``You're flipping sides, you're flipping footwork. I think it's a little more physical than mental, just because what we're doing mentally is just flipping calls and flipping plays in our head. That's really all it is. The physical standpoint of footwork, hand placement - everything is turned around a little bit. It takes a little bit of time to get used to that.''

Added Lang: ``You can't think too much about it; you can't make it bigger than what it is. You just have to keep plugging away every day and stay positive.''

That's what Newhouse is trying to do, even though the move is hard to see as anything other than a demotion for him. Newhouse started 13 regular-season games in 2011 after injuries to Bulaga and veteran left tackle Chad Clifton.

When Clifton was released in April 2012, the Packers opted not to move Bulaga to left tackle and stuck with Newhouse on the left side. Newhouse was up and down in 18 starts last season at left tackle.

``You're kind of taken aback,'' Newhouse said Tuesday. ``But I looked inward and acknowledged my role in them having to make the decision (while) also knowing that I can play football and knowing that I had a lot of success at the same time.

``I don't want to be perceived as the weak part of the line. I want to make myself into a strength of the offensive line. It's motivation. I do realize they had to make a decision, and my play was part of them thinking they had to make a decision. So I understand that, I accept that. But I also know I've had a lot of success, so I have to accept the role I've been given and go at it 100 percent. That's all I can really do.''

NOTES: Rookie fourth-round pick JC Tretter, an offensive lineman from Cornell, was injured during Monday's practice but McCarthy did not divulge the nature of the injury or give a timetable for his return. The coach said that Tretter would miss the rest of OTAs. ... Defensive end Mike Neal took snaps at outside linebacker during Tuesday's practice. ... Cornerback Sam Shields, who has yet to sign his restricted free-agent tender, was not in attendance. ... Reinstated defensive end Johnny Jolly was not at Tuesday's practice but could return to the team soon. He missed the past three seasons after being suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but was reinstated this spring.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Peyton ManningJan 30 12:52p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning may make a decision on whether he plans to return for another season in the near future, according to his dad, Archie Manning. Archie [ More ]

Brandon MarshallJan 30 10:42a

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall may not return to the team in 2015, in the opinion of ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright. The thinking is that Marshall and WR Alshon [ More ]

LeSean McCoyJan 30 02:32a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy has said he would restructure his contract to lower the $11.95 million cap hit for 2015, but he will not take a pay cut.

Larry FitzgeraldJan 29 05:52p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald's new contract should be able to get worked out this offseason, according to team president Michael Bidwill. 'Larry and I have met about it, [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 29 01:12p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) was administered a human growth hormone test by the league Wednesday, Jan. 28, and he believes it was directed at him after he [ More ]

Austin CollieJan 29 03:33a

Free-agent WR Austin Collie (Patriots) signed a contract with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League on Wednesday, Jan. 28.

Tom BradyJan 28 12:33p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady (illness) admitted that he is currently battling a cold, but he said he expects to be 100% ready for the Super Bowl Sunday, [ More ]

Brandon MebaneJan 27 11:23p

Seattle Seahawks DL Brandon Mebane (hamstring) said Tuesday, Jan. 27, that his hamstring surgery went well and he should be full go for the team's offseason program in April.

Richard ShermanJan 27 11:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) has torn ligaments in his elbow, but he is improving daily and he is no longer receiving treatment for the injury.

LeGarrette BlountJan 27 08:33p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount should be a factor in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Feb. 1, in the opinion of Boston Herald writer Karen [ More ]

Adrian PetersonJan 27 07:43p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson was directed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to meet with a league-assigned psychiatrist following Peterson's suspension. The National Football League Players Association is now [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 27 12:23p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is an offensive weapon that the Seattle Seahawks are focused on shutting down during the Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1. Seahawks head coach [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ 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